About

Briefly

My name is Thomas Vidal.  There are two words that best sum up my mission as a lawyer: “Untiring Zeal.”

I am a business trial attorney for corporations, small businesses, entertainment companies and professionals, and high net worth individuals. Businesses do not like to put their futures into the hands of someone else, so generally they come to me when the problem they face is too intractable to handle themselves. They come to me for solutions.

I work for the law firm Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP in Los Angeles, California.  You can view my entire bio by clicking here or visit my LinkedIn profile here.

What I intend to Write About

Yellow pads–those dead-tree tablets composed of sheets of perforated yellow paper printed with green horizontal lines and the famous red “downline” — are the original tablet computers.  (Well, maybe the stone tablets that Moses carried down from Mount Sinai with the ten commandments were the first, but that’s a debate for another day).  Lots of people use these yellow pads, including writers and musicians, but it seems they are popular most with one particular category of users: lawyers.  Yellow pads are so ubiquitous with lawyers that anybody who uses one could be mistaken for a lawyer.  Heck, it is even commonly called a Legal Pad.  Suzanne Snider, a writer for the magazine Legal Affairs, even wrote an article on the history of the yellow legal pad and was interviewed by NPR about their history.  Read the transcript here.

Yellow pads are the perfect tool for capturing ideas, jotting phone or interview notes, brainstorming, developing strategy, drafting memoranda, composing letters, calculating solutions to arithmetic or algebra problems, and writing lists of any kind: to dos; shopping; witness lists; exhibit lists; “honey do” lists; and the like.  Yellow pads are also the ideal place to record developing thoughts about issues before those thoughts are crystallized and transcribed into a more permanent form, like legal briefs, correspondence, articles, or books.

Thus, the yellow pad is the perfect metaphor for a blog about the legal issues and legal disputes that impact businesses and professionals.  The legal and regulatory environment sets the rules as to how business is conducted.  Interacting with this legal and regulatory environment is a cost of doing business.  But those costs can be contained where the regulatory regime meets the four critical needs of the commercial community: (1) predictability, (2) certainty, (3) minimizing the risk of exposure to lawsuits; and (4) efficiently resolving conflicts.

The regulatory environment is failing in many of those areas, particularly when it comes to risk exposure and efficient resolution of conflicts.  But that can change!  Legal issues are not static, but evolve over time as legislatures and courts tinker with them.  Sometimes that tinkering is good for business, sometimes it’s not so good.

My practice area is business trials and litigation, so the purpose of this blog is to analyze the legal issues surrounding business disputes and their resolution.  I will be writing about the litigation process, trials, arbitration, mediation, out-of-court negotiations, and the like.  I even hope to offer some guidance on how businesses can resolve claims before they reach the stage where they have to call me (or another lawyer!).

I have handled cases in all manner of substantive areas of law and expect to write about any and all of them: Antitrust, Competition & Trade Regulation; Banking & Financial Services; Business Torts; Casualty & Injury; Civil Rights; Class Action; Commercial Law; Constitutional Law; Contracts Law; Corporation and Enterprise Law; Defamation and Libel Law; Director & Officer Liability; Entertainment & Media Law; First Amendment; Fraud; Insurance Law & Bad Faith (Specialty & Casualty); Intellectual Property & Technology (Copyright, Patent, Trademark, Internet Litigation); International Law; International Trade; Labor & Employment Law; Product Liability and Mass Torts;Securities and Venture Capital Law; Technology & Cyberspace Law; and Trade Secrets.  If there is a legal subject that you have a particular interest in, please do not hesitate to write to me.

I hope you enjoy the blog.  And keep in mind that I’ve been using a yellow pad since I was a sophomore in high school.  The legal pad is a rich tradition in my life.

My Story

As a litigator, I don’t simply resolve disputes for my clients, I help protect the things most valuable to them: the ability to expand and re-invest in the business; hire new employees, acquire new equipment; maintain a sterling reputation; or distribute profits to the entrepreneurs and owners. I do that by defending against attacks on my clients’ financial security and prosperity.

Sometimes protecting those interests means going on the offensive by filing lawsuits, other times it means defending them. In either case the goal is the same: to resolve the dispute and obtain the best possible result for the client in the most efficient and cost effective manner. Litigation is not inexpensive, but I am mindful that my clients’ financial resources would be more productive when invested in things like capital equipment or growing the sales team. That awareness helps me design every stage of the litigation and to make every dollar spent achieve some goal that will move the case closer to resolution.

I recognize that my clients are in a battle day-in-and-day-out with their competitors. That’s why I do my work with Untiring Zeal–so they can focus on creating great products or delivering invaluable services. And they can rest assured knowing that their attorney cares enough about them and their business that he will put his heart, soul, mind, and strength into their case. Untiring Zeal. It’s not a slogan, it’s a way of life.

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