Experienced Practitioner
Saves Time On Legal Research
And Invests It In Concierge
Client Service

Thomas P. Whitaker
Law Offices of Thomas P. Whitaker, Jr., Esq., CKA®

“Boom. I hit a wall and that’s where ROSS came in. I was looking for some leverage and my ROSS search results led me into a line of cases I hadn’t considered before—that the other side hadn’t even thought of—and I saw a way to press a settlement.”

customer

Approach

Guide his clients across multidisciplinary areas. “I give them my cell phone number. They have permission to call me whenever they need to talk to me. I guide them through every aspect of their case.”

Seeking Leverage Points to Drive Early Dispute Resolution

After 35+ years of practice, Thomas Whitaker works hard to use his multidisciplinary experience to create alternatives to litigation. He explains that avoiding litigation involves finding a leverage point as early in a case as possible to try to motivate the parties toward a resolution.

Tom described how he has used ROSS to break through the logjam of stalled negotiations. In a recent matter, Tom was retained to help a client who had inherited a life-estate in the beach home she had shared with her close friend for decades when her friend passed away. Her roommate left the remainder interest in the beach house to a relative, so the client and the relative were both heirs to the property. When his client decided to move out of state, she looked to Tom to help her negotiate the sale of her life estate to the relative. Tom began looking at cases involving cotenants and partition of the property, but quickly realized that the law was contrary to his client’s position. Opposing counsel had read the same cases and insisted that his client would pay nothing for the life estate.

“Boom. I hit a wall and that’s where ROSS came in. I was looking for some leverage and my ROSS search results led me into a line of cases I hadn’t considered before—that the other side hadn’t even thought of—and I saw a way to press a settlement.” Specifically, Tom’s ROSS search results returned cases discussing the rights of coparceners, a relatively obscure legal relationship he had not encountered in 35+ years of practice. Tom used the cases to distinguish the broader rights of coparceners from the cotenant cases opposing counsel was relying on.

“I’m stubborn and I’m good at research, so I would have eventually arrived at the right answer. But, man, I tell you, I got there pretty quickly with ROSS.”

Once Tom had a core set of relevant cases supporting his opinion, he used the ROSS Find Similar Language feature to dig deeper. “I went back and traced the reasoning to U.S. and Florida Supreme Court cases going back to the late 1800s and early 1900s. The cases show how the relevant Florida statute evolved. I offered to show opposing counsel my research. But he didn't want to see it because at that point he saw that he might be wrong.”

Client Recommends ROSS

“Boom. I hit a wall and that’s where ROSS came in. I was looking for some leverage and my ROSS search results led me into a line of cases I hadn’t considered before—that the other side hadn’t even thought of—and I saw a way to press a settlement.”

Using ROSS to persuade opposing counsel

Armed with a stronger legal position, Tom was able to persuade the other party to make a substantive offer to purchase his client’s life estate interest. “We arrived at a point early in the case where opposing counsel saw the downside risk for his client. He might keep saying, ‘Well, that case doesn't hold.’ But if he believed that they wouldn’t be offering any money.”

“Now, it wasn't enough in the first round, but they went from pound sand to, and no pun intended, it's at the beach, to making a real offer.”

Tom finds it hard to quantify the precise amount of time he saved using ROSS. “But the fact is I got to the right answer before my client had to make some big decisions—like whether or not to file a lawsuit. When I cited the right authority, all of a sudden, they begin to negotiate, and made a meaningful offer.”

“The best thing about ROSS, is that I saved a lot of time I would have spent doing menial research and I was able to invest that time in high value support for my client.”

Now comes concierge element of his practice. “We’re going to touch base in a month to see how things are going. Then, if things are going well, we'll talk 60 days later. Then we'll make it every quarter. But I'll be with her throughout this experience.”

Tom draws the most satisfaction from counseling his clients, which also dovetails with the faith- based aspects of his practice. Tom recently became a Certified Kingdom Advisor®. “It basically certifies that I’m a lawyer who knows how to pray. I work with people of all faiths, and I try to live my Christian perspective in my work. That's the way I want to practice law. Because the miraculous happens all the time ... I never get tired of it.”

Other Case Studies

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“I had a colleague doing research, and he’d tell me about issues he had. I’d say ‘well, did you use ROSS?’ He would then log in while I was standing there, we would ask his question and ROSS would return answers that were clearer than anything he returned by using traditional legal research methods.”
Matt Blaine
Davison, Eastman, Muñoz & Paone
View Case Study
customers name
"ROSS makes it easier to stop shooting in the dark and start collecting cases that are firing in your direction. So something that used to take me three hours in Westlaw I might be able to do in an hour and a half with ROSS."
Dremain Moore
Associate at Thompson Coburn
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customers name
“Legal research was intimidating and time consuming, and it required a lot of forethought before even getting started. With ROSS, it’s a simple, intuitive process that allows me to use plain language in searches and pinpoint what I’m looking for … People should just try it out; I think they’ll love it.”
Renate Walker
Seyfarth Shaw LLP
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customers name
“Researching a new area of law, the relevant cases were all within the first page of results of my first search on ROSS. ROSS found the cases instantly rather than the hours it took on Westlaw.”
Andy Ball
Davison Eastman Muñoz Paone
View Case Study