Corporate Vision February 2017

K Company: Farris Law Firm LLC Name: Denise E. Farris, Owner and Managing Member Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: 20355 Nall Avenue Stilwell KS 66085 Telephone: 913-766-1262 A Stable Business g bill for professional services from accounting firms or other lawyers that have rendered legal assistance to my firms, or to my clients on a co-counsel basis,” states Denise. As a result of this she adheres to the following principals: keeping her hourly billable rate considerably lower than attorneys in a similar position and keeping her rates static for the past three years. “I focus tremendous attention on the most expeditious and cost efficient way to do preliminary, low hanging fruit discovery on disputes,” she embellishes. “After being in practice since 1991, I’ve very good at it. I then push the parties to participate in very early mediation. This allows us to either resolve the case at significantly reduced fees to my client, or alternatively allows us a chance to “test out” our theories and doing a similar testing of the opponent’s case. This permits us a second round of self-analysis of the strengths and weakness of our case and grounds for either settling it, or pushing it through all phases of litigation. At that point, I prepare an estimated litigation budget versus best, medium and worst case recovery scenarios, so my client can constantly review same when making settlement decisions through the rest of the case. This includes as detailed as possible an estimate for trial litigation, and a generalised estimate for appeal and remand costs, or third level appeal costs if warranted.” Keeping her business fresh, with an innovative approach to services, is key for Denise and the success of Farris Law. She tells us how she achieves this. “I genuinely like my clients and value their professional and in many instances, developing personal friendships. While not required to do so, I use incremental billing where I list each service and the time spent on each service each day, for each billing period. While demanded by insurance companies, most lawyers do not use this type of billing detail for regular engagements where it’s much more time consuming for the recording lawyer. I use it where it makes it much easier to engage in a meaningful discussion with a client who is concerned about the legal costs billed. This permits us to look at each cost, and determine if it was a fair cost for the work done or the value received. “I am also proud of the fact that from time to time, I’ve had clients that have left me for various reasons. We have not only remained civil and friends, but in most cases those clients eventually come back. I try very hard not to take business decisions personally.” With regards to future aspirations, Denise would like her law firm, Farris Law, to stand for the proposition that ‘law’ or ‘lawyer’ doesn’t have to be a bad word. “Not every lawyer is in this business to become rich – I certainly wasn’t,” she comments. “Most attorneys I know do countless hours of pro bono legal work and volunteer hours and most of us don’t publish it. I hope that people recognize ‘law’ stands for the proposition that any two people are not going to wholly agree on every decision needed to be made every day of their lives. When you have two or more people involved, it becomes even more contentious particularly where the stakes, issues, geographic, religious, and philosophical ranges vary. “Law is recognizing that disputes MUST be resolved listening to, and honouring, the different perspectives of the dispute. ‘Truth’ can vary depending on the perspective from which you are viewing an issue – like the story of the seven blind men describing the elephant. Were any of their descriptions a lie? Or just a viewpoint from a limited perspective? Law is trained professionals either attempting persons to recognize this fundamental aspect and then working through that to a resolution, or alternatively, advocating for one perspective with an advocate for the other perspective to reach that resolution , in a fair and deliberate way, without resorting to violence or anarchy.”