Tuesday, January 9, 2018

3 Keys to Effective Advocacy

Lawyers often act as advocates on behalf of their clients.  To be effective, it is important for a lawyer to focus on the client's goals, prepare thoroughly, and be a credible advocate.  These points are discussed more fully in my blog post on the Lawyer & Statesman website, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Expert Witnesses

Expert witnesses who testify in litigation can express opinions about matters within the scope of their expertise.  A highly qualified and credible expert witness can help a party present a persuasive case.  Factors to consider in hiring an expert witness are discussed in my blog post, "Hiring Expert Witnesses," which can be found on the website of The Bar Association of San Francisco by clicking on this link.

When cross-examining an adverse party's expert witness, the goals are to minimize the adverse impact of the expert's testimony and, if possible, to obtain concessions from the expert that support your case.  A pretrial deposition of the expert can provide a foundation for an effective cross-examination at trial.  Specific tips for taking the deposition of an adverse expert are presented in my blog post on NWSidebar, an online publication of the Washington State Bar Association, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Dealing with a Client's Feelings and Emotions

When a client is in the midst of a legal problem, the relevant legal issues are only part of the client's experience.  Some clients want to be able to express their feelings and emotions about the situation to their lawyer.  Ways to deal with a client's feelings and emotions that can strengthen the attorney-client relationship are discussed in my recent blog post on the Lawyer & Statesman website, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Monday, October 23, 2017

How to Deal with Difficult People

Sometimes we have to deal with people who really are difficult.  Dealing with difficult people presents a particular challenge for lawyers.  An adversarial response intended to change the behavior of difficult people, or to "put them in their place," will usually be counterproductive.  Effective ways to deal with difficult people without becoming reactive and adversarial are discussed in my recent blog post on the Lawyer & Statesman website, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Communicating with People Who are Not Lawyers

As a result of our legal training, and in some cases our predisposition, lawyers are inclined to communicate in a logical and linear fashion and to rely on reasoning to persuade other people.  Yet people who are not lawyers are more likely to make decisions based on their intuition or "gut feeling," and then use reasons to justify their decision to themselves and to other people.  Strategies lawyers can use to communicate effectively with non-lawyers are discussed in my recent blog post on the Lawyer & Statesman website, which can be accessed by clicking on this link.  Additional information can be found in chapter two of my book, The Art of Practicing Law: A Practical Guide for Lawyers.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How to Be an Effective Leader

People who have leadership positions in an organization will be most effective if they develop good leadership skills.  They will create a positive work environment in which members of the organization are motivated and feel empowered to contribute their best efforts.  In the case of law firms, a study performed for the Association of Legal Administrators found that the financial success of a firm depends in large part on the leadership skills of the firm's partners. Some of the ways to be an effective leader are discussed in my recent blog post on the Lawyer & Statesman website which can be accessed by clicking on this link.  Leadership skills for lawyers are discussed more fully in the first three chapters of my book, The Art of Practicing Law: A Practical Guide for Lawyers.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

How to Create Solid Client Relationships

I have recently started writing a monthly blog for Lawyer & Statesman, a website sponsored by The National Jurist.  My first blog post, "How to Create Solid Client Relationships," can be accessed by clicking on this link.