Chris Reed is a commercial and general civil litigator with experience in both state and federal trial and appellate courts. As a general civil litigator, Mr. Reed represents clients in a wide range of real estate, trust and estate, construction, business, and insurance coverage litigation. His practice emphasizes 'big picture' strategic considerations to achieve the best result for the client, whether that is a negotiated settlement, resolution through dispositive motions, or taking a matter to trial.
A significant portion of Mr. Reed's practice involves property owner and landlord-tenant disputes, including evictions, easement, and private takings litigation. For trust and estate matters, Mr. Reed is experienced in a wide variety of issues, including breach of fiduciary duty claims, misappropriation, will interpretation, and challenges to the validity of documents granting agent authority (such as power-of-attorney). He also represents professional fiduciaries on annual/periodic reporting requirements for court supervised trusts and guardianships. For his construction and business clients, Mr. Reed has a full-service litigation practice with experience representing contractors and businesses in nearly all types of litigation, including breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, and employee disputes.
Mr. Reed's practice is also increasingly focused on individual and business policyholder insurance coverage issues. On behalf of individual policyholders, Mr. Reed has substantial experience obtaining coverage for individual insured's seeking benefits under life, long term care (LTC), and disability insurance policies. With respect to business policyholders, Mr. Reed addresses a wide variety of coverage issues, including those arising under general liability, excess/umbrella, directors and officers (D&O), employment practices liability (EPL), pollution, and other related coverage. Mr. Reed has learned that effective coverage counsel can be absolutely critical to not only convincing a carrier to accept an insured's tender of defense and indemnity, but also ensuring his clients' best interests remain protected throughout pending litigation.
Mr. Reed also represents individual physicians, nurses, and health care providers with licensing issues and complaints being investigated by the Medical Quality Assurance Commission and the Department of Health.
Can you name any skills or personality traits that you think are needed in your kind of practice that might differ from other practices?
Being able to anticipate the opposing party's next move is critical for a civil litigator. To develop a long-term strategy which produces favorable results for the client, this skill requires not only an in-depth understanding of the actions which will force a reaction by the other side, but also an accurate analysis as to the likely reactions the opposing party will take.
Is it more important to maximize revenue or minimize risk?
I would not say one is more important than the other. However, commercial civil litigation is rarely effectively used as a tool to maximize revenue. As such, my job typically focuses on minimizing downside risk, whether that is the risk of an adverse judgment against one of my clients, the risk of obtaining an uncollectible judgment, or the risk of protracted litigation which distracts from the client's business opportunities.
Who is your favorite lawyer?
Justice Benjamin Cardozo, who is well-known for his unique writing style.
What attracted you to the idea of practicing law?
The opportunity to learn something new each day. Working with a diverse group of clients allows me to gain insight into an array of business and personal needs, goals, and issues. Moreover, the law and legal arguments are constantly evolving, so even known issues can take new forms over time. For me, the constant opportunity to learn is what makes practicing law so enjoyable.