I am a trial lawyer, focusing primarily in the areas of commercial litigation, health care compliance and constitutional/statutory discrimination lawsuits. Concerning the latter, I have a strong background in discrimination cases under Section 1983, Title VII, the ADA, the ADEA and other statutes. I also have extensive experience in seeking injunctive relief concerning time-sensitive cases.
How has your practice evolved in the last few years; from your perspective, what’s in store for the next few years?
In the last few years, I have become involved in several large scale litigation cases, dealing with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of documents. E-discovery and its several thorny issues have been the biggest evolution in not only my practice, but also the bar in general. It is daunting, to say the least. Because of it, I have had to really embrace the nuances of legal technology in order to stay ahead of these developments and use the technology to maintain strategic positions during a case. These developments will only increase in the next few years. Attorneys must keep abreast of these developments, or else literally be left in the dust of millions of pages of documents.
If you could offer one piece of advice for young lawyers, what would it be?
I would tell them to concentrate their efforts on research and writing. It is the number one way for a young attorney to become trusted by her partners as a go-to option for challenging cases. Concerning research, young attorneys should work with Westlaw/Lexis reps and learn the latest tools to find cases, statutes and other sources.
And, as for writing, young attorneys should try to locate the attorneys with the best writing reputations at their respective firms/offices, and try to establish a mentoring relationship. Legal writing is quite different from other types of writing. Legal writing is clear and to the point. It is respectful and carries the right tone for the right occasion. It is organized. It is persuasive. It does not distract from the intended message. And, most importantly, it is honest, accurate and candid, because, in the end, attorneys are working not only towards a favorable outcome for their client, but also to maintain the dignity and respect for the rule of law.
What is the one technological device you could not function without daily?
Well, it is not so much a technological device as it is the people who operate the devices. I could not survive without my paralegals. They are absolute experts at what they do, and some of the hardest working people I know. They also have the answer to all the technological questions that I could ever come up with. Without their expertise, my day-to-day practice would be entirely different.
How has civility made a difference in your practice of law?
I have been in stressful, complex cases with very difficult attorneys on the other side, and also the same type of cases but with the classiest attorneys as opponents. These experiences have taught me several things: (1) You don’t need to be rude to be a zealous advocate; (2) some of the best trial lawyers are also some of the best people I know; and (3) the legal profession is a very small one, and its attorneys have very long memories.
I remember one very complex commercial litigation case, where the opposing law firm was tough as nails but at the same time handled the case with class. Litigation against that firm was a breath of fresh air – we would agree when we could, and when we could not, we would draw the lines of disagreement in a clear and precise manner for the court. Both sides fought zealously for their client and, ultimately, achieved an agreed outcome that was fair and pleasing to the respective clients.
What do you do for fun?
I love to ride bikes with my wife on the lake. I love to read, especially fiction. I am also a big baseball fan. And, as most people who hang out with me know, one of my biggest passions is wine. Nothing for me is better than gathering with friends and having a great conversation over a really interesting bottle of red or white.
Daniel Saeedi is an associate at Taft Law in Chicago and was selected for inclusion in Illinois Rising Stars 2014 Super Lawyers Magazine.