May 16th, 2016

Zen Lawyer Volume II

 

patMy Zen Lawyer Blog was started in April 2010. We have tried to use non-copyrighted internet photographs or illustrations to support our blog content. All blog written content has been drafted by Patrick Trudell and edited by Patrick Trudell.

Several months ago out of caution, and to insure compliance with copyright law, we deleted almost all of the illustrations and photographs that supported our initial blog content. We have now made arrangements to only post photographs or illustrations that are original to us or that we have express prior approval to post.

This has lead us to re-post prior blog content. Prior blog content that is being re-posted has been re-edited.  Additionally, we will be continuing to post new content so the blog is a combination of updating prior posts  and continuing to post new content.

 

    May 6th, 2010

    Simon Rifkind Part Two

    Recall from last post, Simon Rifkind teaches lawyers and parties are “actors” in the trial.  Even when neither client nor lawyer have lines they remain on stage. Members of the audience (jurors) are potentially observing lawyer and/or client when other witnesses are testifying.

    From my experience Rifkind is right. From a client standpoint the biggest mistake occurs when the client appears to be too involved with their lawyer in trying the case. This is off plot. The lawyer is the person who is expected to try the case. When the client appears to be telling the lawyer what to do, or when the client appears too strident, jurors dislike the client; the client loses the image of the hero and becomes a wanna be lawyer. The client will lose their case when this happens.

    From the lawyer’s perspective it is essential to remain like a duck. A duck looks calm above the water but below the water unobserved the duck is paddling briskly to stay afloat. The lawyer must keep a cool demeanor in the face of trial adversity. The lawyer must show professionalism to opposition counsel, witnesses, court staff  and the judge. The lawyer should never appear to be a bully or out of control. There is nothing wrong with destroying an opposition witness, and this at times needs to be done, but it needs to be performed calmly, methodically and with professionalism.

    It is also important to recognize that unlike a play the stage in a trial is anywhere a juror may observe client or lawyer or witnesses. Rifkind would agree to dress and act like going to and being in church at all times anywhere near the courthouse. This will not in and of itself win the case but it will certainly not lose the case.

      May 5th, 2010

      Lessons from Simon Rifkind Part One

       

      As a young lawyer I read everything I could by Simon Rifkind. Mr. Rifkind was a Wall Street lawyer and partner in the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind. He was appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, as Federal Judge, Southern District of New York, where he served from 1941-1950. He voluntarily left the federal bench because he was bored by poor lawyering which was the rule rather than the exception.

      Mr. Rifkind’s passion was trying cases. He was a pure trial lawyer-a renaissance lawyer- in that he immersed himself into a new field in most of his trials.  He did this to grow in new areas. This allowed him to learn about life by trying cases.

      Once a case gets to trial Simon Rifkind believes the same dynamics take place. These are the dynamics of trial. To Rifkind a trial is a play. There is a hero (usually his client) and a villain (usually the opposition). The jury is the audience, the judge, lawyers, and witnesses are actors. The lawyer has a unique position as he is both an actor and the producer of the play. Rifkind teaches trials like plays must have a theme. The theme should announce the client’s cause with the ends of justice. The audience will find a way to apply the law so the hero wins and justice prevails.

        April 22nd, 2010

        Welcome to Zen Lawyer Seattle

        Welcome to the launch of the Zen Lawyer Seattle blog, brought to you by Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer Patrick Trudell.

        This is my new blog page. I am a personal injury lawyer representing injured people. The photo is of my wife Kristina and me.

        My blog is titled Zen Lawyer Seattle because I practice law in the Seattle area, and believe a key to life and law is living in the present. I am working on doing this as well as encouraging my clients to appreciate the present.

        When a client is the victim of a personal injury it is difficult to accept the present and the injury.  This is important to do because the only way out of the injury is to attack it in the present through medical treatment and working toward recovery by being as active as possible. The key is being Zen- like: accept the reality of the injury, without blame or feeling victimized, recognize you hold the key to recovery, and recovery lies with your decision to move forward in the present to regain what you have lost through injury.