For Richard Leighton, being prepared to go to trial is the best way to obtain a beneficial outcome for his client.

A trial is usually a last resort. But you have to be prepared to go there.

“We try to find a way to reach a peaceful resolution of a dispute,” he says. “A trial is usually a last resort. But you have to be prepared to go there.”

Leighton’s approach to preparation involves the hard work necessary to find out as much as he can about the case he is handling.

“Investigation. Discovery. Research. You find out who’s responsible for what. You determine the basis for the financial damages being claimed,” he says.

Leighton also stresses the importance of strong communication between attorney and client.

“Clients don’t like surprises, he says. “They need to be kept informed on a regular basis.”

Over nearly three decades, Leighton’s practice as an attorney has focused on managing the defense of thousands of asbestos personal injury and wrongful death cases in state and federal courts in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. He’s a recognized expert in the field. He also has handled cases dealing with product liability law, toxic torts, employment law, eminent domain, real estate and zoning law, construction law, medical malpractice, insurance coverage, trusts and estates, tax law, railroad law and admiralty.

Leighton graduated from the University of Chicago and from the University of Iowa College of Law, with distinction. He is admitted to practice in the state courts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota and Iowa, the U.S. District Courts in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Supreme Court.