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Eric Ferrer is a trial attorney achieving many multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. During his 39-year career, he has handled cases in diverse and varied areas of law including personal injury, civil rights, homeowner association disputes, sexual harassment and abuse, product liability, aviation, business litigation, sports law, class actions, franchise disputes, among others.
Mr. Ferrer began his legal career as an attorney working with Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. He worked with Mr. Cochran for 21 years ultimately serving as a managing partner of the firm’s Los Angeles office. During this period Mr. Ferrer became adept at developing and executing winning strategies for the firm’s cases using a narrative storied approach and was an early adopter of courtroom technology to facilitate this method.
Over his 39-year career in the law, Mr. Ferrer has come to regard the practice of law as a healing profession, having seen the transformative power of the law. One recent example is his ten-year battle to obtain a $14.1 million dollar judgment against the State of Hawaii Department of Education for the sexual abuse of a cognitively disabled student by other students. It is believed this is the highest award of its kind against the State of Hawaii.
The hallmark of Mr. Ferrer’s practice can be summarized by the application of what he calls the 4 C’s of practicing law: Compassion, Communication, Cooperation, and Competence.
Juris Doctor, 1982
STATE UNIVERSITY of NEW YORK at STONEY BROOK
M.S. Urban & Policy Sciences, 1979
B.A. Philosophy, 1979
Activities & Affiliations
• Lecturer in Law, Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii
• American Bar Association
• Hawaii State Bar Association
• Maui Bar Association
New York, 1983
The Four C's of Practicing Law:
Compassion, Communication, Cooperation, & Competence
One of the lasting memories I have of my many years trying cases with Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr., is not only witnessing his skilled tenacity as a trial lawyer but his sense of grace and respect for everyone involved in the legal process; judge, jury, court clerks, court reporter, opponents and witnesses. He was truly an officer of the court and a gentleman. While he never coined my 4C's, I think he would approve of my approach because it was embedded in how he practiced law.
First and foremost it is important to have great compassion for one's client as well as one's opponent. This seemingly contrarian approach gives the attorney a great opportunity for understanding both the loss suffered by one's client and the reasons for the conduct of one's opponent. Compassion means to feel with or to stand in the shoes of another. Effective use of compassion bridges the gap between people having substantial benefits both in settlement and at trial.
Second, compassion leads to effective communication with others. Words are no longer used as weapons to bludgeon one's opponent but as a means of facilitating understanding. This understanding sets the stage for cooperation.
This cooperation can occur at a mediation or settlement conference when, through clear communication, a bridge of understanding is built facilitating compromise. Cooperation can also occur on the stand with an otherwise hostile witness when effectively employed through skillful cross-examination.
Finally, the use of all of these principles is dependent on the competence of one's counsel arising from the study of the human condition, engagement with people in difficult and stressful situations and experience both in and out of the courtroom. These principles are not only effective tools in litigation but also are guides for a fulfilling life.
Law Practice Philosophy
Eric Ferrer's approach to practicing law is succinctly embodied in the Theodore Roosevelt quote:
"speak softly and carry a big stick."
In legal disputes, the first part of this statement requires genuine attempts to resolve disputes by peaceful and effective negotiation and settlement. If settlement fails, however, the second part of Roosevelt's statement comes into play requiring a trial on the merits of the client’s claims before a court and jury by an experienced, creative, skillful and thoroughly prepared trial attorney.
While Mr. Ferrer believes that individuals acting in good faith can resolve almost any dispute, such results are only possible when both sides have the ability, willingness and experience to assess the benefits of settlement and risks of trial. Cases usually go to trial because one party to the dispute did not make this assessment accurately. When settlement discussions break down having legal counsel with a proven track record of courtroom success is essential. Mr. Ferrer’s accomplishments both in settling his clients' substantial claims and his proven record of success at trial demonstrate his qualifications.