Attorney Clint Westbrook spoke to law students during WMU-Cooley Law School’s Oct. 9 discussion on effective advocacy.
During the discussion moderated by Aaron Swayne of the law school’s Mock Trial Club, Westbrook encouraged students to think about their clients' needs in addition to the possible legal remedies for clients. He encouraged students to give him legal avenues to assist client situations using an example of a business partner threatening to expose a client over personal issues. After students presented various approaches, he asked what the client's needs and purposes were in the situation. He explained that using traditional legal methods could expose the personal issues and would not be in the client's best interest.
He said that checking in with clients from time to time throughout the process is a good idea. Clients who sue business partners, which seems to the attorney to be an adversarial action, may not view their relationship as adversarial, and they may want to continue the business relationship at the end of the legal matter.
Westbrook currently serves as chief of staff for the Colossian Forum, a faith-based nonprofit organization, was previously an associate attorney at Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP. He also runs a boutique law firm specializing in small-business disputes, business consulting, and estate planning.