But what makes an aggressive lawyer effective? An aggressive personality doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get an aggressive legal strategy. What characteristics are you really looking for when you want to find an aggressive attorney for your case?
When choosing a family lawyer, there’s an important difference between:
- Aggression versus assertiveness
- Fueling conflict versus achieving actual results
- Winning versus finding a satisfactory resolution
- Ego versus experience and wisdom
- Short-term satisfaction versus long-term solutions
If you’re not sure which traits make a good aggressive lawyer, you may end up with an attorney who uses aggression indiscriminately in their approach, with more harm than good.
Do you want a lawyer who aggressively battles over every minute detail of your case, piling up attorney’s fees and wasting your time in the process? Unlikely.
Do you want a lawyer so aggressive that they refuse to bend even a little over the course of settlement negotiations, blowing your chances at coming to an agreement and causing your case to take the long and difficult road through litigation in court? Doubtful.
Do you want an aggressive lawyer who bullies and intimidates witnesses or other parties with rude and uncivil behavior? Probably not.
The wrong kind of aggression is bound to damage your case worse than it will help. California courts generally don’t appreciate bullies who create drama for drama’s sake. The bull in a china shop routine could backfire with judges who have no patience for those tactics. Not to mention – family matters usually require a good dose of sensitivity to resolve successfully.
When looking for an aggressive divorce or family lawyer, you want to find an assertive attorney who has aggressive legal strategies, not the most aggressive personality.
What Is an Aggressive Family Lawyer?
Even aggressive personalities have some advantages. Pushy people can get their way on some things because others don’t want to deal with their personality. But when it comes to the law, that type of bullheaded approach is not likely to get far. Many legal issues require some sort of cooperation, collaboration, mediation, or settlement negotiation, especially in family law .
Even if your case has become adversarial, such as a contested divorce or divorce litigation where other forms of communication have broken down between spouses – an aggressive attitude can backfire. If your attorney antagonizes witnesses or fails to respect the rule and decorum of the law, their “bad faith” behavior can be punished by the court. And if your attorney gets sanctioned, that could negatively affect your case.
A lawyer with an aggressive personality may still be reactive or passive when it comes to legal strategy. Instead, you should look for an attorney who is self-directed, motivated, courageous, dedicated, and aggressive about fighting for your best interests.
The best type of lawyer is assertive and aggressive in their legal approach. That means:
- Examining and investigating your case in thorough detail
- Fighting for the best possible outcome in the most pragmatic way
- Being honest with you about the strengths and weaknesses of your case
- Preparing your best arguments for trial if you must go to court for your case
- Advising you on what makes the best possible settlement offer that’s worth accepting
- Proactively communicating to keep clients informed and updated on developments
- Being available to meet with clients when necessary
- Continuing to educate themselves on relevant changes in the law
- Making an effort to work effectively with attorney’s fees in mind
An effective aggressive approach is not about the lawyer’s ego. It’s not about contesting every minor issue, refusing every settlement offer, or staying on the offensive at all times. It’s about making smart decisions that get clients closer to the outcomes they want.
An effective aggressive attorney is not ruled by emotions or pride. Instead, the best aggressive lawyers are driven by a higher purpose – dedication to their clients.
Is It Better to Have an Aggressive Attorney?
An attorney with an aggressive personality may be all bluster with no actual substance to back up their strategies. Meanwhile, an attorney dedicated to aggressive legal solutions can get you the best possible outcome for your case – even without the bluster and grandstanding.
In sum, you definitely want an aggressive attorney on your side. But you don’t want a lawyer who is aggressive for all the wrong reasons. You want a powerful advocate – and the best advocates use aggression as part of their arsenal of legal strategies.
This is particularly true in family law cases. A purely aggressive lawyer who escalates conflict at every turn can be a catastrophic choice for your divorce or family law case.
Even though divorce and family matters can be emotional, a scorched earth approach is bound to backfire. Part of a good family lawyer’s job is to deescalate the emotionally charged issues between family members in order to reach healthy goals. A divorce lawyer has to be able to tell their clients their legal realities – even if the clients don’t want to hear it.
Most people search for an aggressive family attorney because they believe it’s in their best interests. They need someone to protect their legal rights and face off against an aggressive lawyer that their spouse has hired. What they’re really looking for is an assertive family attorney who can get them through conflict with experience and wisdom, achieve satisfactory results, and accomplish resolution between family members for the long term.
When your family life is at stake, you don’t want to put the outcome in the hands of an aggressive lawyer who won’t handle your issues with the sensitivity and care you require. An assertive attorney can better provide the nuanced representation you need.