Authored By: Iris Garrett
“An isolated litigation event is almost never isolated in its impact.” Sound advice for trial lawyers coming from John Balestriere in an article in Above the Law. He says keeping in mind the longer-term and broader consequences of even your seemingly simple litigation choices is an absolute must for those in the legal field, and that you may be required to think this way not only at key times-- like deciding whether to file suit versus settle or whether to answer or move to dismiss-- but always.
Here are some situations where Balestriere says lawyers need to think long-term about consequences:
- Depositions: Determining whom to depose, where to depose that person, who will depose them, and what questions you should and should not ask.
- Briefs: Deciding which argument to include in the brief, which authorities to cite and in what order to cite them.
- Clients: Figuring out how you discuss issues with your client, when to raise an issue, whom to raise it with, and how to raise it.
Balestriere says considering every consequence of every action may seem overly tactical or exhausting, but it is a good habit to develop. Not only will you appreciate this way of thinking, but so will your clients, and it will make winning their cases even easier. So, if you haven’t already started thinking long-term, Balestriere says to remember that it is part of what makes being a trial lawyer difficult, but also fun. Anyone who has the opportunity to hold such a tough job should be extremely thankful.
To read John Balestriere’s full article, click here.
Photo Credit: langstrup