21
Apr

Start Kidding Yourself?

Is a high capacity for self-deception a net positive or net negative trait for a litigator to have?  As noted in many recent articles in the mainstream media, studies show that self-deception can be a powerful tool for persuading (or fooling) others, and persuading others is a big part of what we do.  There’s no doubt that many successful people are self-deceptive.  As William von Hippel and Robert Trivers explained in a 2011 article, self-deception can “help ...

02
Dec

New rules went into effect yesterday, December 1, 2013, making the process of requiring non-parties to appear for testimony or to produce documents simpler in cases in federal district court and also clarifying or resolving issues regarding the scope of the subpoena power.  The new rules are stated in an amended Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. New Rule 45 allows subpoenas issued from the district in which the action is pending to be served and be ...

19
Nov

Get Me Out of This

Warren Zevon – underappreciated musical genius – died a little over ten years ago on September 7, 2003. I’ve been a Zevon fan for years. Recently, in the midst of a nostalgic romp through his catalog, I was musing about “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” the closing track from his classic 1978 album Excitable Boy. The song ends: I'm hiding in Honduras I'm a desperate man Send lawyers, guns and money The s**t has hit the fan Here’s the origin story, from the man ...

03
Sep

Gadgets, Posture & Power

Litigators are expected to be assertive.  Not necessarily aggressive or obnoxious, but assertive.  This is as true for easygoing “Type Bs” as it is for high-strung “Type As.”  So what lessons are litigators to draw from this Harvard University study showing that men and women using relatively larger electronic gadgets behave more assertively than folks using relatively smaller gadgets? Well, simply ditching your iPhone 4S for a “phablet” (an execrable term) like the new Galaxy Mega won’t do much ...