Lawyering Skills

We have suggestions regarding legal writing, client communication, continuing legal education, and more. You will also want to review our posts on legal ethics, practice management, and legal marketing.

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rule-11-sanctions

Dealing with Rule 11 Threats and Motions

"I have had a number of threats for Rule 11, but only one firm had the balls to actually file one, and the judge ordered them to pay my fees for having to respond."

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What Jurors Think About Attorneys

Regardless of the verdict given, what attorney—having argued a case—hasn’t come away wishing for more insight into the minds and perceptions of the jurors? Given ten years of data from systematic surveys of jurors, some patterns in their responses emerge.

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How to Increase Focus and Productivity with Mindfulness

So, what exactly is mindfulness and why should lawyers care? The simple answer is that practicing mindfulness will help you be a happier human being and a better lawyer.

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How to Prepare for Oral Argument

The key to better oral argument is to get away from your outline and use a more "modular" approach when preparing.

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Learn to Deal with Mentally-Ill Clients

It is not your imagination; some of your clients really are mentally ill. In fact, depending on the kind of law you practice, the percentage of your potential client base with a diagnosable personality disorder is probably substantially higher than the average.

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The Best Lawyers Demonstrate the Best Ways to Attack Adverse Authority

What should you do when your opponent cites authority in a motion or brief that appears directly on point? Panic. After you finish panicking, you need to determine two threshold issues.

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A Civil Justice System With No Trials

"If we continue on the current path, our judicial branch will look far different 25 years from how it does today—and we may not like what we see."

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Proper Deposition Objections

Whether you are defending (or taking) your first or your hundredth deposition, you must be ready to handle objections. That means knowing which objections are proper and which are not. Once you know, you can keep the deposition proceeding smoothly — and avoid embarrassing yourself.

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Know Your Weaknesses

We look at how to evaluate your own weaknesses, and how the knowledge of those weaknesses can help you turn them into strengths.

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Learning from Others

Instead of discussing iOS7 today, I wanted to share some lessons from people much smarter than me. Michael Dell, Thomas Edison, Oprah, and Warren Buffett all weigh in on values that can make you a better person, and a better lawyer.

library of congress

Your Favorite Author And The Power of Persuasion

Thinking about what non-legal writing you find persuasive and a joy to read can help you be a better legal writer.

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Learning Negotiation from an FBI Agent

Eric Barker, a contributor for Wired.co.uk and owner of the blog “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” sat down with Chris Voss to talk about negotiation. Normally that wouldn’t pique anyone’s interest, unless they knew that Chris Voss is a former member of the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit, and the former lead international kidnapping negotiator. He […]

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Court Practices May Ignore Your Fax Filing While A Default Is Taken Against You

Many courts allow filings by fax, but when you need it most and are up against a deadline, what happens if the court does not handle your filing in a timely fashion? What if the other side seeks a default while your faxed filing gathers dust?

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Faux Words of Precision—Part 1

It's a popular myth that "words of precision" make contracts more precise. This is the first of a two-part series devoted to debunking that myth.

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News Flash: Read Before You Sign

Repetitive work can lead to attorneys becoming overconfident and even lazy when handling cases. Don't let yourself fall into that trap: make sure you read before signing a document.