Wet Hot South Florida Morning.

Hey, what do you know — Jeff Sloman’s a plaintiff’s attorney!

This great Julie Kay article on the perils of suing clients for unpaid fees is instructive, but I had another takeaway — the perils of litigating issues instead of attempting to resolve them:

The litigation triggered the competitor, Fort Myers-based Storm Catcher, to ask the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to re-examine Armor’s patents, which were ultimately deemed invalid.
shim-9363444The patent ruling destroyed Armor’s business, valued at more than $2 million, said Warren Trazenfeld, a Miami solo attorney who is representing Armor in the malpractice case.

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“The patents were the most valuable part of the company,” he said. “Now the business’s valuation has been substantially affected.”

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Trazenfeld claims the Squire Sanders lawyers should have requested a re-examination of the patents and could have fixed them in Armor’s favor. Instead, the firm deliberately headed into litigation to run up high legal bills, he alleges.

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“It absolutely could have been an easy fix,” Trazenfeld said.

Litigation always has the potential to spin out of control, and always has the potential to result in unintended — and even unforeseen — consequences.It’s funny to see businesses that work so hard to contain and/or eliminate risk throw caution to the wind when they’re embroiled in litigation (not that I’m complaining).Besides the billable hour economic self-interest, why is reaching out early for a compromise resolution sometimes so difficult to do?

Swlip, this one’s for you!