2+2=3 How to Find What’s Missing to Solve the Equation


In my practice of law, I have learned that it is crucial to focus on the unknowns. 

The missing pieces.  The holes that don’t appear to exist. Why is this important? Because 2+2 might equal 3, not 4. How is this possible? I can explain, in less than 60 seconds of your time…

1.     Focus on the missing words first. 

When I look at a contract, my first concern is not whether the words that already exist are the correct words (although this is important). When I first look at a contract, I focus on the words that are missing. What deal points did the parties discuss that failed to reach pen and paper? What necessary provisions does the document fail to contain? The missing words are often more important than the ones that already exist.   

2.      Never accept facts as true

I frequently receive calls from business owners, realtors and individuals with urgent problems that need to be solved. Every problem starts with a set of facts that outlines how the problem arose. It would be easy to takes the facts, as given by my client, and begin to identify a solution. BAD IDEA! My job is to first verify that the facts given to me are true, objective and not given in a way that unintentionally points me in the wrong direction. Does this mean I call my client a liar? NO! This means I take into (quiet) consideration that my client’s facts are probably not objective. They are probably skewed a bit in their favor. This does not mean they are incorrect facts. This does not mean my client is wrong. This just means I must trust, but verify. Verifying facts can look different in every situation. It may mean asking the right follow up questions to flesh out the issue. It may mean reviewing a document to determine whether my client’s interpretation is legally accurate. Asking the RIGHT questions is just as important as finding the missing words. 

3.      2+2=3. 

So how does 2 + 2 equal 3? In mathematics, 2 + 2 is always going to equal 4. But in real life the outcome might be different. First, we need to determine what is missing. Second, we should never accept the facts as true. So, what’s missing in this equation? Let’s say we are dealing with 2 “widgets” – well, are the widgets entire widgets? Are we dealing with half widgets? Are we dealing with quarter widgets? What’s the definition of a whole widget? Have we lost a widget from the time the problem started to the time we are discussing the solution? Do we still have all the original widgets? Obviously, 2+2 does not equal 3, but it is a good reminder that we need to be careful about what we do not know and always verify that the facts presented to us are objectively accurate. By identifying the missing words and asking the right questions, you can better determine (and execute) the necessary solution.

Client Reviews

We are proud to have more than 100 five-star reviews across Google, Avvo, and other platforms.
  • Being a first time business owner, you want to make sure you're making all the right decisions. Choosing McCormick Law & Consulting, along with Emma and Taylor, made the process so easy! Emma understood right away what my primary concerns were, and was able to execute everything in a very timely manner! She was extremely easy to talk to and she took the time to explain everything to me, settling my nerves with taking this next big step. Taylor made the process of making it all official completely stress free.
    Crystal G.
  • McCormick Law & Consulting was integral in the creation of our non-profit. We promised our 12 y/o son that we would keep fighting cancer for kids like him but we couldn’t have kept that promise without John McCormick and his team. We were hooked at our first meeting when John simply asked “ Tell me about you son.” McCormick Law and Consulting took care of all the legal work while allowing us to focus on our mission. John and his team continue to be a great resource and supporter of D-Feet Cancer The Dalton Fox Foundation. We couldn’t have asked for better legal representation. Thank you McCormick Law & Consulting.

    William F.
  • I definitely could have created my new business, Davis Wealth Management LLC, but boy that would have been a mistake. Because business formation is not an area in which I practice, I had no idea where my blind spots were, and let me tell you there were plenty. The knowledge I received from the firm is invaluable.

    John McCormick and his firm are very reasonably priced and quickly and efficiently assisted me in creating my new business. It was completely turn key; they did everything for me.  I can't recommend their services enough. Also, huge shoutout to Taylor who kept me informed every step of the way!

    James D.
  • I highly recommendMcCormick Law & Consulting! My Father and I live in two separate states and the properties he needed legal services for are in Virginia. I reach out to Taylor on two separate occasions and she was very responsive and professional. The first time we used their services it went so smoothly that by the time I needed their services again I knew I could just send over the necessary documents, pay my invoice and rest assured it would all get taken care of. They eliminated the stress that comes with handling some else's affairs and I so appreciate that.
    Heather C.
  • From the the very 1st conversation with their office it was clear they would be responsive to all my questions and any support with my business. They are relatable and make their customers feel comfortable with any questions and or concerns that might arise while using their services. I am happy to have found them to support me with my small business needs!
    Lisa N.
  • I can't say enough great things about the professional team at McCormick Law & Consulting! We really had no idea of who to trust and who we could count on for quick and professional service in the Hampton Roads area for getting our new business up and running smoothly and the Team at McCormick Law & Consulting really knocked it out of the park with us!
    Jerry G.
  • I had the good fortune of working with McCormick Law on a business sales contract. I sent them the initial draft provided by the buyer along with a few notes about my specific concerns. They carefully went through the document and provided meaningful additions and corrections that better protected my interests. Thanks to Bobby and John for their personalized attention.
    Arthur B.
  • Mr. McCormick and his entire team were amazing! They assisted me in a legal matter concerning a business dispute. Mr. McCormick is highly experienced, ethical, dedicated, and was prepared to fight my legal matter in court if necessary. I thank the entire team for believing in me and would highly recommend them to anyone!!
    Jeanette L.
  • We used McCormick Law to start up another LLC and it was a great experience. I have used other lawyers and attorneys in the past and I experienced delayed responses and it was what I have come to expect.From the first interactions with Robert and his team, I was surprised to how responsive they were. I even mentioned to my new business partner that this was not normal and I was very happy.Needless to say I will be using McCormick Law for all of my business needs in the future.
    Colton S.
  • I utilized this firm for help on a real estate matter. I felt comfortable with the advice I received and am happy to continue doing business with them and referring others to the practice. Everyone I engaged with was welcoming and made the process very easy.
    Christian S.
  • John and his team were great to work with. They provided advice for starting my business and set everything up in an efficient and timely manner. I will definitely recommend them to others!

    Elizabeth H.
  • I contacted McCormick Law firm to register my moving service in NC. They did an outstanding job. Completed the process way sooner than I expected. Thank you, Taylor.

    Steve T.

    Let's talk.

    • Disclaimer: In communicating with us in response to this website, do not send any confidential information. Information sent to us in response to this website will not be treated as confidential and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Our professional obligations require us to perform a conflicts check before undertaking any legal representation of you. No attorney-client relationship exists or should be assumed as a result of this communication. By submitting this form, you are opting into our mailing list (your information will not be shared with anyone else).

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


    McCormick Law, PC d/b/a McCormick Law & Consulting and Driving Defense Law is a boutique law firm located in Norfolk, Virginia & Raleigh, North Carolina, that seamlessly serves clients throughout Virginia and North Carolina. Whether you are a new or existing client of the firm, McCormick Law, PC, cannot represent you on any new matter until the firm has made a determination that there is no conflict of interest and that it is willing to accept the new engagement. The testimonials on this website reflect the real-life experiences and opinions of our clients. However, the experiences are personal to those particular clients, and may not necessarily be representative of all clients. We do not claim, and you should not assume, that all clients will have the same experience. Your outcome may vary.

    © McCormick Law, PC, all rights reserved