Avoir le dernier mot, qu’importe? ~ Does getting in the last word matter?

French Presidential Candidate Ségolène Royal tries too hard to hang on to the last word.  La candidate Ségolène Royal essaie trop fort d’avoir le dernier mot. (Watch how many times during the segment 1:50-3:00 she points her finger at him.  Durant le segment 1:50-3:00, combien de fois lui montre-t-elle son doigt?) Les avocats et les… Read More

L’Humour juridique – jamais insolite, mais souvent efficace

Dans l’article du Accidental Mentor du mai 2013, “The Persuasive Art of Coded Understatement,” j’ouvre la Boîte de Pandore.  Qui utilise l’humeur dans le monde juridique?  Et qui devrait bien l’éviter?  Les avocats et les avocates peuvent vous faire rigoler, mais ceci n’est pas, ou ne doit pas, être le but.  Sans blague. Terms of use / Mentions… Read More

Choisissez le ‘nouveau’ professionnalisme juridique

Le droit et le combat (For English version, click here or click on the image – right) Les outils de notre métier sont-ils les insultes et les arguments ad hominem? Est-ce que nous allons collaborer à la suppression des puissances des avocats plaideurs?  Suivrons-nous le « mouvement de civilité » en droit canadien?  Ou devons-nous… Read More

Guetter bien le juge / Eyes on the judge!

Avez-vous des collègues ou des adversaires qui ne vous écoutent point?  Ils ou elles tombent amoureux ou amoureuses de leur propre parole.  Hélas, durant un colloque au Barreau du haut-Canada, j’ai témoigné une conférencière qui monologuait sans cesse.  Elle ne regardait jamais à l’audience, et ne savait que personne ne suivait ce qu’elle disait depuis… Read More

Winning at a meeting

Clients hire lawyers to fight their battles, but ultimately they want you to show them the peace, and to take them there. Unfortunately, we teach our lawyers to be technical wizards but leave it to chance whether they learn the law’s most basic skill: how to mobilize a gathering of people.  In 2012, winning does… Read More

Stop, look and listen

To a France Inter audience this past weekend, American journalist and Obama-watcher David Page commented the U.S. President’s rise to the world’s top political job virtually from nowhere can be attributed at least in part to a technique described at pedestrian rail crossings: Stop, Look and Listen.  What can lawyers learn from this? (la version… Read More

How to lead a witness into a trap

Classic military theory had soldiers hiding in tall grass or in pits or trenches. Ambush, relying entirely on the element of surprise, was always risky because no one could predict what would happen after the surprise wore off. (la version française suit) To confuse the adversary, you will need to be confusing You still see… Read More

The Litigation Pendulum – One explanation for lots of motions

In its place now gleams the portico of the Toronto opera house.  The original home of the Commercial List of the Ontario Court (General Division) was a courtroom on the second floor of a near-condemned “145 Queen Street West.” (la version française suit) As junior lawyer, this was my home away from home for one… Read More

Judges and juries read lips – how to make them do it

We hear with our eyes, as well as our ears.  If you have any doubt about this, try having a conversation with the back of someone’s head. (la version française suit) That’s right, do it now.  If you’re at the office, play it out with a colleague or a member of your staff.  If you’re… Read More

Dealing with judgitis

Understand the job descriptions (la version française suit) As a lawyer appearing before the court, you are being paid to plead the case and present evidence. As in the BBC radio game, Just a minute, you must do so without “hesitation, deviation or repetition.” Provided you do this, the judge’s job is to listen. Or,… Read More