All posts tagged: legal ethics

What it Means to”Think Like a Lawyer”

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Heroes

I have always been puzzled by the venerable phrase “thinking like a lawyer.” What does it mean and should we take it as a  compliment or a put-down? I think the idea is  best captured by a metaphor trial lawyers sometimes  use to describe the craft of a colleague they especially admire or an adversary they fear — he or she can “see out the front.”  It means the ability to look over a complex […]

True Grit

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Book/film List / Legal Fictions

If you had to choose a law partner from the characters in Better Call Saul, who would you choose? I’d pick Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn).  When you consider the alternatives it’s really an easy decision,  When he’s not busy playing sycophant,  Howard (Patrick Fabian) is a tyrant.   Chuck (Michael McKean) is paranoid, arrogant, and more than a little weird.  And then there’s charming Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk), the one  with a moral screw missing. But […]

The Art of Herding Coyotes

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Book/film List / Legal Fictions

It’s hard for lawyers not to be envious of scientists, fellow professionals who seem to continually come up with discoveries that improve the human condition while law muddles through from one crisis to the next. Dan Flores’ book Coyote America may help us to better understand why law seems so fallible. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/coyote-america-dan-flores-history-science/ The book is about coyotes, not law, but its discussion of “Old Man Coyote”, the mythical beast that is featured in thousands of […]

Villain or Victim?

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Book/film List / Repairing the System / Repairing The Systen

Movies can not only provide great entertainment, but also raise issues well worth our consideration. Spotlight is a good example. It tells how a team of investigative reporters broke the story of widespread child abuse by Catholic priests in Boston that the church hierarchy was covering up. So it’s primarily a press story; but lawyers also play an important role from start to finish One is a solo practitioner, Mitchell Garabedian (Stanley Tucci) who has […]

The Right Virtue at the Right Time

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Book/film List

Lawyers are notorious for being clever, finding the right story to tell at the right time to win their case.  But we must admit that sometimes lawyers become so clever they outsmart themselves. In fact, some lawyers are so good at playing professional games that they forget exactly who they are when they take off their professional masks. That’s when it’s time to take a look at Robert Bolt’s play about Thomas More A Man […]

Saul Goodman for the Defense

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Book/film List

We know that popular entertainments give a distorted picture of how real lawyers work. But these distortions sometimes can turn our attention to important aspects of lawyering we too often ignore.  I think Episode 2 of the AMC’s new series Better Call Saul  gives us a master class in the mechanics of the lawyerly art of   persuasion. Here is a link to the episode. You need only watch the first 30 minutes. http://www.amctv.com/shows/better-call-saul/episodes/season-1/mijo             At the […]