Epstein, Lipsey & Clifford P.C. was founded in 2001 in Hanover, where its headquarters remain, and has added offices in Boston, Plymouth, Quincy, and Mansfield. The law firm has five attorneys, and its community activities include hosting benefits for the Ellie Fund, raising more than $110,000 over the past three years to support breast cancer patients and their families. We talked to Scott Clifford, 42, a founding partner, about the operation.
Q. What constitutes the bulk of the firm’s cases?
A. It’s changed over time, and we’ve seen a steady increase of business over the years. Now we do a lot of work in commercial and residential real estate, and contractual work representing corporations. We also handle cases involving Social Security, workers’ compensation, and general litigation.
Q. How has the business of lawyering changed over the years?
A. Mostly with technology and the flow of information, with increasing pressure to stay up to speed not just with technology but the ability to respond to clients’ needs. Where traditionally you were available from 9 to 5, now it’s 24 hours a day, with e-mails, texts, calls.
Q. What are the hardest cases to win?
A. The most difficult today are those involving personal injury. It has a lot to do with the fact that Massachusetts, like a lot of states, is anti-plaintiff. Those cases are harder to succeed at as opposed to when I first started in law 18 years ago.
Q. Does the term “ambulance chaser” still apply to law firms?
A. I think so, but you just try to dispel that through the service you provide. If you do right by a client, they walk away with good feelings about their attorney. The image is what it is, and people like to criticize lawyers — until they need one.
Q. Many people never need a lawyer; how do you pick one when you do?
A. Talk to friends and family with experience using lawyers. Talk to two or three of them; in person is best, you get a different feel for someone that way than over the phone. And whatever you hire them for, get a clear and concise fee agreement.
Q. Do you watch law shows on TV?
A. No, never. My wife’s in the medical field and she won’t watch those shows either — she just finds herself pointing out all the flaws. It’s the same with law shows. I wish all our cases could be resolved in 60 minutes.