The Art of War is a Chinese military treatise, written by Sun Tzu, during the 6th Century B.C. It is thirteen chapters outlining strategies and tactics for war and is still considered a definitive work on these topics.
Law 29 involves planning:
“Plan All the Way to the End The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.”
At the end of the Vietnam War, U.S. citizens knew to evacuate because they previously had been advised that when Saigon fell, the signal for all Americans to evacuate was Bing Crosby’s song, White Christmas, playing loudly on the radio. It was Operation IV in effect to direct everyone to evacuation helicopters. (story here)
Planning ahead importance? Here’s another story of planning ahead for survival. Playing cards were issued to U.S. and British pilots during World War II. But these weren’t just your everyday cards. Instead, this deck of cards was special. They became known as Map Deck. If a pilot was captured, these could be soaked in water and unfolded to reveal a top secret routes of escape to help prisoners of war to escape from German POW camps. (Story)
There are so many analogies in the Art of War that can be applied to the world of courtroom and trials. One example relates to the opening and closing arguments. By the time that I get to trial, I am pretty certain of all the evidence that will be introduced at trial by both sides. The concept of trial by ambush, where some surprising piece of evidence gets introduced at the last minute, should not occur with proper pretrial discovery.
That little summary really means that openings can be prepared long before trial, and my closing is usually prepared before trial starts. I usually tweak my closing argument during trial, but it can best be described that proper preparation means that the entrance and exit are planned at the same time. All in the preparation. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail (Ben Franklin)
And for a Friday…. here’s one that makes me smile. Have a great weekend!!!!