In case you missed it…
by Taylor Wilson

On January 15th, a panel consisting of Judge Melissa Bellan, Michael K. Hurst, and Saba Syed accompanied by moderator Stephen Huschka discussed Ending Rambo Litigation – Embracing an Age of Civility. While the panel had entertaining war stories to share, they also focused on specific do’s and don’ts we can abide by as young lawyers. Pressure on young associates can come from clients or senior attorneys, but remember judges want to see professional arguments not personal attacks so abide by the following list:

  • Keep your cool – in the face of a Rambo litigator acting condescending or inappropriately, just keep your cool because eventually the tape or the transcript will get out and people will hear about it (including the judge).
  • Don’t be full of BS with things that don’t matter – don’t set yourself up to be someone whom others doubt when it comes to communicating between lawyers and judges because when it does matter or the excuse is real, they won’t believe you.
  • Authenticity wins every time – with the judge, with other lawyers, and especially with the jury.
  • Read the Dallas Lawyer’s Creed and the Texas Lawyer’s Creed – it actually goes into very specific detail about how attorneys are supposed to interact and is great for new attorneys to learn the practice.
  • Call more and email less – communication is key to keeping things civil!
  • Finally, this case will be done, but these lawyers are forever – we have a small legal community in Dallas and you will run into these lawyers again!

With so many great nuggets of advice, it was hard to keep the list short. Civility has to be practiced every day to keep moving away from Rambo litigation.