The Barrister’s Toolbox will hit 50,000 Views today… Now What?

imageToday my blog will have 50,000 views for the over 107 posts I have authored on a number of topics that confronts today’s trial advocate.  My most read topic is about how to handle a deposition errata sheet. I find that quite surprising.  A young attorney from New York called to thank me for the post and followed up with a thank you card.  I still have that card on my desk to remind me why I take the time to blog.

It is nice to give back to the profession and job I love. Back in law school, I knew my goal was to become the best trial attorney and advocate possible.  I have worked on cases involving civil rights, personal injury, product liability, premises liability, defamation, false arrest, medical malpractice, murder, rape, pollution, RICO, wrongful death, mail fraud, gambling, counterfeiting, construction, drug trafficking, pollution, real estate, contract disputes and even a death penalty case.  A few things I take away from all of this is over the last three decades of practice:

  1. Talent is over rated and hard work is under valued.  An average attorney can out work and out hustle       a smarter attorney. Put the time in to do the job right. Always assume your opponent is smarter than you so as too not overlook any key details.
  2. If you get into a new or difficult case don’t be afraid to,ask for help from a more experienced colleague. Your client deserves that much. In fact, join a trial attorney association and participate in it. Seek out mentors… They will help you grow as a professional.
  3. Re beer your reputation and integrity are the most important asset you or your client have, never take a good case and try to make it a great case or you will be left with bad case.
  4. Always continue to learn and hone your skills as a trial attorney.  Otherwise, you will be left behind.
  5. Strive for excellence everyday, but accept the fact that you are only human and will make mistakes and fail from time to time. Embrace your mistakes as your best teachers. The worst mistakes we make are those we repeat. The first sign of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results.
  6. Take time to enjoy your life outside of the law. You need balance. While the law is a jealous mistress, it does mean your spouse should be a widow and your children orphans.
  7. The judge may not always be right, but the judge is always “the judge”.  Respect the office even if you don’t respect the man who holds the position.
  8. That being said never be afraid to hold firm in your position for a client.  Courage and fortitude are required. Politely make your record as needed and move on to the next topic. Often times a judge will reverse himself, if you make an offer to prove and stand firm.
  9. Finally, remember it costs you nothing to be a gentleman.  Treat everyone with respect you encounter and it will be returned tenfold.
Advertisements

About Richard A. Cook

Richard Cook graduated from Purdue University in the Economics Honor Program in 1979 and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1982. Following law school, Richard served as a federal law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. In 1984, Richard began working as Deputy Prosecutor for the Lake County Prosecutor's Office and from there, served as Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. There he handled a number of complex criminal matters and jury trials. While there, Richard received the Chief Postal Inspector's Special Award and a letter of commendation from the U.S. Attorney General for his work prosecuting a major money order fraud scheme being perpetrated out of the Indiana State Prison system. Since leaving the U.S. Attorney's office in 1989, Richard has focused primarily on civil work and is currently a member of the firm Yosha Cook & Tisch in Indianapolis. Richard is also a member of the ITLA, IBA and the ABA, as well as, a fellow for the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Posted on September 13, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: