Dan Baldwin 2013-02-01 02:46:21
A New Leader in Insurance Defense is Born In May 2012, Mitchell (“Mitch”) Resnick and Lena M. Louis left a well-respected, mid-size law firm with three other attorneys, two paralegals and one legal secretary to embark on the monumental task of opening their own firm: Resnick & Louis, P.C. Just eight months later, the firm has grown to sixteen attorneys and associated support staff, practicing civil litigation in six different states in the Southwest, West Coast and Mountain West in a variety of practice areas, including construction, insurance defense litigation, environmental, first party property analysis, business and corporate law, commercial litigation and transactional, real estate, gaming, general liability, domestic relations, and labor and employment. Offices are located in Scottsdale, Orange County, Riverside, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Denver and Albuquerque. “When I look back on the past year I could not be more amazed by what we have accomplished,” says Jennifer Boldi, an associate in the firm’s Scottsdale and Irvine offices who came with Resnick and Louis from their prior firm. “We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have had many of our clients rally to our side, and the success we’ve accomplished in such a short time was really made possible through the blood, sweat and tears of the incredible team we have.” Resnick adds, “It’s nice to also have great new insurance companies and clients who trust us to get the job done in many places.” Experience and Diversity Resnick and Louis have almost 40 years of experience as attorneys. Resnick is a recognized leader in the insurance defense and construction communities and has been designated as panel counsel for more than a dozen insurance companies for general liability, construction, and environmental matters; being lead counsel on large exposure cases in different jurisdictions; has handled more than 2,000 insurance defense cases, many in construction and general liability; and is a speaker on the national stage. He has previously been recognized by his peers in the legal community as a top construction attorney. Resnick is also in the process of obtaining his general contractor’s license, and actively practices in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Colorado. Louis has been representing clients in the fields of construction defect, commercial litigation, construction law, and general liability since 1995. Her focus at Resnick & Louis is on commercial property owners, businesses, developers, general contractors, trade contractors, and in providing business and contract-related services to a variety of clients. She has represented hundreds of clients throughout Arizona, Nevada and California. Some of the other senior level attorneys that Resnick and Louis have assembled add an incredible amount of experience. Former Judge Michael Wales has 20 years of legal experience and lawyer Gail Barsky worked for several decades as in-house counsel for a high-level insurance company. Louis says, “The litigation teams we have in all jurisdictions have excellent experience in a variety of matters.” “We have lawyers with multiple jurisdictional licenses, with active practices in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. In certain areas of the law it does make a material difference - having the ability to know and understand how the legal issues impact from one state to another. In certain areas, such as construction defect, it is especially important knowing the different players that revolve in the southwestern United States such as the insurance claims professionals, mediators, expert witnesses, developers/builders, general contractors, subcontractors and lawyers. It helps tremendously. Some states have not dealt with the legal issues we have encountered in others, which allows the clients to hopefully gain an edge,” Resnick says. Louis says, “Construction law is not the sexiest area. What I really do enjoy is when I get those smaller clients who really need my help and I’m able to do a good job for them.” The firm believes in open, two-way communication and in being totally candid with each client. “If you’re a good communicator,” began Resnick, “if you have good credibility and you can give real life examples to a client, many times more than not the client will listen to you and take your advice. It’s important in client representation that you address the client’s expectations and that you’re candid. The worst thing an attorney can do is to ‘stroke’ a client. You have to be honest and tell it the way it is. At the same time, you can’t be rude and you can’t be offensive. But you have to be honest with them.” Louis says, “Sometimes I have to put my foot down just to help a client make the better decision. I really try to put myself in my clients’ shoes and try to do what’s best for them.” A Creative Approach to Case Handling The Resnick & Louis team believes in taking unique approaches to the ever-changing needs of clients in a dynamic legal environment. Louis says, “I think it requires looking at each individual situation. Sometimes at the onset of a case when I know that the case can be resolved easily, I’ll go directly to the plaintiff ’s counsel to negotiate a deal, thus avoiding on-going fees and costs to the client.” Resnick says, “We get hired by individual people. We get hired by businesses. We get hired by insurance companies. At the end of the day, everyone for the most part is looking for the best bang for their buck. They don’t want to spend too much money to get an appropriate result.” Resnick also says that “creativity and thinking outside the box is very important to help keep the cases efficiently handled.” Resnick sees some lawyers who act like they’re on an assembly line, no imagination. It can be dangerous, he says, because it can often drag out the case longer than necessary. Resnick notes that the legal environment has changed in the past twenty years. “When I first began, it seemed that the focus was primarily on results, regardless of the cost it took to get there. Insurance companies and clients are now trying more than ever to cut back and save money while protecting their insureds. At the same time, the insurance companies and clients don’t want the quality of the representation compromised. Therefore, creativity is key in the law firm’s performance.” “Client needs are paramount,” agrees Louis. “I look at the case from the onset as a whole – to look both at the business perspective and the merits of the case - so that I’m not wasting clients’ money doing things that do not need to be done. At the same time, when aggressive lawyering is required, such as a client who wants to avoid being sued often or a general contractor who needs to prove a point, then we take that approach.” Looking Forward Cognizant of the need to adapt to a changing business and legal environment, Resnick & Louis, P.C. remains committed to providing maximum value for its clients while creating a firm that will grow and evolve into the future legal landscape. Louis says that one of the key ways to do this is to “be honest and up front and at the same time, when necessary, to be aggressive and always to be professional. I hate attorneys who aren’t professional.” The firm has diversified into many areas so as to ‘spread the risk’ when facing the future. “We don’t want to just rely on construction cases in Arizona or any type of case in Arizona,” says Resnick. He adds, “I’ve been blessed to get great work from excellent insurance companies and clients. In terms of growth, I’ve had to make sure that the clients are properly represented and that took, of course, having to beef up with good lawyers as quickly as we could.” “We don’t want to get too big. We like where we’re at right now, but we’ll have to see what the future brings. No one reads a crystal ball. We try to take it one day at a time and try to maintain clients.”
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