Brendan Hammer entered college interested in the performing arts. “I wanted to be a playwright or an actor,” says Hammer, today an attorney focusing on complex, high net-worth family law matters. “I eventually realized litigation was a way to use my communicative and emotive skills in concrete ways to make a tangible difference for clients and their families.” Interestingly enough, he says it is that background that sets him apart. “Litigation is a combination of sales, marketing, psychology, and theater. Mastery of the law is necessary but not sufficient to excellent trial advocacy,” adds Hammer, a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, who was named one of Crain’s “Most Influential Minority Lawyers” in 2017 and serves on the advisory council at the David Lynch Foundation (Chicago). “My approach to litigation is informed by a deep focus on the behavioral sciences, cognitive biases and heuristics, persuasion, storytelling, interpersonal psychology, and decision making amid uncertainty.” The first thing he tells clients is that litigation is not about getting moral vindication or emotional validation. “Adjust your expectations to the achievable. There are no prizes for ‘Best Spouse in a Supporting Role,’” he says. “Nassim Taleb once said, ‘There are two types of people, those who try to win an argument and those who try to win. They are never the same.’ In practicing law, I try to stay focused on the signal, not the noise. I try to win.”
For more information, visit sdflaw.com/team/detail/brendan-hammer/bio.