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Maybe it's different over here, but I reasonably often find that the people opposing me are people I know quite well anyway: we were friends at law school or whatever.

Carolyn Elefant

Frankly, I don't know that your colleague's "no extension policy" is necessarily the best approach. My experience is that in most situations, where opposing counsel needs extra time to respond to a motion or make a filing, the court's going to allow it - unless it's a regular event. If an attorney has to go to the court for an extension because your colleague wouldn't agree, it's your colleague who's going to look like a jerk. I don't see how that serves the client's interest.


For the record, my colleague's style is definitely not mine, and I do not mean to endorse it here. I just mean to relay my experiences, having had the opportunity to observe it in action on many occasions.


I always wonder why lawyers are ever rude or unpleasant -- is rudeness a tactic to get what they want and why do they think rudeness works? I really don't understand it; doesn't it just force the other side to dig in its heels more and commit more strongly to the oppposite postion?

My goal in any kind of negotiation is to be gracious but firm; it can be a tough balance especially when the other side is not so polite, but I think it's effective. I have evolved over nearly seven years from "aw shucks" to "gracious but firm" -- but I am not too proud to go the "aw shucks" route from time to time, or even quite a lot, if I am dealing with unfamiliar issues. And I am also not so gracious that I won't bite back if opposing counsel is overtly rude.


I'm not sure how the fact that you're a woman plays in. I kind of feel like women are more likely to go your "aw shucks" route than men, especially the men that are competitive enough to become lawyers. (So far in law school, it seems as though the men are here to be competitive, and the women are here because they genuinely like it.)


I follow the same route - as a junior lawyer, it is easy to play a little dumb - but as far as extensions etc., I'm generous until I feel that it hasn't been reciprocated - at which point I immediately turn into a complete jerk.


I'm not in the legal biz so I can only comment as a general observer of people. I find people who feel they have to be the domineering know it all types to be off putting.

Rather, to me, if I had to pick a lawyer to help me out of a jam, I'd go for one with quiet confidence.

I was told when UCLA b-ball coach John Wooden was asked how his teams from the 60's would fare against today's athletes, he was reported to have said, with a smile and a twinkle in his eye, we would do alright.

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oh boy... how this brings back wonderful memories. babies are glorious.

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I have read not one article on your blog. You're a big lad

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