For Curt Langley, versatility is the hallmark of his practice.
He’s a broadly focused commercial litigator, handling cases in industries ranging from energy to real estate to health care, concerning issues from trade secrets to contract disputes to debt collection matters. He’s defended class action suits, briefed and argued appeals, and managed arbitrations. And he’s versatile in his methods, too – achieving successful jury verdicts, obtaining summary dismissals, and negotiating favorable settlements.
All this means that from one case to the next, there’s no settling into predictable routine for Curt. He has to be ready for anything, and fluent in everything from changes in law to innovative trial techniques to the undercurrents of several different industries.
Challenging? Definitely. Repetitive and boring? Never.
For Curt, it’s all about staying one step ahead. With a slate of cases so diverse, the only way to succeed is to never let anything get past you.
In court, this means relying on intellect and strategic thinking to analyze the opponent’s case. Sorting through the facts of the matter, weighing details, anticipating and evaluating the opposition’s likely tactics – these are often the deciding factors. And in Curt’s opinion, success is often about subtlety, not brute force.
“If you try to win your case by swinging a club,” Curt says, “the result is usually a more expensive litigation because the other side can see you coming from a mile away. Many times, the best defense is a well-researched, methodical, and strategic attack at the pivotal ‘linchpins’ of the opponent’s case. Once those pivotal elements are defeated, the entire case will fall.”
In the office, staying ahead of the curve means maximizing efficiency. A self-professed “gadget geek,” Curt has always been an early adopter of technologies that help him keep a firm grasp on all the irons in his fire. Long before most firms even owned scanners, Curt was using his own system of digitally scanned files and documents. Now, in addition to the de rigueur PDA and Blackberry that travel with him constantly, he routinely works from two laptops simultaneously, displayed across three wide-screen monitors on his desk. In or out of the office, he’s active on Web 2.0 sites like LinkedIn, and he even has his own Twitter feed.
This kind of technological organization and universal access to information gives Curt both efficiency and control. As he says, “I know which balls are in the air at all times.”
“Many times, the best defense is a well-researched, methodical, and strategic attack at the pivotal ‘linchpins’ of the opponent’s case.”
— Curt Langley
And in some cases, staying a step ahead literally means pressing hard to get results – fast. In one notable example of a time-crunched case, Curt and his co-counsel defended a pair of professional racing engine mechanics who were sued by a former employer over allegations of trade secrets relating to engine modifications. When the mechanics came in the door, they’d already been slapped with a temporary injunction prohibiting them from working on certain types of racing engines and vehicles.
Instead of succumbing to drawn-out litigation, Curt and his team requested and obtained a jury trial setting only eight weeks after the lawsuit was filed. The case was successfully tried to a jury in just five days, and the injunction was overturned. Two months later, his clients entered their newest engine in a race sponsored by their former employer – and beat him on the racetrack, taking first place.
And that’s what all the strategy and efficiency and speed come down to, in the end. Taking care of clients – getting them the favorable outcomes they need – is the goal. The methods used along the way only matter if they contribute to that goal.
Which means finding the right methods is the real challenge. Luckily, that’s Curt Langley’s specialty.