Six attorneys gave abbreviated versions of their openings for real cases.
I can’t discuss the cases but I can tell you a little of what I learned.
What I learned was a little scary.
- The American system of civil justice does not include a way to stop a professional from continuing to practice.
- The American system of civil law only includes one way to punish an individual or a company for a wrongdoing.
- The American system of civil case law can’t force the fix of a product problem.
Being sued can cost you a bundle but you can keep your license.
You can’t take a doctor or other professional to court to cancel their license. The licensing body is the only one that can do that and they tend to protect their own. So your civil suit is about money.
It’s all about the money.
One thing attorneys were practicing in this mock jury presentation was how to explain that the only recompense available was money. One young man stood before us and put his hands out to his sides like the scales. As he put it, “Here in my left hand is all the things I’ve told you happened to my client,” he said, lowering that hand while his right crept upward.
His left hand continued to descend as he said, “My client’s life has been changed forever. The years without will add to that pain and suffering. The only thing we can put on the other side of the scale is money. How much will it take to bring those scales level? That will be your decision.”
The better the lawyer is at getting a client’s case across to a jury the higher the monetary award can be to balance the scales.
Justice is blind.
She can’t see what you put into the compensation side of the scale (or the other for that matter). Whether you call the money reimbursement for a loss or damages or an additional award for pain and suffering it is one and the same to Justice. She just wants the scales to balance.
With Brand, money is only part of it.
Your brand is how your customers see you. If you screw up badly it will be reflected immediately. Your income will go down. Repeat purchase will diminish. New customers will slow to a crawl. Referrals will cease to exist. Your reputation will be in the toilet. Negative word of mouth will increase and because of human nature could become viral. The value of your organization will be depressed.
Brand depends on trust.
The more your clients, customers and patients trust you the easier it is to overcome a single event. If you are constantly seeking and posting testimonials and positive reviews the better off you will be. Every time you deliver beyond expectations you are building your account to balance the scales. Don’t wait. Start adding to your brand value today.
Jerry Fletcher is a beBee ambassador, founder and Grand Poobah of www.BrandBrainTrust.com
His consulting practice, founded in 1990, is known for Trust-based Brand development, Positioning and business development on and off-line. He is also a sought-after International Speaker.