Is belief in law logical?

Many years ago, I agreed to act for an elder of the Celestial Church of Christ, a religious order based in Nigeria.  A member of his congregation had asked him to be a “character reference” on a bank loan.  It turned out to be a guarantee on a sub-prime mortgage.  To make a long story… Read More

Mentoring diverse professionals: Let history be the teacher

The most difficult part of mentorship is convincing the new members of our profession that they belong.  The reason why anyone belongs anywhere is a question of history.  Whose grandfather took the train to Toronto?  Whose parents were rescued from a refugee camp?  Whose ancestors were brought here against their will?  How you arrived in… Read More

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

Beyond First Principles in Arbitration Practice

For many lawyers, barristers and solicitors, and corporate clients, commercial arbitration may seem like a parallel or alternate universe.  Not quite there.  Maybe not quite legal.  Certainly difficult to get past the initial ‘Take me to your leader’ moment with the denizens of the other world.  As a club of senior practitioners, the arbitral practice has… Read More

Managing “wasted time” – Dealing with non-lawyer adversaries

Few experiences in a lawyer’s work are as infuriating as having your time wasted by a lay adversary. But it is easy to allow frustration to steer you off the path to a desired outcome, or to a good result in litigation. The sooner you realize the futility of convincing someone incapable of understanding why… Read More