Posts tagged mentors
The secret life of a mentor

"Hi, I heard from so and so that you would be a good person to talk to about (fill in the blank with something about the pracitce of law).  Do you have time to talk to me."

Regardless if I do or don't, I never say no.  And always do it in person.

Whether it is a 7:30 am breakfast at CJ's, lunch, or a visit to the office, when young people seek me out personally to ask for advice or input, I believe eyeball to eyeball is the best way to meet.

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The woman with multiple personalities - a pro bono story

The thing about being a young associate is that you pretty much need to do what you're told.

During my late 20s, Tom Chambers was the boss.  If he said Karen do it, I pretty much followed orders.  Take this deposition.  Argue that motion.  Find an expert.  Find a better expert.  Tom's softly spoken non-negotiable instructions structured my time at Chambers Court.

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The biggest mistake trial lawyers make

Tom Chambers has summoned me.  I walk down the hall past Sheila - Tom’s right hand office manager whom we have nicknamed Sheera Princess of Power.  Enter his fake office.  The one where he meets with clients or other lawyers and important people.   It is as big as a large living room.   Sitting proudly next to the marble fireplace is an imposing desk.  There is one small pile of papers neatly stacked on it just so.  As if ready for a magazine photo shoot.

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The Big Fat Rat - a Tom Chambers story

Flashback to 1990.

We are at Chambers Court.  In the upstairs conference room.  In a former life, the building was a funeral home.  So when we call it "The Morgue" we aren't joking.

Like all good attorneys with new associates, Tom does not trust me quite yet.  When I am told to depose an electrical engineer defense expert, Tom comes along and sits by my side.  With a foot and a half pile of documents on the table in front of him.  So he can listen with one ear but also get the rest of his work done.

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Giving Honor to His Honor

We are packed in his former office building.  Reminiscing.  Rubbing elbows.  Smiling and sometimes shedding tears.  Marveling over the career of this brilliant man.

Born over a gas station in rural Washington.  Becoming one of the best plaintiff trial lawyers the state has ever seen.  President of the trial lawyers.  President of the state bar.  And finally Supreme Court Justice.  We are here to honor Tom Chambers.

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The last class

The teams are putting on the final trial.  It is our last class of the year.  The seventh year Bill Bailey and I have taught trial advocacy together at the UW.  (He's a professor on staff now in the law school)

Rush around all day doing our regular lawyer stuff.  Inch along thru rush hour traffic to get to the school by 5:30.  Stomachs often rumbling.  Sometimes choke down a power bar.

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Form of the day: Defense Medical Exam Agreement

Some of the richest doctors no longer practice medicine.  Instead they make up to half a million dollars a year, working for insurance companies.  Their assignment:  examine injured plaintiffs with a jaundiced eye.  Then proclaim they should be cured in 60 to 90 days.  Sometimes a little longer.

About five years ago, there was a mean retired neurosurgeon who said a  mother was paralyzed and in a wheelchair because she made up the injury in her mind.  He called it "hysterical paralysis."   Made for a good defense.  Of course in reality, she's still paralyzed today.  Apparently the hysteria hasn't ended.

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Words of Wisdom for Young Lawyers - Humility

Yesterday a law student from Phoenix asked for this article (written about a decade ago). 

Trial Lawyers are often perceived by the public as arrogant and phony.  This is because the art of braggadocio is so prevalent and even sometimes necessary in our profession.   Behind the show lie those memories that need to be periodically replayed so we don’t buy into the myth of our professional persona.

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