Friday, October 8, 2010

Empty Handed

I've been preparing for a case I've got this morning.  I have nothing.  It seems like the less I have, the more I have to prepare.  Today, the facts are not on my side.  The law is not on my side.  To some extent, I'm not on my side (sorry--need to hike up the dose on my meds).

[Cue dramatic music]  So today, I will swing for the fences.  I will stand proud and deliver my monologue...

And I will have my rear end handed back to me.

I will let you know how it goes.


K. Erickson said...

Just remember, sometimes all it takes is being the most likable guy in the room.

Lawyer said...

It's interesting that you say that because it has a certain measure of truth.

There are, in effect two main considerations, in my opinion. The first is preparation. You just flat out have to know your case. In this instance, my case was a long string of bad facts. Since I knew my opponent would bring those up, I did so immediately. Also, knowing how this judge works, I knew what facts he would be looking for. Since I didn't have those on my side either, I made that clear in the beginning as well.

The other, as you mention, is how you come across. For this area of law, the number of attorneys who regularly practice in this court is a small group. By being respectful and reasonable, I stand a better chance of getting cooperation when the line is a lot closer.

In this case, though I had nothing, I just asked the court to do what was fundamentally right. I got the opposing party to agree with me (which in this court still does not guarantee the judge will rule in your favor) and ended up getting the result we wanted in the end.