November 2010

typeface.jpgDesign is an important part of brief writing. And the font and layout you choose will have an impact on how the Court receives your brief. It certainly shapes how I feel about writing the brief and submitting it. I cannot see the Courier New Font without thinking of the research, writing, and advocacy in

Anger.JPGAnger is not a good mix with the practice of law. Yet, law is a profession that puts the practitioner in a position where things could make him angry all the time. Litigation, even appellate litigation, is a business of fighting and arguing. Ideally, it’s done in a very scholarly collegial way. Arguing in real life often involves anger. And unfortunatley it is not always so easy to take off the normal person hat when we put on the lawyer hat. Boundaries can break down if you’re not careful.

And that’s just half the job of a lawyer. You must also manage client expectations and be the lightining rod because you’re the closest representative of the judicial system around when bad news comes, when matters are delayed, and when you are taking a course of action that the client either doesn’t understand or doesn’t quite agree with. Miscommunications sometimes happen. So, there are about a million things that can happen in attorney client relationships that lend themselves to anger.

Then comes the judge. You can’t get angry at the judge. Or, at least you can’t show anger toward the judge. But sometimes it’s tough being told by a person in a robe or panels of judges in robe telling you how wrong you are. Generally, it’s all in a day’s work. But in the real world being told you’re wrong can be an anger-invoking moment. We try to be professional. Most of the time we are. But that sort of things could lend itself to anger in the real world.


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