The Glass Half Full

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Today’s topic is simple: how do you practice law and remain optimistic about the world and life in general? Is it possible to do it for any length of time and not get jaded? 

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Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 6:36 pm

FIRST! TTHHWWAACCKK! #FreeTheGlass

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 6:38 pm

One observation I have made in my 20 years is that many, not all, PI Defense counsel become jaded. There are certain defense attorneys/firms who have never met an honest Plaintiff that was legitimately injured. On the other hand, I believe that most PI attorneys generally understand when their client has credibility issues.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 7:45 pm
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Not that that stops most PI attorneys.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 7:53 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

There's koolaid drinkers on both sides for sure.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 6:44 pm

This isn't directly on topic, but I am someone who really tries to be a good listener. I am beginning to question whether this is actually to my benefit. More and more, when someone comes to me with a problem or concern, I sit and listen. I do not interrupt. I ask follow up questions both to clarify and confirm that I understand. Then, when it is my turn to speak, I am interrupted. Often. This continues even after I politely note that I did not interrupt them and would appreciate being heard. The most upsetting was when my boss came into my office this week, irritated with a situation. I listened, I asked follow up questions and confirmed I understood what he was saying. Then, when I tried to explain he had misunderstood something fundamental to his concern, he kept interrupting me and I wasn't ever able to speak. But it wasn't just this one instance. It happens to me a lot. I try to be respectful to opposing counsel in hearings and wait to speak, but get interrupted anyway. To the extent that I do understand what other people are saying, it is of little value because I don't ever get the opportunity to fully explain myself and be heard. I see others communicate more effectively, but I am clearly missing something.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 8:18 pm
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I have been noticing recently that I can barely get one sentence out in any work related conversation without getting interrupted incessantly.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 8:39 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

1:18 PM,

11:44 AM here. When you say recently, what time frame do you mean? What do you think has changed recently? Why do you think this happens to you?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 9:32 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

For what it's worth, most folks really don't enter into a conversation to discuss anything. They want affirmation, or to have attention paid to them, or really anything other than a real conversation. I think it's actually quite great that you give of yourself to have a conversation, but you might just understand that it's not going to lead to enlightenment for the other person because they don't want that. Transactional analysis is probably a bit dated, but the book "Games People Play" is pretty dead on for this topic.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 9:38 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

2:32,

11:44 AM here. Thank you for responding. I have not heard of that book, but I will read it. Thank you for the recommendation.

re: "For what it's worth, most folks really don't enter into a conversation to discuss anything."

This is true. I was driving home last night, irritated by this issue and had to accept that I cannot force others to change how they approach conversations, to what extent they listen or how they listen. But maybe there is something I can do to influence them? Not really sure what that would be. I don't think being a good listener, is itself, likely to induce someone else to be the same. In fact, many people just take advantage of it.

Given your observation, how do you approach conversations, 2:32 PM? Especially conversations that involve people explaining a grievance to you? What works and what doesn't, in your experience?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 15, 2022 4:35 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Thank you for being a great listener. It really matters. The world lacks men and women who will listen. Repeating back is even better. You have much improved your community by just listening and hearing!

To answer your question: my advice is don't give advice or make observations. As a parent I will tell you that is virtually impossible, and hot damn I give it to my kids straight. It does not abide, let me tell you.

The best you can do is ask some open ended questions that may or may not plant seeds that blossom into solutions. Once it becomes a habit it comes fairly easy. In trial a brilliant re-direct can blunt a withering cross any day.

When I finally started practicing listen, hear, and ask open ended questions, my professional life improved tremendously. My client, and my kids still drive me nuts.

Take the wins where you can.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 15, 2022 4:46 pm
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I forgot this part: the only time I don't hold back any more is with a judge who is fucking with my case. Not one of those fuckers in the robes is allowed to fuck with my case. I have been threatened with contempt and genuinely hope one of these fuckers is stupid enough to pull the trigger. I will make you my hobby for what's left on my clock.

We are advocates.

I take losing with grace. A solid judge who puts my case down in a substantively and procedurally sound manner is a fine judge who gets nothing but respect from me.

I take fucking with my case, my client, and being fast and loose with the law and rules of evidence as acts of total war that demand I respond in kind.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 6:45 pm

Anyone see the Dateline episode about Susan Winters? It was pretty interesting.
I thought Tony Sgro came off really well. My one takeaway was that I am not sure how many other lawyers would be able to convince the DA's office to take a second look at a criminal case. I assume it had a lot to do with David Roger being partners with Sgro. It was odd that Dateline never mentioned this fact.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 6:52 pm

Still trying to wrap my head around Smith's, Vons, and Albertsons all being owned by the same company. Not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing (particularly for insurance defense firms who might get squeezed out by merger). Walmart, Target, Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, etc. have changed the grocery game.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 7:18 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Kroger and Albertsons merger will adversely affect Nevada consumers. Here is why. Kroger will own the competition–Albertsons and Vons. Albertsons was one time thinking of leaving the Las Vegas and Nevada markets because there were too many stores. The merger will cause Albertsons to sell/divest stores. It will ultimately eliminte competetion. It is really a bad thing for Nevada consumers. The new buyers of Albertsons and Vons will not make it and those stores will close. Going to the supermarket will be a major hassle like it is in Calfornia particularly LA, San Diego and Inland Empire. There will be crowds and long waits. I hope this does not happen. There will really be no competition in supermarkets. Prices will rise (on top of infaltion) and there will be long lines. Going to the supermarket will be an evening, a morning or afternoon. Add that to a busy schedule and hectic life in Vegas.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 7:38 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

A long time ago, I was told that the profit margin for a major supermarket chain was near one (1%) percent. Reducing the number of brick-and-mortar locations make sense if you can keep the same total volume of sales.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 7:46 pm

The Dude abides.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 7:51 pm

To the original question: Finding card breaks. Feeds the inner gambler and collector.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 8:30 pm

You just have to practice in the right area. I have been moving from litigation to estate planning and transactional work. Life is much better. All my clients think I am the bees knees. It's great.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 9:30 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

No one who is looking to avoid stress should go into anything that involves Probate Court right now. You will die before the cases that you file ever get completed.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 9:46 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

1:30 here, you are right that it is an absolute shitshow and ridiculously behind, but it isn't stressful. Just takes longer. I also don't handle contested cases, so that might be part of it.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 9:17 pm

Three Questions:
1. Are most 8th Judicial District judges competent or incompetent?
2. Are most 8th Judicial District civil judges pro-plaintiff, pro-defendant or neutral?
3. Is the 8th Judicial District a fair venue for defendants from a judicial standpoint?

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 10:05 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

1. It's traditionally been about 40% competent, 60% incompetent.

2. More pro-plaintiff. These people need campaign money and they ain't getting it from defense firms and insurance companies. Bob Eglet, on the other hand . . .

3. In smaller injury cases, the defense has a slight advantage. Anything over $50k, advantage plaintiff.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 10:06 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 14, 2022 11:30 pm

I've been practicing just over a decade now. For me, the negativity I felt was always more about my bosses — other attorneys — than the actual lawyering. I've been on my own now for a couple years and really happy. My only complaint is that I'm busier than I'd like to be, which always sounds stupid to say.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 15, 2022 12:14 am

IDK Dayvid.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 15, 2022 12:58 am

Your periodic reminder that woke white women are the absolute worst, and almost single-handedly responsible for all the evil we currently face societally.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 15, 2022 4:04 am
Reply to  Anonymous

This comment takes the title for possibly the truest statement ever made on this blog, sorry equal rights poster from yesterday.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 15, 2022 4:27 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

A bit over the top but very true.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 17, 2022 12:28 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Fact check: True.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 15, 2022 8:18 pm

Ran across this site today. The professor has performed a public service here.

https://famous-trials.com/

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 16, 2022 2:24 pm

To the attorney being interrupted. I have found it was more of a problem when I was less experienced. As you gain experience and respect you are more listened to by others. That said, civil litigators are less inclined to listen to others as they have been trained to constantly advocate their position and they so all the time.

Anonymous
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Anonymous
October 16, 2022 8:05 pm

Listening to this podcast interview regarding the Jones trials reminded me of the judge I clerked for who would bend backwards, forwards, and sideways, to avoid entering default judgement. Now I appreciate this far more than I did then.

https://tomwoods.com/ep-2219-the-absurd-alex-jones-trials/