Two extra years were needed for Phuong to graduate from North Seattle College after she was almost killed in the Ride the Ducks crash on the Aurora Bridge on September 24, 2015. She missed one whole year due to being at Harborview and the Kiero Rehabilitation Home. When she was able to enter school her injuries required her to take reduced loads. Including fitting in a total hip replacement surgery during winter break 2017. Phuong was the lead plaintiff in the Ride the Ducks trial that occurred from October 1 2018 through February 7, 2019.Read More
6:30 am wake
7:00 am get up
8:00 am go for run with Nala
9:30 am return home get ready grab suitcase. Email from insurance attorney – they will take out that language.
10:15 am Drop Nala off at Doggie Daycare. Drive to airport
10:45 am arriveRead More
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