Senior Partner, Irwin R. Gilbert, Featured In Fort Lauderdale Magazine
Our Senior Partner, Irwin R. Gilbert, was recently featured in Fort Lauderdale Magazine’s August Issue. His Q&A advertorial provides some insight as to who he is as a lawyer, what challenges he sees the legal profession may face and more. Irwin is located in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office with a practice concentrating primarily on complex commercial litigation, general business litigation, construction defect litigation, class actions and professional liability.
Practicing in State and Federal Courts in Florida and across the country, Irwin represents fortune 100 companies in high stakes litigation. Irwin’s clients have included banks, investment firms, executives, celebrities, legal professionals, and Fortune 500 companies. In some of his more groundbreaking decisions, Irwin reigned in fiduciaries who had exceeded their powers, including court-appointed guardians and Assignees for the Benefit of Creditors. Irwin has also protected business clients from lawsuits, including class action, antitrust matters and trade secrets cases. In several of these cases, more than one hundred million dollars was at risk.
Irwin believes that success depends on communicating with the client to fully understand the client’s needs and expectations and designing a strategy to achieve those results in the most efficient manner possible. He has repeatedly “compressed the timeline” of litigation to conserve the client’s resources and minimize the disruption of the client’s business. When it comes to litigation, time is money. Compressing the timeline means getting the case on the fastest track, deflecting delay strategies by opposing counsel and getting the case to a resolution before his clients exhaust their patience and their resources. While Irwin has extensive experience taking complex litigation through trial, he believes that most disputes have the potential for less expensive resolution if the issues and objectives are clearly identified at the outset.
Can you tell us about your legal philosophy? Preparation is the key. Understanding the facts and applying the law in a manner that is clear concise and to the point. When our client is in the right, we tell them. When wrong, we tell them that. We fight the fight worth winning.
How important is client communications? It is critical for the client to define success in a lawsuit. Our goal must conform to the client’s goals and expectations. We depend on our client’s complete candor as much as our client’s depend on us to explain the process and how we will approach their case.
How do you turn the complex into something comprehensible? We do it every day. Think of it as geometry… the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. A favorite tact of mine is to allow an expert to expound at length with technical jargon and when she is finished, I say “OK, now once more, but in English.” Even in the most complex cases, jurors want to know who the good guy is, who the bad guy is and what they should do about it.
What is the greatest challenge you see for the legal profession? The legal system does not work at all for many people and a growing number of companies. Litigation is bogged down by rope-a-dope discovery tactics and the strategy of making litigation too expensive and time consuming. When it does not matter who is right and only matters who has more gas in their tank, it can no longer be called a justice system. At our firm, we focus on shortening the time line and getting to trial quickly to conserve expense and let who is right matter.
What are your favorite types of cases? Give me a case that no one can figure out what to do. My team will figure it out. Give me a case that everyone says can’t be won and we’ll find the way.