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How do you define a "win" in an environmental enforcement matter?

People across California and elsewhere who watch cop shows and crime dramas that regularly feature courtroom processes and procedures might sometimes be led to believe that stridently aggressive and "scorched-earth" attorneys always win the day for their clients.

That is, what they see might lead them to regard in-your-face obstinacy coupled with disdain for civil discussions and compromise as the preferred strategy most often leading to a best-case result.

In the real world where judges, juries, litigators and clients (as well as officials working in administrative agencies and vested with enforcement powers) interact, that perceived reality is, well, not often reality.

In fact, negotiation and practiced cooperation often spell the ticket for positive outcomes in most legal spheres.

That is certainly the case with environmental law matters. As we note on our website at the proven environmental law firm of Caufield & James LLP (with multiple offices across Southern California), "Many environmental violations and compliance problems can be resolved on acceptable terms if you take a cooperative and proactive approach with the [involved] agency."

For a business, that most often means being open and flexible while responding in timely fashion to an investigation or enforcement action, rather than being adversely aggressive and bent on withholding information.

Our law firm has obtained optimal results for many clients through working reasonably (and that certainly means with knowledge and backbone) with environmental agencies and officials.

Most agencies don't automatically want to pound California companies into the ground. In many instances, a well-considered and implemented legal strategy can persuade them to promote outcomes that maximally mitigate adverse results for the businesses interacting with them.

That, we believe, is the essence of what constitutes a business win, especially when such a result is coupled with the protection of a company's overall business goals, reputation continued pursuit of profit.

We invite readers' questions, and welcome the opportunity to help California businesses deal optimally with environmentally related concerns.

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