100 episodes

Michael Cowen, and his guests, explore critical topics distinctive to the legal profession - specifically focusing on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.

Trial Lawyer Nation Michael Cowen

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 160 Ratings

Michael Cowen, and his guests, explore critical topics distinctive to the legal profession - specifically focusing on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.

    122 – Malorie Peacock – Growing Your Practice (and Yourself) in 2023

    122 – Malorie Peacock – Growing Your Practice (and Yourself) in 2023

    A new year is an excellent opportunity to reflect on your progress and set or reassess goals. That’s the easy part. The challenge comes when your motivation wanes as the year wears on. How does a trial lawyer, with too many tasks to juggle already, set (and stick to) a lofty set of personal and professional goals?

    Michael Cowen and Malorie Peacock share their personal and professional goals for 2023, the challenges of sticking to intentions, and what they’re excited about for Cowen Rodriguez Peacock in the new year.

    They also remind listeners that achieving goals is a continuous journey. Stumbling isn’t a reason to give up on your goals. Struggling is normal, it’s those that keep pushing and stay ready for the fight that find success.

    Join Michael and Malorie for more tips and inspiration for setting achievable goals in 2023, finding balance between your personal and professional lives, and pushing through even when it gets hard. 

    Featured Guest

    Name: Malorie J. Peacock

    About: Malorie J. Peacock is a Partner at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock. She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. During her time with Cowen Rodriguez Peacock, Malorie has worked on numerous commercial vehicle, trucking, and wrongful death cases. Malorie brings close attention to detail, commitment to finding safety issues and areas of neglect, continued utilization of technology and cutting-edge visuals in cases, along with a sincere passion to help those who have been hurt, to each and every case.

    Company: Cowen Rodriguez Peacock 

    Connect: LinkedIn 

    Episode Highlights 

    [01:47] Looking forward to a new year: Michael and Malorie reflect on 2022 and share their enthusiasm for 2023.

    [03:50] Setting and achieving personal goals: Michael discusses his personal goals for 2023 and why he believes everyone should set personal goals. He also reflects on the challenges he’s faced in sticking to his intentions.

    [08:35] Career-related goals for 2023: Sharing his trial goals, Michael is ready to “get in there and pick some juries and start fighting and hopefully get some verdicts.” Additionally, he plans to continue helping lawyers develop their trial skills, invest more in his New Mexico firm, Begum & Cowen, and focus on the marketing efforts at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock.

    [11:17] Finding balance: Last year, Malorie focused on balancing her roles as a new mom and a trial lawyer. This year, “my bigger focus is going to be on making sure that I’m keeping better control of my calendars, that I don’t have back to back weeks when I’m out of town and away from my kid.”

    [13:49] Achieving freedom in your busy schedule: Malorie and Michael talk about why it’s essential to develop your people and relinquish some control in order to gain freedom in your schedule.

    [20:07] On developing trial skills: From a supportive firm to trial and error, Malorie shares her strategies for developing trial skills over the past 10 years. Michael also contributes his thoughts on finding success through your own style and strategy.

    [24:42] Imperfection isn’t the end of the world: lawyers tend to catastrophize situations and worry that they’ll lose a case if they don’t execute the plan flawlessly. Michael reminds listeners that jurors decide cases on major principles or themes — not on minor mistakes.

    [26:22] Always be prepared for the fight: “Even the people that have beaten me in trial, they end up paying me more the next time because it was not a fun ride for them. They know that they just got lucky that day or just the facts were on their side that day.”

    • 30 min
    121 – Ben Newman – How to Turn 45K in Medical Expenses Into a Million Dollar Verdict

    121 – Ben Newman – How to Turn 45K in Medical Expenses Into a Million Dollar Verdict

    A Trial Lawyer Nation listener since his Defense days, Ben Newman joins the podcast today to discuss his recent $1,076,000 verdict in Collin County, Texas.

    At first blush, the facts of this case are problematic. Stemming from a spine injury the plaintiff suffered in a collision at an intersection, the case faced hurdles including, a traditionally conservative venue, a dispute over which party had a green light, an “invisible” injury, minimal therapy and injections, medical expenses of only $45,000, and a defendant that was an individual, not a faceless insurance company or corporate defendant.

    Ben credits much of his success in this case to standing on the shoulders of legendary trial lawyers such as Joe Fried, Keith Mitnik, David Ball, and other Trial Lawyer Nation guests. “[The Trial Lawyer Nation] podcast is really what started me down this road of tracking down all of these resources to help me develop my trial technique.”

    Ben says he consumed every podcast, video, book, and resource he could find on trial skills and trying cases. “Everything that I do in the courtroom can be traced back to something that I’ve read or something that I’ve seen.”

    Join Michael Cowen and Ben Newman as they explore Ben’s incredible verdict and uncover the tools, tactics, and trial skills Ben employed to turn a $50,000 pre-trial offer into more than one million dollars for his client.

    Featured Guest

    Name: Ben Newman

    About: Ben is a civil trial lawyer. He handles a wide range of cases in state and federal courts throughout Texas. For Ben, trial work is not just his profession, it’s an all-consuming passion. He spends countless hours learning the latest trial techniques. And other attorneys frequently hire Ben late in their cases to assist in taking them to trial.

    Ben was recognized in Texas Monthly and Thomson Reuters as a Super Lawyer Rising Star. And he’s a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum – a group limited to trial attorneys who have won million-dollar verdicts, awards, and settlements.

    Firm: Ben Newman Attorney at Law, PLLC

    Connect: LinkedIn | 361-438-1073 | Email

    Episode Highlights 

    [02:46] A passion for trial: Ben Newman discusses his background, his passion for trying cases, and why he made the jump from defense to plaintiff’s work.

    [05:39] Cultivating referral sources (and support): Ben shares how he got support from other firms and attorneys after hanging his shingle and was able to begin generating referrals quickly.

    [09:54]: Learning the craft of a trial lawyer: Searching for valuable information to listen to during his commute, Ben discovered the Trial Lawyer Nation podcast. He listened to every episode and began digging into the resources Michael and his guest provided.

    [14:53] The $1,076,000 verdict: Ben discusses the details of this case, addresses the unique challenges he faced, and share how one specific fact sold the jury.

    [24:23] Calling the first witness: How he learned from David Ball to call the witness that can confirm the most facts from your opening statement. This way, you’re keeping the jury on track, sticking to your promises, and doing it quickly.

    [29:50] Framing damages in the opening statement: How Ben focused on the invisible injuries, used an analogy from David Ball, and the per diem damage model.

    [36:17] The nuances of the trial: The important role lay witnesses played, trusting the jury to make an unbiased decision, detailing harms and losses, and sending the case to the jury.

    • 50 min
    120 – Malorie Peacock – How To Grow Your Law Firm

    120 – Malorie Peacock – How To Grow Your Law Firm

    Odds are, growing a law firm wasn’t built into your law school’s curriculum. You may be a fantastic lawyer, you may start a top-notch small firm, but if you’re setting out to scale what you’ve built then you will find a whole new set of challenges to tackle.

    If you’re contemplating growing your firm or in the midst of the process, this episode is for you. 

    In episode 120, Michael Cowen is joined by Malorie Peacock, his fellow Partner & Trial Lawyer at Cowen, Rodriguez and Peacock PC about how to grow a law firm. On this episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, Michael and Malorie outline the mindset needed to start and grow a law firm, the pains and joys of scaling your firm from solo to the next stage, how navigate working with a consultant, how to manage and work with your team, tips on marketing efforts, and much more.

    Featured Guest

    Name: Malorie Peacock

    About:  Malorie J. Peacock is a Partner at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock. She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. During her time with Cowen Rodriguez Peacock, Malorie has worked on numerous commercial vehicle, trucking, and wrongful death cases. Malorie brings close attention to detail, commitment to finding safety issues and areas of neglect, continued utilization of technology and cutting-edge visuals in cases, along with a sincere passion to help those who have been hurt, to each and every case.

    Company: Partner And Trial Lawyer, Cowen | Rodriguez | Peacock PC

    Connect: Linkedin

     

    Episode Highlights 

    [03:01] Not Every Attorney Try To Have A Bigger Firm: Malorie reveals that it’s not the best fit for everyone to have a large firm. Solo firms and small firms are great options depending on your career goals. 

    [09:15] Creating Systems Of Accountability In Your Business: As you are looking to manage your business health, also gauge your personal and team accountability. 

    [13:05] You have to learn to give up control over certain things as your firm grows: How Michael and Sonia have kept up with their team’s needs with a changing job market.

    [26:49] Managing your team, especially with new lawyers: When working with a team, learning to adjust behaviors and expectations is imperative for a healthy team culture.

    [38:09] How to balance being an exceptional lawyer with an exceptional law practice: Although your time is eaten up by running a law firm business, there are many methods and practices that you can apply to balance the law firm with practicing law yourself.

    [42:24] Best practices for coaching team members: It can be difficult telling a team member you don’t like what they do, but by using radical candor you can help a team member be better for them and for the rest of the team. 

    [40:32] Hiring for the things you don’t want to do: One of the keys to balance is to hire a great team to handle the business side of a law firm so you can focus on the practice side.

    Connect with Trial Lawyer Nation

    ☑️ Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn.

    ☑️ Subscribe to Trial Lawyer Nation on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or YouTube.

    In this popular and award-winning podcast for trial lawyers,

    • 48 min
    119 – Sonia Rodriguez – The Balancing Act: Running A Law Firm And Practicing Law

    119 – Sonia Rodriguez – The Balancing Act: Running A Law Firm And Practicing Law

    Two of the most difficult career paths are running your own business and practicing as a trial lawyer. They both take time, energy, commitment, and exceptional ability in your craft. However, when running your own law firm, you’re tasked with doing both. It can be easy to mismanage the business side or let your abilities as an attorney waiver when one takes control of the other. So how do you balance the two for an exceptional law practice?

    In episode 119, Michael Cowen speaks with Sonia Rodriguez, his fellow Partner & Trial Lawyer at Cowen, Rodriguez and Peacock PC about how they run their law firm. On this episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, Michael and Sonia discuss balancing being great lawyers and running a great firm, hiring and coaching decisions, how team building can impact the success of your efforts, taking the right cases at the right time, and much more.

    Featured Guest

    Name: Sonia Rodriguez

    About: Sonia Rodriguez is a native of San Antonio. She graduated from Burbank High School then completed undergraduate studies at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. In 1999, Sonia received a Juris Doctorate degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law, in San Antonio, Texas, where she served as an editor and a co-founder of The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Minority Issues. Since then, Sonia has represented individuals and families who have been injured or have lost loved ones due to the negligence of others. Sonia’s commitment to serving her community through honest and fair legal representation was inspired by her father, a passionate labor organizer and her mother, a hard-working and loyal former paralegal.

    Company: Partner And Trial Lawyer, Cowen | Rodriguez | Peacock

    Connect: Linkedin

    Key Points

    Top takeaways from this episode 



    Your law firm is a business. Is it healthy? Reminder that a law firm is a business. It’s important that you periodically gauge where your firm stands on its goals for growth, quality, income, and other goals you may have set to ensure it’s running the way you envision it.

    How to manage your new team members from the business and law sides of the firm. Managing a team is a skill. It’s imperative that you hire team members from both the business and law side of the firm that fit your firm’s culture, quality, and vision. That also means that as the firm grows, your team members may not grow with it whether from their decision or yours. You must communicate the past, present, and future of your firm to your team so that you can all work together as smoothly as possible.

    How to balance running a law firm and practicing law by hiring exceptional team members. You’re not going to enjoy or thrive in every section of running a law firm. The key to balancing the things you enjoy and the things you don’t is hiring exceptional team members to handle things like marketing, advertising, human resources, etc.



    Episode Highlights 

    [02:19] Evaluate Your Business Health: Keep an eye on what works and what does not in your law firm

    [09:15] Creating Systems Of Accountability In Your Business: As you are looking to manage your business health, also gauge your personal and team accountability. 

    [13:56] Keeping up with a drastically changing job market: How Michael and Sonia have kept up with their team’s needs with a changing job market.

    [26:49] Managing your team, especially with new lawyers: When working with a team, learning to adjust behaviors and expectations is imperative for a healthy team culture.

    [38:09] How to balance being an exceptional lawyer with an exceptional law practice: Although your time is eaten up by running a law firm business, there are many methods and practices that you can apply to balance the law...

    • 55 min
    118 – Deena Buchanan – An Inside View of How Insurance Companies Value Cases

    118 – Deena Buchanan – An Inside View of How Insurance Companies Value Cases

    Big insurance cases can become complicated quickly. The ins and outs, layers of coverage, and strategies aren’t a one-size-fits-all, but learning from someone who has spent years putting on the parachute and jumping out the plane can save you from many of the headaches that follow.

    With a storied career ranging from big law and excess coverage, to truck accident and personal injury, Deena Buchanan has earned the skills to pay the bills and chooses to pay it forward. Since her switch from big law and Fortune 500 in-house counsel to the plaintiff side of law, Deena holds valuable insight that can apply to both sides of the court. 

    In episode 118, Michael Cowen speaks with Deena Buchanan, Managing Partner at Buchanan Law Firm, LLC. On this educational episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, Michael and Deena also discuss what it’s like running a law firm, giving advice and brainstorming with less experienced attorneys, different excess cases, not settling against major corporations, and much more.

    Featured Guest

    Name: Deena Buchanan

    About: Deena Buchanan brings more than 20 years of experience, thoughtfulness and a commitment to strong advocacy to every case she handles. 

    Deena has been a trial attorney since she was admitted to practice, and she’s earned high regards from judges, clients and other attorneys. She’s known for her thorough preparation, her oral advocacy skills during trial proceedings, and her poise and composure in any situation. She has tried employment, personal injury and wrongful death actions. She’s also represented insurance companies and major corporations, for many years, so she knows what to expect from the other side.

    Though she has considerable experience in a number of jurisdictions, Deena focuses her current practice on controversies arising in New Mexico. She has a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the laws and procedures in New Mexico, as well as local trial practice.

    Company: Managing Partner, Buchanan Law Firm, LLC

    Connect: Linkedin 

    Key Points

    Top takeaways from this episode 



    How do you know when there is excess coverage? It can be easy to overlook the specifics in big insurance cases, especially when there’s a large settlement offer. However, by doing this, lawyers often leave money on the table. By asking in discovery early and often about the coverage you see, you can pick out wordings and layerings being used to hide the actual amount your client could be up for. 

    You need to build relationships with adjusters and decision makers. Often with insurance cases, your information is based on what is collected and provided by the defense lawyer. They’re often overworked or a true believer in the case and want to make it difficult for you to get the policy information you need. This is why it’s important to build relationships with adjusters who can get you the information you need, work around the people withholding or dragging their feet, and build your name in the industry.

    You can drive up the value of your case. By serving with complaint, pushing in discovery with motions to compel, and giving notice for depositions early, you can push the value of your case for your client up. You’re showing that you’re serious both to your client and to who you’re going after, showing you won’t settle for less or be pushed around. By doing this it strengthens a long term relationship with your client, not just adjusters, and opens the chance for them to gain higher compensation more quickly.



    Episode Highlights 

    [02:35] Deena’s Background that led her to a successful career in law: How a career spanning many different areas can prepare you for your next steps. 

    [10:32] Don’t settle when there’s money on the table: It’s common for lawyers to settle for less money when they don’t...

    • 45 min
    117 – Isabella Santellan – How to Build a Referral-Based Practice

    117 – Isabella Santellan – How to Build a Referral-Based Practice

    When it comes to personal injury law, the client-firm relationship can be fairly transactional. Most clients aren’t talking about their personal injury cases with their network, and lawyers hope that their clients don’t get injured again and become repeat customers.   

    But when you have mostly transactional, single-case relationships with clients, how can you gain more business? If your personal injury clients aren’t telling their network about you, who will?

    One of the most rewarding methods for gaining more business is referral marketing. Creating longstanding attorney referral relationships gives you a pipeline for more cases, helps you build a reputation, and keeps your firm top of mind in the industry. However, in order to succeed with referral-based marketing, you have to cultivate your relationships and think about what the other person wants. 

    According to Michael Cowen and the team at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock, you have to give back in order to grow your referral-based business. Take referring attorneys out to lunch or to an event that they would enjoy. Or, give them a gift that’s personalized (and doesn’t have your firm’s name or logo on it). However you decide to show gratitude to your referral partners, it’s important that you create a system to follow up, check in every now and then, and continue nurturing that relationship.

    Above all, Michael says that it’s important to create a culture of sharing and respect and keep your promises with referring attorneys. You don’t have to take every case that comes your way, and you can’t guarantee the outcome of a case. You can, however, promise to work hard, keep clients informed, and honor the deal you made. 

    In episode 117, Isabella Santellan, the Marketing Assistant at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock, asks Michael Cowen all of the essential questions about building a referral-based business and tending to referral relationships. Listen to this episode of Trial Lawyer Nation to hear Michael’s advice on building a referral network and nurturing relationships, turning down referral cases, and simplifying the referral process for your firm. 

     

    Featured Guest

    Name: Isabella Santellan

    About: Isabella Santellan is the Marketing Assistant at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock. She was born and raised in San Antonio, TX and recently received her B.B.A in Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. As the Marketing Assistant, Isabella runs the firm’s social media, helps plan events, and works to ensure they provide an unforgettable experience to everyone they work with. In her free time, Isabella enjoys traveling, golfing, and spending time with her family.

    Company: Cowen Rodriguez Peacock

    Connect: LinkedIn

     

    Key Points

    Top takeaways from this episode 



    Start with the people you already know (and don’t be too picky about cases). It’s difficult to come out of law school and have the reputation and network needed to create a referral-based business. Michael Cowen suggests you get your foot in the door by being hungry, humble, and persistent. Take cases from those who are already in your network and expand your business from there.   

    Give your referring attorneys what they want. It’s important to stay top of mind when you’re building a referral-based business. How do you do this? Michael says you need to give back to your referral partners. Take your referring attorneys to lunch or to an event that they might enjoy. You could also give them a call, send a handwritten thank you note, or give them a gift (without your firm’s name or logo on it). However you show gratitude, you have to do so with the other person in mind.

    Nurture your existing referrals.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
160 Ratings

160 Ratings

Mwjdp1113 ,

Recorded Underwater?

Michael Cowen needs a new mic—he always sounds like he’s underwater.

The content is great though! Thanks

Rdh008 ,

Great Podcast

As a young Plaintiff’s trial lawyer this podcast is one of my absolute favorites. Michael, Delisi, Mallory, and team are the real deal. The podcast episodes are always packed with great material/guests but they are also willing to respond to emails and answer questions. Recommend this podcast to any and all Plaintiff lawyers of any age or background.

SashaGill ,

Insightful Perspective on Real-Life Trial Issues

I’ve been listening for a long time and feel like I know Michael, Delisi, Malorie and the rest of the team!! I truly enjoy Michael’s thoughtful, introspective discussion of his trial experiences, hearing about his own journey learning to trust the jury, and all of the accomplished and equally-forthcoming guests they have on for insightful conversation about the joys, sorrows and pitfalls of litigation. Thank you, Michael and team!!

Top Podcasts In Business

Ramsey Network
Freakonomics Network & Zachary Crockett
Erika Kullberg
Jocko DEFCOR Network
NPR
Andy Frisella #100to0

You Might Also Like

Mitnik's Brushstrokes
Rahul Ravipudi, Ben Gideon
Sari de la Motte
Courtney Barber
Brian Panish
Keith Mitnik