51. Everyone has his own way of doing things. When serving the needs of a client, partner or judge, serve his needs, not some generic recipient of your services. To do that, get to know your recipient – what he likes and what he doesn’t.
52. Make a list of your strengths and weaknessesas a lawyer. Pick one of your weaknesses and work on it this year. If you write poorly, read some books on writing, maybe take a class. If you are a poor public speaker, consider joining Toastmasters. Tackle the weaknesses, one at a time.
53. Also make a list of your goals for the next year. So many of us have a strategy when it comes to our cases, but many of us do not have one when it comes to our lives.
54. Know your opposing counsel. Look at his website, his jury verdicts and published opinions. Ask around about the type of lawyer he is.
55. Know your judge. Read the appellate opinions that have upheld his rulings and those that have overturned them. Know what his judicial philosophy is and most importantly, what his pet peeves are.
56. Jury verdicts are a great way to calculate what the non-economic damages claims are worth.
57. Prepare every case as if it’s going to trial, not as if it’s going to settle, even though most do.
58. Always keep a clean desk. You look like you are in control when you do, even if secretly, you are not.
59. A complaint is a ticking time bomb. A good plaintiff’s attorney has investigated his case, has lined up his witnesses, has procured his documents and has developed his case theme before he has filed suit. He is waiting for you to answer to set the case for trial. It’s up to you to diffuse that bomb and you don’t have much time to do so.
60. Even if the other guy filed the complaint,you direct the litigation. Be proactive.