Hurry Up and Wait – The Importance of Patience

We've said it before: procrastination is no formula for success, whether in business or business law. But there's certainly no shortage of procrastinators out there in the business law arena. 

Business owners often don't want to invest in the time and support of a business law attorney. The typical business owner would often prefer to avoid messy issues rather than addressing and resolving them.

But while procrastination is an unwavering constant, it's also true that in both life and law, patience is underestimated. Along with astute observation, skilled discernment, and unrelenting diligence, patience is key. In fact we count it among the most used items in our toolbox, and invaluable when it comes to resolving matters in the best interest of our clients. Once we have been engaged by the client and have begun communicating with the opposing party - whether outside of court or in the context of a pending piece of litigation - patience becomes especially critical.

Patience Informs our Approach

At Calkins Law Firm we like to think that we know our clients their goals and objectives pretty well - at least we certainly aim to. We have a wealth of experience interacting with and negotiating with all types of people and entities. At the same time, we acknowledge that every relationship and situation is different. We always keep that in mind and work diligently to build understanding.

Besides knowing and understanding the interests of our client, we also need to learn about the goals, objectives, needs, and concerns of the opposing party and their counsel. This could mean that we need to work at interpreting communications through their attorney's lens. All that back and forth, drawing connections, and translating takes time - it can't be rushed. Yet one more reason we tout the value of patience.

And while we can and will do whatever is in our power to move negotiations or proceedings forward, we have no control whatsoever over the opposing party's approach and timing. Instead we have to focus on doing our best to work with them and their counsel, on their schedule. Again, enter patience.

When it comes to court proceedings, the timing is wholly out of the control of either party or attorney. Instead it's largely in the hands of the court. And while our country's justice system may be the gold standard, it never claimed to be expedient. In fact the delays experienced in our courts can be inordinate at times. 

One prime example is a case we are involved in that has been pending in one form or another for over six years, with a clear resolution nowhere in sight. And even in your "everyday" or "average" case, it's not unusual for a court to take a year to rule on a motion. Yet again, the need for patience is clear.

So really, regardless of whether we are negotiating on behalf of a client or litigating, we're often caught in the middle of a waiting game. There are plenty of good reasons why our client could be in a hurry or why we'd want to move things along, and to the extent that we can, we do. But as so many variables are out of our control, and other factors fall into the unknown or to be determined categories, we practice patience.

In the meantime, we're always working to read the room, trying to discern the position and concerns of both the opposing party and the court. All this is done with eyes fixed on an ultimate resolution that serves our client's interests. Observation, discernment, diligence - these are vital to any legal proceeding. But we'd argue that the most useful, practical, and necessary quality is and always will be, patience.

Business Law Expertise and Pragmatism On Tap

At Calkins Law Firm, we see regular reminders of how painfully slow it can be to proceed through the legal system. And whether the onus rests on the opposing party or the courts, it's our clients that we're most concerned about. For so many reasons, we eschew procrastination and advise our clients to push ahead. But for just as many reasons that might not be possible. Either way, know that the team at Calkins Law Firm is never biding time or resting - we're always working to reach the best outcome for you, even if it takes an extra dose of patience.

If you're looking to work with business and real estate law experts to help you see your case through to a successful end, then get in touch with Calkins Law Firm. We're here to help. 

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Benjamin Calkins

Benjamin Calkins

Ben Calkins is a well-educated, top-rated, and highly experienced business law attorney.

Ben Calkins is an honors graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School. After law school, he clerked for a Federal Judge before joining one of the World’s largest law firms, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey. Mr. Calkins has also worked at, and been a partner in, several of the most prominent “old style law firms” in the World.