Posts tagged pick your battles
Keep your head to the sky

Judges don't like it when us attorneys can't stop bickering.  They are irritated by having to deal with our exchanges of snipes, digs and downright insults.

Last month after a trial ended, two jurors followed me down to the courthouse lobby.  They wanted to talk about what happened.  Both commented on how impressed they were that the attorneys acted in a civil manner.  Sure we disagreed with each other and objected and there were tense moments.  But we were not overly disrespectful like the lawyers they saw on television.  They appreciated that.

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How many insults does it take for me to call you a three letter word

On Monday I called an attorney an A_S.

Now you may be thinking Karen Karen Karen.  But I didn't lose my temper.  I stated a fact.

One day when I came home from work many years ago, the nanny smiled and said - your daughters told me that yesterday you said the S word.  Cristina, Alysha and Noelle started giggling.  Raised their little eyebrows.  Waited for Marlenee Beenee (actual name Marlene) to scold me.  Or better yet - as she had done to Alysha - wash my mouth out with soap.

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The almost tantrum: a tale of typical trial lawyer self control

It's a drizzly Sunday.  Have popped into the office to work on a settlement letter.  Nala is chewing on her antler.  Am eating my favorite pastry from Macrina bakery - the orange pinwheel.  Superb as usual.

Am working on the letter.  But also engaging in typical bounce around behavior.  Read incoming email from co-counsel on a different case. Defense attorney wants a continuance on a summary judgment motion.  This is the fifth motion in a string of motions.  Maybe it's the fourth.  Or the sixth.  Have lost count.

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Some defense lawyers can't be friends too...

Last week something unpleasant happened.

I lost a friend.  Not a great one.  But a friend nonetheless.

I met him when he was still a law student and was one of his mentors.  He clerked for our firm.   Then a bit later he worked with us for a year.  He stayed in our building after that, working for another lawyer who was renting an office from us.  We kept in touch.   His boss moved his office.  And we wished them well.  A bit later,  I heard  he had quit and decided to take a job with a defense firm.  No shame in that.  You gotta do what you gotta do.

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To Agree or Not To Agree...That is the Question: On dealing with defense counsel

There's a well known "rule" that has floated around for years amongst litigators.  It goes like this.  If your opponent asks you for something, it's okay to say yes.  But only if they give you something that you need back in return.

I know some people who never deviate from that rule.  Saying yes without getting something out of it, is seen as a sign of weakness.  Or ineffectiveness.

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