Firm Philosophy

Client Relations at Smiley & Smiley: Principles and Practice

What do you look for when you seek professional service? Likely, it is a combination of factors. Your primary focus may be the end result - but how, and why, you get there is almost as important.

If you have been seriously injured, you may have a right to compensation. If you require the services of a New York City personal injury law firm, you have many options. The professional team you select will be responsible for guiding you through a challenging legal process and helping to ensure that you receive the compensation you require. Choosing an attorney is an important decision that can affect the rest of your life; but how can you know what to expect as a client of a given firm?

At Smiley & Smiley, LLP, a well developed philosophy underlies every client relationship. Once you know what we're all about, you can make an informed decision as to whether Smiley & Smiley offers not only the kind of representation you want, but the kind you deserve.

High Volume, or High Quality Representation?

Some law firms are "mass merchants" that thrive off of a high volume of cases. They're more than happy to take any business that comes through the door, and sure, that means there's not as much time for each client, but it certainly keeps the lights on.

At Smiley & Smiley, we limit our practice to only a small group of cases at a time. We don't have the volume of some other firms; we don't want it. We want to have the time to give individual, specifically tailored service to each and every client we represent.

That means every phone call or email will be returned the same day it is received. A partner - not just a paralegal or associate - is accessible to our clients by phone or email 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Communication is essential to any relationship, especially in the attorney-client context. We pride ourselves on accessibility.

Being selective about the number of cases we take also gives us time to educate our clients about their case. We like having informed clients - from the minute we meet our clients, we keep them up to date on all the issues involved in their case, the positives and negatives, the strengths, and just as importantly, the weaknesses. We never limit or filter the information we provide to a client, telling them only what we think they would like to hear. While we devise compelling legal strategies, ultimately the client is in the driver's seat, and as a client, you can only make the best decisions will a complete understanding of your case.

Our clients are not only well-informed about the legal aspects of their cases, they are kept up to speed on logistics too. As a client, you will always know where your case stands. We copy clients on every case-related correspondence, from communications with the other side's lawyer to requests for records. There are no quiet deals in smoke-filled rooms; our process is completely transparent to clients. As a client of Smiley & Smiley, we are confident we'll gain your trust and respect. Even so, you won't have to simply trust us that your case is on track: you'll know, practically up to the minute.

Our Stance on Trial

Trials can be imposing, time consuming and expensive. Furthermore, they are risky: even if you have a strong case, there is a chance, however slim, that a judge or jury will ultimately come down against you. That being the case, it is usually in a client's best interest to avoid a trial. At Smiley & Smiley, our goal is to get the maximum settlement for our clients before leaving the matter in the unpredictable hands of a judge or jury.

That being said, sometimes a full trial is unavoidable. Perhaps the other side is not forthcoming with an acceptable settlement offer. Or, with our assistance and armed with a thorough legal analysis, you might decide the risk of trial is acceptable given what you stand to gain in court. Whatever the reason, if a trial becomes necessary, you want your standard-bearer in court to be the lawyer who knows your case inside and out. Unlike some other firms, at Smiley & Smiley we never call in other lawyers to try a case. All our cases are prepared as though they are going to trial, and our attorneys try their own cases. The same legal team you've gotten to know and respect from the time you walk in the door will have your back in court.

Our attorneys know the benefits of settlement, but they are no strangers to litigation. Whenever we end up trying a case, there is a high probability of success. Smiley & Smiley has a stunning record of results than spans more than four decades, including numerous multi million dollar verdicts for our clients.

Counselors, Advisors and Friends to Clients Long After Leaving the Courtroom

We don't see ourselves only as advocates. We truly strive to be counselors and advisors to our clients. We're proud to represent our clients, some of the best people New York City has to offer.

Lawyers who truly get to know and care about their clients after weeks or months spent together in the trenches of litigation cannot simply close the file and move on after a case is concluded. A strong attorney-client bond is not easily severed; we take great pride in keeping in touch with clients. We help change clients' lives by obtaining successful results, but our clients also change us. We stick by them, and take pleasure in client relationships that are far more to us than isolated transactions.

Our Philosophy Pays Off In Real Life

Past, present and future, our philosophy makes our firm what it is. It has kept us in business for over 40 years; it has given us a sterling reputation in the industry, among judges, other attorneys, insurance companies and even adversaries; and, most importantly, it ensures our clients get the kind of service they need and deserve.

When everyone's on the same page about a case, the results can be amazing. In one recent Smiley & Smiley case, a young college student and her mother came to us after the 22-year-old suffered scarring and nerve damage to her right foot and ankle in a bicycle accident. As a father and son partnership, we understood what the family was going through, and dove headfirst into the case. When the dust of trial cleared, the jury awarded our client $151,853 for medical expenses, $500,000 for pain and suffering and $600,000 for future pain and suffering. This kind of award, over $1.25 million, is more than just money; it is a resource that will keep a severe injury from derailing a young woman's life.

Like What You Hear? Get In Touch for Help With Your Injury

Hopefully now you have a better idea of what to expect as a client at Smiley & Smiley. If our firm sounds like a good fit for you, give us a call or drop us a line; we can't wait to speak with you.