Sunday, September 26, 2010

Being a California Lawyer

I was invited to present at this year's Annual California State Bar Conference on the topic of "Winning your Case without going to Trial" with my colleague, Hon. Joe Hilberman. We had a great audience who were respectful, engaged and even, I dare say, introspective about the direction of access to justice and their own markers for professional success. The conference took place in sunny, beautiful Monterey, California and was, in almost every way, a breath of fresh air. I hadn't appreciated that I am so routinely surrounded by lawyers zealously advocating their client's positions, embroiled in conflict, adversarial that I had nearly forgotten how congenial, friendly, even intellectually engaged a group of lawyers can be when there are no client's around! The attendees were enormously diverse in age, geographic origin and perhaps even worldview (although not very diverse ethnically). Yet they came with a common purpose which probably began with securing their continuing education credit but ended with their broadening their education in areas of ethics, the psychology of bias, techniques and future-thinking in new areas of the law. In the end, new friendships and old were forged and we experienced that although advocates in the courtroom, we share more in common than differences. Great conference.

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