Three Ways To Improve Your ​Speaking

September 3, 2014

Americans are more afraid of public speaking than death. To Jerry Seinfeld that means if we go to a funeral we’d rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy. I have walked off stage to a thundering ovation and have been booed off by a swearing mob. Using the same material! I’ve also had […]

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Lessons on Winning Jury Trials from The Eagles

August 11, 2014

When a story begins in the present tense and touches our senses we are suddenly right there. Lessons abound for the courtroom, especially for opening statement and direct examination. As we learn from the fairy tales of our youth to the proverbial “two guys walk into a bar” great storytelling drops us right into the experience. The jury deserves the same.

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How a Lawyer’s Humor can help with Balance, Conflict and Civility

July 30, 2014

Originally published in San Diego Lawyer magazine, November 2009

Our work as lawyers is very difficult. The conflict and pressures we face are not normal or healthy. How do we lead a “normal” balanced life when our long work days are so often contentious?

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Dealing with the Difficult Lawyer

July 29, 2014

There is an opposing lawyer in one of my cases that wants-wants-wants everything her own way.  She wants me to give in on everything and whines when I don’t. Then I’m unreasonable.  Then I’m unfair. But ask her for anything and she shuts down like a slamming door, and then attacks me personally. I’ve tried to be patient.  I’ve […]

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Become a Better Speaker: Honor the Listener

July 22, 2014

I recently interviewed Josh Karton, a communication expert from Los Angeles, who helps lawyers all over America become better speakers and presenters. Josh, who has a dramatic arts background, explained that it’s often difficult to get lawyers to look up from notes and just speak to an audience. He told me it’s because our training in […]

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Lawyer Work Life Balance Comes from Mindset

July 15, 2014

What does a lawyer seeking work life balance need the most? Is it time management and To Do lists?  Or exercise?  Or less work? Maybe, but none of these will work without the most important element of all:  mindset. Mindset is the key to work life balance in the law.  Several years ago I was getting ready […]

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Why Purpose is a Key Part of the Foundation of Your Law Practice

July 8, 2014

Many years ago I started to study and speak on a topic I called Lawyer Happiness. Part of it involved the struggle to achieve balance for lawyers in their work and lives. During that study I attended a presentation on “Achieving Sacred Balance”. (Sign me up again…)  I learned there that balance and success depends […]

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Law and Humor Today: A Perspective

July 1, 2014

Law and humor collided recently when defense attorney Don West told a knock-knock joke to begin his opening statement in the trial of George Zimmerman.  (“Knock knock. Who’s there? George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman who?  Congratulations you’re on the jury.”) The joke went nowhere and West was almost universally panned:  “Inappropriate.  Astounding.  Unprofessional in such a […]

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