From the Vault -- Ted Wells in the Courtroom
How Will you Prove You're the "Best of the Best"?
Ted Wells is no stranger to headlines. Those come with the territory when the NFL has you on speed dial as their must-trusted investigator into the football world's top scandals. But long before Wells was preparing reports on Tom Brady's deflated footballs or the culture of bullying in NFL locker rooms, the Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison partner appeared on the cover of the inaugural issue of New York Metro Super Lawyers in 2006. In a wide-ranging profile, we took an in-depth look at some of Wells' biggest courtroom victories on behalf of clients connected to, among others, Presidents Reagan and Clinton. An excerpt:
Raymond Donovan, Ronald Reagan's labor secretary, was one of several defendants accused of fraud in a 1987 trial lasting eight months. Wells represented the president of Donovan's construction company but quickly emerged as the lead defense attorney, as much of the evidence focused on his client. Over the course of dozens of cross-examinations, news reports described him "shredding" prosecution witnesses. When the prosecution rested, Wells persuaded the other attorneys and their clients not to put on a defense. "It's never going to get any better than this," he told his colleagues. "I can see it in [the jurors'] eyes." The other defense lawyers agreed, and then sat as Wells closed - for three days, without notes. Wells wept as the verdicts were pronounced: "Not guilty" more than 100 times. The young lawyer drying his eyes was a star.
Wells was incensed at the corruption charges against Mike Espy, a black man from Mississippi who served as Bill Clinton's secretary of agriculture. Espy may have violated the spirit of the ethics rules by accepting gifts such as tickets to football games from friends, Wells argued, but he did not break any criminal laws. Once again - while the government called 70 witnesses - Wells did not present a defense. Once again, a former cabinet secretary was cleared on all charges. After that verdict, Wells' firm in New Jersey threw a welcome-home celebration. Espy drove up from Washington for the party. "I owe my soul, my spirit, and my countenance to the Lord," he proclaimed. "But I owe my freedom to Ted Wells."
Read the rest of the article here on SuperLawyers.com. And be sure to check out the most recent issue of New York Metro Super Lawyers Magazine here.
Super Lawyers in the News: Top Listers, Pro Bono Work and Central Park
There's a preconceived notion out there that attorneys fashion a high opinion of themselves. Whether it's the law school they attended or their win/loss record in cases, the stigma exists. Interestingly enough, in a recent Thomson Reuters study, attorneys in small law firms ranked being "the best of the best" third out of 14 priorities when it came to goals that were most important to them.
But how do you go about being thought of as the "best of the best"? What are some of the things you can do to make your firm stand out? We took a look at three ways to position your firm to be recognized.
Charitable and pro bono legal work provides opportunities to meet people with very different backgrounds and interests whom you may not otherwise meet in your daily life. Fundraising for charities, serving as a board member for a nonprofit and the like will connect you with local business leaders and increase your connections. These networking opportunities may also have the added benefit of generating business for you.
Be Visible to Neutral Third Parties
Your legal accomplishments don't just look good on paper, they are powerful third-party validations that build consumer trust and differentiate your firm from the one down the street. When an unbiased, reputable organization gives your firm its stamp of approval, it can quickly benefit your reputation. Third-party validations such as selection to a Super Lawyers list are among the preeminent ways of bolstering your reputation.
Share Your Accomplishments With Others
One of the strongest and least expensive ways to broaden your firm's footprint is to promote legal achievements and accolades. Chances are you have recognitions to tout such as certifications, recommendations, scholarly writings and awards. You've earned them, but are you promoting them? Download our playbook Leveraging Your Legal Accolades to learn more about spreading the word about legal achievements to maximize your visibility.
Being the "best of the best" is one thing-however telling the world is another. Make sure you do both.
When it comes to being selected to a Super Lawyers list we evaluate attorneys based on 12 indicators of professional achievement and peer recognition. One of the ways our research team goes about finding information on nominated attorneys is sifting through press clippings in scholarly journals and industry-specific magazines. In September alone we had a number of our selected attorneys make headlines. We invite you to learn a bit more about them below.
Thomas Zeichman - Bankruptcy attorney Thomas Zeichman, a Rising Stars listee at Marshall Socarras Grant in Boca Raton, Florida, has entered the political arena as a Republican candidate for the Florida House of Representatives. So far, the Palm Beach County native has an opponent from each party for the District 89 seat, which opened up because GOP Rep. Bill Hager has served the maximum allowable terms. http://bit.ly/2x8i1SZ
Tom Kline - In case you missed it perennial Top Lister Tom Kline from Kline & Specter, PC and Jordan Merson from Merson Law, PLLC plan to file a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the city of New York on behalf of a woman injured by a tree in Central Park. http://cbsn.ws/2x2abNb
Ted Howard - When Super Lawyers listee Ted Howard, with D.C.'s Wiley Rein, helped negotiate a settlement in a pro bono class action for nearly 1,200 prisoners at Virginia's Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women in 2014, he was optimistic about change. But today, he filed a contempt motion alleging the state Department of Corrections has failed to provide adequate medial care to inmates. Read about it here: http://bit.ly/2eLW0ER
Ron Meshbesher - In March 2010, we had such a wide-ranging conversation with legendary Minnesota attorney Ron Meshbesher, who is currently suffering from Alzheimer's, that we could only print half of it. Here for the first time is the other half, in which the colorful, plain-talking criminal defense attorney reminisces about the Piper kidnapping case, euphemistic court terms, and the time his client was at the crime scene with the literal smoking gun in his hand ... and he got him acquitted. http://bit.ly/2xeMd1L
Above are just some of the fascinating stories our list selectees are a part of every month. To keep up with more Super Lawyers news follow us on Facebook and Twitter.