My Mantra

In 2010 I posted a Thought of the Week termed Philosophy of Navy Squash. This philosophy has become my mantra. I personally go through the Navy Squash motto on a regular basis, especially before and during a trial.

Prepare for Your Mission. To try the case we must know the case. This means knowing our client’s story. Our client’s story starts with knowing our client’s background, unique activities, especially those impacted by her injuries, the mechanism of injury, her treatment and our client today. Once we have internalized our client’s story and can discuss it from the heart we are prepared for our mission.

Believe in Yourself. To succeed in trial we must have confidence in our ability to advocate our client’s case. We must believe as in know we can do the job. This comes from a combination of thorough preparation and self acknowledgment of being a capable and effective trial lawyer.

Accept the Possibility of Failure. It took me a while to understand  this third prong of the Navy Squash motto. We are programmed to prepare to win and think we will win. But to win we must be ourselves. To be ourselves we must overcome the natural fear of being disliked by the jury. Accepting the possibility of failure allows us to relax and try the case naturally. Stated another way accepting the possibility of failure divorces us from being result orientated during trial. We are at our best when we forget about possible results and focus on the trial moment doing the best we can in the trial moment. Before a trial I have a silent communion with myself in essence a mediation where I acknowledge and internalize the possibility of failure. This is an important step in reaching the state I need to be in in trial-freely living in the trial moment.

Give Your Best Effort. This is different than believing in yourself. This is the doing part of the equation. This means living the trial from start to finish. Although it is essential to prepare for the trial, all trial lawyers know a trial takes a life of its own. We must adapt as this occurs. Adaptation means fine tuning and at times retooling in the day during trial and at night before the next trial day. Giving our best effort means a solid focused work effort from start to finish.

Never, Never Quit on Yourself. The great trial lawyer Paul Luvera teaches trial is a battle. There will be times when the other side is scoring points. There will be times when things do not go as planned. There may be times when things go bad. The key is to never stop battling. The Navy Squash team built its winning tradition by contesting every point to the end.  We must do this in trial.

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