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Monday, September 26, 2011

What do you do when you don't like a judge's ruling?

Pick one:

1.  You say:  "Thank you, your honor."  Then you think about filing an appeal, if one's appropriate.
2.  You file a pleading that says, among other things:  "It is sad when a man of your intellectual ability cannot get it right when your own record does not support your half-baked findings."

Yep.  Someone picked #2.  Bad idea (here).  It was also a bad idea when the same person sent a bottle of wine to the judge to try to deal with the aftermath of the legal wrangling.

My guess--and I don't know this lawyer at all--is that the lawyer started to identify too personally with his client's case.  It's not that difficult to make that step from being your client's advocate to feeling as though your client's case is YOUR case and getting too overwrought when things aren't going your way.

There's a fine line between being an impassioned advocate and being someone who's too wrapped up in the case to be able to depersonalize things.  I remember being a baby lawyer and having a much-more-seasoned lawyer scream at me during a phone call.  I don't remember what the issue was, but I remember asking him why he was yelling at me.  As I explained, "This isn't your problem.  It's your client's problem.  So why are you yelling?"  He calmed down, and we worked well together thereafter.

Again:  the proper response when you disagree with a court's ruling?  "Thank you, your honor."

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