Most of us deal with a familiar set of characters and institutions. We make judgments and assumptions based on our prior interactions. There is, of course, nothing wrong with doing so. Past conduct does give us a clue as to what we can expect.
It is only a clue, however. Opposing counsel, insurance companies and government agencies often shift their tactics. Courts and judges can alter their approach. A good trial lawyer must always maintain a keen awareness of this.
An agency familiar to us has long been known for just blowing off claims. It was a black hole. Suddenly it is not, and it is attempting to resolve matters. It’s just lucky for our clients (and us) that we didn’t reject smaller cases where we might have concluded there was no likelihood of an administrative settlement. We considered declining these matters - and history dictated we would have been prudent to do so. But something changed.
In reality, change is constant, and frequently unpredictable. Stay alert and be prepared to respond accordingly – always advancing and protecting to the interests of your clients.