Speak in Sun Valley at Idaho Trial Lawyer Convention in the morning. Then on a panel in the afternoon. Leave at 3:30. This means I cannot fly direct to LAX because that plane is gone. Instead have to fly back to Seattle to then fly to LAX. Arrive at 10:45 p.m. Taxi to The Line Hotel. Arrive at 11:30 p.m.Read More
Get up before alarm rings at 6. This means it is really 4. Flop back on bed. Alarm rings at 6:15.
Search around for hotel phone on night table. Don’t find it. Sigh. It is on the other side of the bed. Scramble across. Hit “O”. Ask for front desk. It is front desk. Can I get a late check out. Yes.Read More
I have admired (borderline worshipped) Paul over the years for his skill in trial. Several times I've gone to watch. What struck me, was the way he so gracefully prowled the courtroom floor. And owned it.Read More
Listening to my own voice used to pain me. I avoided it. Couldn't stand it. It seemed too high. Too sweet. And if I didn't remember to tuck my tongue in, there was a lisp. Oh, how much I yearned for a deep booming voice. So I could preach when I spoke. Like M.L.K.Read More
Once upon a time four young lawyers decided they hated practicing law. So they became comedians. Part of their gig involved creating a podcast. Which they needed content for.
One day one of the comedians, Matt Ritter, saw that The Velvet Hammer blog was the number one trial practice blog for the ABA. He thought that was neat. Called. And the rest is comedians at law podcast history.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
We are rewarded in school for using sentences so complex, that the reader or listener is virtually tortured by them. As grown up lawyers this means we tend to spout legalese to normal people. How as trial lawyers do we shrug off these intellectual habits. So we can tell a good story.
Look at these tips from C.S. Lewis (he of The Chronicles of Narnia fame). This is taken from a letter he wrote to a young Fan in 1956.Read More
I had one night to come up with a speech. it was our trial lawyer's annual convention. And I needed to fill in for a sick speaker. That evening on the treadmill the speech came together. Now a decade or so later, here is a blog version of The "P"s.Read More
Suitcase is packed. We are out the door on the way to the airport. Cristina says - did you see the weather report. Um, no Robert said it was in the mid 70s. Seems a cool front is blowing in so minus that by at least 10. I've packed shorts sandles, and a short skirt to give my talk in. Oh great.Read More
Am in Louisville, Kentucky preparing to give a speech at their annual convention. Two people have randomly greeted me in passing and said "you have a hard act to follow - all the speakers have been great." Should have known this would be prophetic.
Do not like to give recycled speeches. Do not like to memorize anything. Need to FEEL in order for the words to flow well. Lately have been interested in exploring how to reach jurors regardless of their political or religious leanings. Accessing shared core human values. So the topic is a bit obtuse. Particularly where here, am not teaching how to do something in particular - like give an opening or closing statement.Read More
Am being good patient non-wiggling member of audience at the convention. For several hours. It is the Luvera Seminar without Luvera (dear Paul please get well). Another Paul (Stritmatter) my partner, is playing the role of host to a rapid fire panel of speakers.
Paul tells a story to illustrate the point that jurors always like him the best of anyone in the courtroom. He says he works hard to be professional and nice and liked the best. And over time whether inside or outside of the courtroom, it is a habit that has stuck. He is a very pleasant and likeable fellow.Read More
Have to resist rolling eyes when people say: so you're going to wing it. In mind see chicken flapping wings with feathers flying everywhere.
Have finished lovely run. Am a bit late so go directly to the seminar registration desk and pick up materials. Head to elevator on way to room for a bit of a wash and change.Read More