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You are meeting a client for the first time. You want to present yourself as knowledgeable and aware of current legal developments. You want to have something to talk to the client about. You also want to help generate more work for the firm. Decisis can help.
Case law may not seem directly relevant to your everyday practice, unless you are a litigator. But any legal issue can give rise to a dispute. And the cases before the courts every day of the week give rise to both interesting stories and cautionary tales.
Imagine a new client has been referred to your office to make a will. You have heard that they work in the insurance industry. You also know that they have ponies, and that their children compete in equestrian events. Decisis can help you show them how knowledgeable you are about legal developments.
Because they are there to make a will you enter the term ‘probate’ in the Decisis search engine. The following headlines appear:
“Purported revocation of will was not legally valid” - link
“Mother of deceased entitled to extract letters of administration where separation agreement has not been voided by a court” - link
“Tenant in arrears restrained from dissipating inheritance below amount owed” - link
You now have three cautionary tales about succession law. (If you put 'conveyancing', 'family law', or 'personal injuries' in the search box, you will obtain similarly useful results.)
Because they work in the insurance industry you click the ‘insurance’ topic on Decisis. The following headlines appear:
“Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman entitled to find that refusal of cover for closure of play centre was ‘unjust’” - link
“Hotel does not require public liability insurance in order to apply for dance licence” - link
“Public COVID-19 measures were not “damage” within meaning of insurance contract” - link
You now have three stories that may be of interest to them or their work colleagues.
Because they are involved in equestrian events you enter the term ‘horse’ in the Decisis search engine. The following headlines appear:
“Injuries caused when plaintiff was thrown from a horse were the result of an unfortunate accident” - link
“Claim concerning contract for ownership and management of stallion dismissed for delay" - link
“Stud farm ordered to pay damages to employee who was kicked by horse” - link
You now have another three cases that could be of relevance to them or their social circle.
In only a few minutes you have obtained the information necessary to show the client that you have up-to-date legal knowledge about probate, insurance and horses - all of which are of interest to them. You probably would not wish to bombard them with legal knowledge, but any of the cases may become relevant in conversation. Even if they are not of direct relevance to them, most involve a dispute of some sort. These tend to make for good stories.
While the client is in your office, they mention that they are on the board of their children’s school. After they leave you click the ‘education’ topic on Decisis. The following headlines appear:
“Decision that student had to repeat year of her education course is not amenable to judicial review" - link
“Erroneous sanction of new ‘Specific Learning Disability’ class had been promptly corrected by Minister for Education” - link
“Exclusion of some home-schooled students from ‘calculated grades’ for Leaving Certificate was unconstitutional” - link
When they return to sign their will, you may have the opportunity to show more legal knowledge of direct relevance to them. What a well-informed and conscientious solicitor you are!
As Decisis has reported 12,754 judgments up to January 2023 (i.e. every judgment published by the Irish superior courts since January 2011), there is a report on almost every area that may conceivably be relevant to your clients. Whether your topic is pensions, trusts, criminal law, asylum and immigration, or planning law, Decisis can be of use to you.
If you are making a more formal presentation or ‘pitch’ to a client, Decisis can be invaluable in ensuring that you are up to date with the most relevant case law. Alternatively, if you are using your website as a sales tool (as you should), you might consider publishing syndicated articles from Decisis, or commissioning pieces from Decisis writers.
For more information on using Decisis as a sales tool, please contact Vincent Walshe at: email@example.com
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