Sunil K. Raju established Coast Land Law to bring his litigation experience to the north coast of Oregon. Whether guiding clients through a real estate dispute, landlord-tenant matter, land use project, or general litigation, he enjoys helping clients through challenging legal situations.
Sunil has practiced law for over 15 years. He began his career in Portland, Oregon, where he spent the first six years of his legal career as a prosecutor, learning the ropes of litigation in the courtroom every day by prosecuting cases ranging from minor misdemeanors to major felonies. Never shy to try a case in his first years of practice, he went up against and beat some of the most experienced trial lawyers in the State of Oregon.
After gaining significant trial experience as a prosecutor, Sunil entered private practice, where he has represented a variety of clients and businesses in litigation. He enjoys working with all types of clients, ranging from clients experienced with working with corporate counsel and partners in major firms to clients who have never stepped foot in an attorney’s office.
The most active trial lawyer practicing in Clatsop County and Tillamook County, Sunil has filed or defended more civil lawsuits involving real estate and business matters than any other attorney on the north coast. As a result, he has developed a strong sense of how the local judges tend to view certain issues, which drives how he advises his litigation clients. He also represents clients on a limited basis in the Portland area, as well as statewide.
Here are some of the reasons Coast Land Law clients come to the firm.
Many attorneys who claim they have litigation experience do not actually go to court or have much trial experience. They will send out aggressive letters, but quickly look to settle clients’ cases.
Sunil has been up against and beaten some of the best trial lawyers in Oregon, not only attorneys who have decades of trial experience, but also attorneys who are sometimes overly aggressive and do not play by the rules.
If clients have a matter which requires aggressive representation, Sunil will not be shy if that is what would best serve his client’s case. When a case gets to the point where litigation may be necessary, it is usually because a reasonable deal simply cannot be worked out.
In Sunil’s words, “if a client is best served by using the litigation process to pursue their objectives, then that is why the system is there. In the old days, people would take the law into their own hands. In a civilized society, we resolve difficult legal issues through our court system, which is the crown jewel of our democracy.”
When a client is facing a challenging situation where litigation is an option, they need an objective, loyal advocate to help them make important decisions in their case.
Sunil has a strong commitment to giving straightforward, candid answers to his clients. In private, it is important that an attorney never ‘spin’ anything. An attorney should always be objective and make sure the clients understand the state of play—the strengths, weaknesses, and unknowns.
At the same time, clients need to hear feedback on whether they are making a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ decision. Since we are in litigation all the time, we have a strong background which enables us to gauge the case objectively. I strive to guide clients to ‘good’ decisions and away from ‘bad’ decisions, so that we stay on track and use the litigation process productively.
“At the end of the day, I see every case as the client’s case, not mine. Therefore, I focus on helping clients make informed decisions. I do not substitute my judgment for theirs. My objective is to help clients make the same decision they would if they had been in the situation a 1,000 times.”
A Niche Practice
According to Sunil, “many attorneys, especially in smaller communities, fall into being jacks of all trade and masters of none. However, this means that they typically are operating in waters that are an inch deep and a mile wide. I think this is a mistake.
An attorney can be much more effective by establishing a niche practice, so that they are not jumping into and out of random areas of the law. Each area of the law has its own areas of expertise, and I think clients are much better served by specialists. Because of our focus, we are sought out by and work with clients in the Portland area and around the state.”
Attorney Sunil Raju has already established a reputation and practice as the leading trial lawyer on the Oregon coast. “There is a real need here for trial lawyers. Either most attorneys here rarely go to trial, or clients find themselves having to go to Portland just to find someone who can help,” says Sunil.
The way to approach litigation or any situation where there may be a dispute is to be disciplined, careful, and objective. Not like a gambler but like a professional poker player.
According to Sunil, “it is really important to keep your emotions in check. These kinds of cases can really trigger a lot of emotional and psychological reactions for folks. There are important stakes, so it makes sense that the stress level is high.”
We want to avoid emotional decisions, understand our options, and make wise decisions—not ones we will regret once the dust settles. In this way, we can work our way through a complex, difficult situation.
Also, it is important to remember that not every case should go to trial, nor should every case involve filing a lawsuit. We need to always bear in mind whether a negotiated agreement will be the best solution. Most legal disputes do settle, so it is important not to put the cart before the horse.
Our focus is to tailor our representation to our clients’ needs. We work with clients to help develop the best solutions to some of the most difficult problems. We want to help you understand how best to invest your time, energy, and money, so that we solve challenging legal issues in the best way possible.
Our local clients include residents of Astoria, Warrenton, Gearhart, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Garibaldi, Bay City, Rockaway Beach, Wheeler, and Tillamook, as well as businesses in the same communities.
Our other Oregon clients live in the greater Portland area and other areas of the state. Out of state clients often include people from Washington, California, Nevada, Idaho, and Arizona.
Our primary office is located in Warrenton, Oregon, and we have an additional office in Gearhart, Oregon (by appointment only).
If you are interested in learning more about Coast Land Law, call (503) 470-7070 to schedule a consultation or contact us online. We look forward to working with you.