Although lawyers are often considered to be more conservative by nature, personal injury lawyer Steve Rastin says that they need to take risks on behalf of clients — or they shouldn’t be in the profession.
“Some people are more interested in marketing and settling than taking a case to trial. It’s law as a profession versus law as a commodity. They need to take that risk. If they don’t, word is going to get out that they don’t take cases to trial and that will have a detrimental impact on clients,” says Rastin, managing partner of Rastin Trial Lawyers.
“Even if you lose sometimes, you see the same defence lawyers, and they respect the fact that you’re a good trial lawyer. Insurance companies keep lists. They know who goes to trial and who doesn’t. If you’re going to be a civil litigator, you have to take risks,” he adds.
As Rastin explains, one of the best things that happened to him as a lawyer was the experience of losing his first trial.
“The sun still came up the next day. The world still went on, and my wife gave me a hug in the morning. There is life after a loss. You can’t function in an adversarial system and say, ‘I’m never going to lose.’ Having the courage to do the right thing is part of being a professional,” he says.