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Does First Place Law Matter?

I am enjoying the NBA basketball finals, even though they keep me up late at night. Throughout the years, I have watched a lot of sports. I am always reminded that no one remembers who came in second. Only first place matters.


That’s why there are no foam hands for fans to hold up, with two fingers showing.

In television, stations have figured out a way to claim first, even if everyone claims to be in first.

For marketing purposes, CBS, NBC and ABC all try to market their dominance to advertisers so they can charge higher rates. CBS claims to be the nation’s most watched network. NBC reminds us that they are number one among viewers in the age bracket of 18 to 49. ABC tells us that it is first in entertainment marketing. Of course, in that claim, they do not include sports since NBC has the highly rated Sunday Night Football.

Long ago, our firm decided not to focus on titles of best, first or most. On our website, we do not discuss money. Of course, I was reminded by a sage lawyer when I first started, that large settlements or verdicts do not necessarily mean quality of representation. As he put it, “the best way to get a million dollar verdict is to try a 3 million dollar case poorly”.

I am in the midst of interviewing lawyers for positions in our Richmond and Virginia Beach offices. Usually I say to them that I am looking for applicants with good minds, who care about people. A basketball coach once said, “you can’t teach height”.

In law, you can learn how to research, organize your evidence, maybe periodically try a good case, or even try to work harder than the opposing party. It’s hard to teach mind; And more importantly, hard to teach “having heart”.

To date, I haven’t seen anyone awarding Largest Lawyers’ Heart, but I think that’s the person who I would want working with me. Lawyers who claim to be super can keep their capes at their own office. I appreciate the person who tells me a story of “why it matters”. That’s just my 2 cents on that. (well, I guess I did mention money)

And for pic o’ day, speaking of good mind and understanding instructions…


Law Library Cleanup

Because of our law firm growth, we are making preparations to move the Richmond office. That means going through “stuff” including what to take or what to throw out in our the law library.

Technology has sure changed when it comes to legal research. Not only do you no longer need to travel to a local law library for research; you also rarely look at hardcover law books. Everything including codes and statutes are on the Internet, or are accessible through online research subscription.

I have been throwing out many of our old law magazines or scanning old articles to our system. The following quotes came from some past dusty “Trial” magazines. In the back of each magazine is a section called “Hearsay”. The following were some of the recited quotes with their background stories, from those old magazine articles:

Yes I stole the bottles but not this chocolate.” Words from a 19-year-old shoplifter who was apprehended by police, after shoplifting two bottles of liquor. In his mind, chocolate is a whole lot worse to steal than alcohol. There certainly are some jurors who would recommend a higher sentence for chocolate!

Please change the lunch menu! You and only you can sustain or overrule this request.”   Words from a letter that was read in open court by Judge  Donner of Miami, at the conclusion of a trial. It had been written by six members of the jury who had just served; who wished to thank the Judge for their opportunity to serve, but to also point out a plea for better midday meals.

Probably the most expensive McDonald’s salad ever sold.” Words uttered by Judge Robert Freedberg, after he affirmed the conviction of Pennsyvania resident, Dawn Higgins, who was found guilty of littering. She had thrown her lettuce leaves from her McDonald’s salad out of her car window. Then, after failing to initially appear in court, she was found guilty in absentia and fined $173.50.

It doesn’t come very often that a good man comes to your doorstep.” Neighbors complained about the noise that was coming from Lorna Dudash’s house in Oregon, causing the sheriff’s office to send a deputy out to talk to her. After the deputy left, Dudash called 911 and asked that the “cutie pie” officer be sent back to her house so that she could ask him for a date. He did return, but apparently didn’t have much sympathy; He then arrested her for abusing the emergency dispatch system.

For pic o’ day, since we are working on some technology upgrades, I thought that this would be in the same spirit!



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