Owner and Lead Attorney
Owner and Lead Attorney
For Samuel Doncaster, 15,000 Hours Spent Strategizing and Observing Trials Set the Foundation for Mastery in Defense of His Clients.
Samuel is an anti-fraud lawyer because he cares about the truth and takes on human problems. The Michigan native was a National Merit Scholar in high school who took on enough Advanced Placement (AP) classes to knock out a year-and-a-half worth of college credit by the time he arrived at Arizona State University on a full scholarship.
After graduation, Samuel attended the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University on a merit-based academic scholarship. He was ranked fifth in a class of 167 and got top grades in his class. Although students receive a general law degree in law school, Samuel was intentional about becoming a trial lawyer and taking courses related to practice, particularly internships and externships that would prepare him for trial practice. “For me, the thing that makes you an actual trial attorney is that you try cases in front of a jury,” Samuel explains.
“Civil real estate fraud cases are a rare niche, but that’s what I do. Not every lawyer is an experienced trial lawyer; they are just discovery attorneys. I chose civil real estate fraud as a practice area to help everyday people. I enjoy the technical elements of it and the ability to use those technical elements to win cases for clients.”
Following law school, he clerked for an appellate judge for two years, one of the most prestigious positions in the legal profession, typically reserved for law school graduates who perform at the top of their class. A judicial clerk position results in a broad range of opportunities in law practice, academia, and government. During Samuel’s judicial clerkship, he wrote draft decisions for the judge. This experience reading materials, figuring out what was going on in the case, and then writing a decision to support his finding helped him develop an instinct to predict accurately what the judge would decide. This instinct now helps him correctly advise his clients. Except for one time, Samuel was on target in predicting the judge’s decision.
His clerkship also gave him the unique opportunity to interact with a judge intimately. Samuel paid attention to the judge’s questions after reviewing Samuel’s draft decision. He then made it his goal to write the draft in a way that would address potential questions the judge might have. He did that successfully to the point that the judge had everything he needed to decide the case in that draft by the end.
During this time, Samuel read a full, solid 50 trial records from beginning to end to soak in the processes of winning trial lawyers versus the things losing trial lawyers did. While working for over a decade in boutique law firms in Phoenix on real estate fraud cases, he maintained an undefeated jury trial record before ultimately launching his firm. Overall, his time on live trials and reading records contributed to over 200 hours of observation and study. Beyond that, he spent his time at the Court of Appeals studying another 3,500 hours’ worth of trial records before he even started handling cases on his own. Then, Samuel spent a decade preparing cases for trial and trying the cases that needed it.
He notes, “Many of us have heard of the 10,000 mastery rule. Frankly, I’ve doubled that in my efforts to strategize on behalf of my clients to ensure they win. My experience has enabled me to advise a client on whether they have a good case because I don’t take a case unless I think I can win. Beyond that, however, I have taken on loser cases and turned them into winners by outmaneuvering the folks on the other side. I win trials because it’s inconceivable to me to lose. The real difference between winners and losers is a mindset. I identify and perceive myself as a winner, and as a result, my subconscious mind lights a fire within me until I find a way to win. I will work maniacally on winning because losing is not in my DNA.”
Samuel credits the vital role of preparation, along with mindset. “There’s luck involved for everybody, and that’s where preparation comes in,” he says. “You need to know your case well enough to understand the consequences, three or four moves down from seizing an unexpected opportunity. Eisenhower said plans are meaningless. But planning is everything. When I go into trial, I will plan. Then, when unexpected stuff happens, I know how to exploit it because I’ve planned so well. One thing happens and then the next, and I know where I want to go, so I just keep moving the ball in that direction.”
Today, as the Owner and Founder of the Fraud Fighters Law Firm, Samuel incorporates his valuable skills, mindset, and preparation practices when writing briefs for his clients. He knows what the judge is looking for when they read a client’s brief and the information they need to make their decision. Samuel’s proactiveness at Fraud Fighters Law Firm helps his clients win their cases. By exposing the lies and uncovering the truth, Samuel’s work allows the client to make an appropriate choice with a clear understanding of all options.
If you or anyone you know has been the victim of fraud, call (602) 427-4437 today. Our amazing team of fraud fighters wants to help YOU.
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