I once had a client, Chuck, who was enamored with baseball. In addition to working a full time job, he worked part time for the Rays. I’m sure he subscribed to the MLB Channel. You could say that he lives and breathes the game.  Put another way, he has the baseball gene.

“You could teach an entire law school curriculum and use nothing but baseball,” according to Broward County Judge, Louis Schiff. He is the co-author of a recently published book, Baseball and the Law. 1  Judge Schiff probably has the baseball gene, too.

I often refer to aspects of baseball when speaking with clients. The game provides an interesting way to describe risk. For example, a great hitter may bat .300. That is, he gets a hit 30% of the time. He also gets out, or fails, 70% of the time.

Now when I speak to a client about risk, I mention that to go through the litigation experience, and to get everything you ask for, just the way you want it, is comparable to a baseball player hitting a home run. It is certainly possible, but most times it doesn’t happen.  That’s how it is with baseball and that’s how it is with litigation—no matter how great the talent, the exercise involves risk.

My experience is that most people would rather compromise to achieve a fair result, than to take the risk and spend the money to achieve the best possible result.  Said differently, they would rather accept a single if it could be guaranteed, than to face the pitcher, knowing they could possibly be called  out.

Chuck’s divorce case settled. He has the baseball gene. However, to settle a case by compromise doesn’t involve genetics, just common sense.

by Patrick Gaffney

by Patrick Gaffney

1 Blankenship, G. May 15th 2016.  “Baseball and the Law”. The Florida Bar News.