To the Editor:
Each year, Missouri Lawyers Weekly devotes many pages of multiple issues to its discussion of the year’s largest verdicts. It even goes so far as to include the lawyers who obtained those verdicts in its annual honors.
I’m all for honoring worthy, creative, hardworking lawyers who obtain good results for their clients. But the manner in which you continually highlight the size of these verdicts strongly suggests that the value of good representation should be measured exclusively in dollars.
I would submit that a lawyer who is able to obtain a $10,000 verdict for a client whose annual income is $15,000 has performed a service of extraordinary value, and probably has done so with far fewer resources than the lawyer who obtained the $75 million verdict for a huge class or a Fortune 500 corporation. Great lawyering comes in many forms.
I have no wisdom to offer regarding how these relatively inconspicuous, but nonetheless hugely significant, victories are to be recognized. I do think, however, that you would do well to reassess the importance placed on dollars alone.