Bigger & Harman,APC - April 2018





DRIVER Attorneys Defending Your Right to the Road

APRIL 2018

IRON SHARPENS IRON Our Complementary Strengths

For law partners who have so much in common, we are very different people. We both graduated from the same law school, where we are now both serving as board members. We are both huge sports fans — albeit for different teams. We even worship at the same church! Still, our personalities and styles are night and day. Mark loves negotiation and refuses to back down from judicial rulings that he believes are legally wrong in the courtroom. His relentless debate style and get-things-done attitude make him a force for the prosecution to reckon with. An experienced defense attorney, Mark took up traffic law after defending his own speeding tickets early in his legal career. Paul, meanwhile, has never gotten a single ticket. As a former clerk for a state supreme court, he is nothing if not detail- oriented. Procedure and legal writing are his wheelhouses. Believe it or not, pouring over thousands of pages of legal briefs is Paul’s idea of a good time. No wonder people see us as yin and yang. Our partnership reminds us of the proverb “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” That’s because, together, our differences make us stronger lawyers. By embracing our complementary skill sets, we’re more effective advocates for our clients. Beyond that, we’ve been able to make a lasting impact in California traffic law. Not many traffic attorneys bother to appeal a judge’s ruling. From a financial standpoint, it doesn’t make much sense. It’s often a lot of extra work for no extra pay. But when a

judge has made a mistake, overlooked a statute, or infringed upon the rights of our client, we believe it’s our obligation to hold them accountable. Unlike other areas of the law, in traffic, defendants have the right to what is called a Trial by Written Declaration. This means that your case can be disputed in court without you having to be present. Some judges who aren’t well-versed in traffic law overlook this right and request the defendant be present in the courtroom. A few years ago, this happened in several of our cases at a court, but we were able to use our clients’ rights to get a good result.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

Mark was fired up. He knew we were in the right and wanted to jump into the appeal process. Paul was immediately supportive. The appeal meant hours of work with no extra pay, but it was the right thing to do for our clients. Truth be told, Paul relished the opportunity to go through the complex process of appealing the judge’s ruling. He hasn’t gotten to do much of that style of writing since his supreme court days. Not only did a three-judge panel grant our request, but they also ensured the traffic court would respect our clients’ rights moving forward. It was a hard fight, but one that ensured the system stayed fair — not just for our client, but for everyone going through that particular traffic court. We may have different strengths, but our shared commitment to providing zealous representation and fighting for due process drives us to use our complementary gifts to ensure that local courts respect the due process rights of our clients.

–Mark Bigger & Paul Harman

(661) 859-1177 | 1

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