In our more than 60 combined years of practice, the attorneys at DorenfeldLaw have honed a safe, thoughtful and caring approach to managing each client’s emotional (and physical) health during our time together.

When a client first comes to us and identifies the nature of their legal dispute, the first questions we ask are: (1) What is your wish list? and (2) What are you seeking to accomplish? By using the answers to these questions as our starting point, we can focus the client on two important variables in managing a legal dispute.

First, we work with the client to identify what components of the problem relate to the emotional aspects that are driving the dispute. For instance, some disputes have an innate emotional aspect, such as a dispute relating to one’s home or family. Often at the beginning of a dispute of this nature, the client feels wronged on a personal level, taken advantage of or wrongfully attacked.  We alleviate the stress on the client by discussing this at the outset, presenting an empathetic yet objective viewpoint, and seeking to remove the emotional factor at the inception. This tends to set the client more at ease and assists us in clarifying decision-making. This approach then allows us to work toward practical, pragmatic and real-world solutions.

Second are the disputes that are personal in nature, such as those between long-term business partners. In these settings, the client often dwells on what the other side might get or want. Those feelings gnaw at the client and fuel bad decision-making. Reigning in this impulse at the beginning of our relationship reduces stress and anxiety (not to mention anger). Whether you are suing or being sued, at the end of the day, the analysis boils down to what is best for you. This may mean allowing the other side to have something they may not deserve. If this dilemma controls the strategy and potential dispute resolution, it can lead to decisions that are not in the client’s best interest.

Addressing these two fundamental hurdles at the inception of a dispute can remove stress and anxiety from the process and allow the client and our attorneys to spend our time (and the client’s money) on productive decision-making.

Another important issue is recognition and acceptance of factors beyond one’s control. A client cannot control his or her adversary. The actions of the adversary and his or her counsel can become a source of continued anxiety and stress for the client. It is accordingly important not to allow your opponent to draw you in; if they do draw you in, the litigation can then take a scorched earth approach to dispute resolution. Falling prey to this tactic increases the emotional toll of litigation (as well as the amount of time and costs involved) and in the end creates an atmosphere where practical solutions cannot be achieved.

Being in a legal dispute is a stressful and, potentially life-altering event. Selecting an attorney who is sensitive to these issues can make the bumpy road of litigation a little more comfortable to travel. At DorenfeldLaw, we strive to provide our clients with an informed, considered and holistic approach to achieve their goals while attempting to minimize their stress and anxiety.

David Dorenfeld is the lead attorney at DorenfeldLaw, located at 30101 Agoura Ct., Suite 210, in Agoura Hills. For more information, contact DorenfeldLaw at 818.865.4000.