Murphy Legal Blog


Managing the Storm of Risk

Kelsey Taylor | Murphy Legal News | | View Counts (1060) | Return

When you think about it, accidents aren’t all that different from hurricanes.  They both cause damage, result in loss, and create chaos for those they affect. They both leave the world a little different than it was before, no matter how well things are cleaned up afterward.  Both are unpredictable yet absolutely certain to occur. 

The only difference is, with accidents there is often a responsible party who pays—or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. 

But pay for what exactly? 

In the attempt to answer this simple question, a multi-billion-dollar claims industry has arisen, along with its wily counterpart, the personal-injury litigation industry. 

As any claims adjuster, risk manager, or personal-injury attorney (plaintiff or defense) will attest, the atmospheric conditions have gotten pretty unstable out there.  And it’s easy to see why.  Every day the news is filled with stories of personal-injury plaintiffs who obtain astronomical jury verdicts, even with seemingly minor injuries.  As a result, Plaintiffs’ attorneys are under increasing pressure to produce big results for their clients to stay ahead of the competition.  This means that personal-injury claims are at an all-time high, both in number and in dollar amount.  However, claims that were once easily resolved are now more frequently—and more speedily—ending up in litigation. 

At the same time, the payment of large settlements and judgments has put real financial strain on the insurance and transportation industries.  As a result, claims managers are under increasing pressure to control costs all around.  This has caused two well-known problems:

  1. Claims have become more difficult to evaluate accurately, and
  2. Legal fees have skyrocketed. 

And that’s just on the professional front.  For claims and risk professionals, each new claim represents a possible storm—some are minor showers, others are tropical storms, and a few become hurricanes.   But whatever the size, these storms don’t always stay at the office at the end of the day.  Storms have a tendency to follow them home, creating high-pressure systems in other areas of their lives.  Storms make them miss baseball games, dance recitals, and date nights.  Storms make them lose sleep and adopt unhealthy lifestyle habits to deal with stress.  Storms make them feel angry, disconnected, fearful, and untrusting as human beings.  Storms create chaos professionally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. 

Naturally, when storms occur, these folks look to their trusted attorneys to guide them to safety.  And of course, until it’s over, the eye of the storm is the safest place to stay. 

Unfortunately, many attorneys can’t reliably locate the eye of the storm (much less guide anyone else there) because they are dealing with their own kinds of storms.  Defense attorneys are typically under constant pressure from their law firms to produce billable hours.  Although every firm’s requirement is different, one thing is certain: their bonuses are primarily based on hourly production—not the client’s results.  This constant pressure to produce, combined with the constant conflict inherent to litigation, can create chaos in attorneys’ lives (often an unholy cocktail of depression and anxiety).  In fact, the legal profession is famously good at creating alcohol and drug addicts, pornography and sex addicts, spousal abuse, eating disorders, divorces, family estrangements, prescription drug abuse, nervous breakdowns, heart attacks, overdoses, and suicides…not to mention jerks.   

So how exactly are stressed, sick, and storm-tossed attorneys supposed to confidently guide their clients?  In short: they simply can’t. 

No matter how brilliant or ethical an attorney may be, if he or she does not purposefully cultivate life balance inside this challenging profession, the client will remain embroiled in the storm’s chaos throughout the duration of the lawsuit.  Signs of chaos include: untimely reporting (or lack of reporting), lack of clear resolution strategy, non-responsiveness, frequent reports of dramatic or emotionally charged encounters with opposing attorneys, inability to stay within budget, and of course, unpleasant surprises of any kind.   

The industry is ready for a new type of defense firm.

At Murphy Legal, we are revolutionizing the client experience in the defense industry with a brand-new approach to litigation and lawyers who are up to the task—both professionally and personally. 

Recognizing the upward trend in legal fees caused by traditional methods of defending against plaintiffs’ tactics, such as the well-known Reptile Theory, Murphy Legal was formed for one sole purpose: to think outside the box…way outside the box. 

We initially conducted extensive research on the psychological aspects of Reptile Theory itself and made some shocking discoveries about simple yet effective ways to protect our clients from Reptile wrath and nuclear verdicts. 

We then began creating the Murphy Legal System, which includes procedures and custom-developed software to streamline the litigation process, increase transparency, and ensure predictable cost controls for our client.  

Most importantly, we discovered the additional power, confidence, and clarity that comes from pursuing balance in four key areas of life: professionally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  These guiding principles have helped us develop a firm culture unlike any other.  We are excited to share these principles and tools with our clients—our extended family—and the readers of this blog, to help everyone navigate the storms of life.

Click here to learn more about a simple but powerful tool, The Balance Book, which we developed to help our team members and clients pursue life balance. If you would like a free copy of The Balance Book, shoot us an email at

For more information about Murphy Legal, please reach out through our website or call us at (979) 690-0800.