Attorney Side Bar: Being Prepared

Norma Foster Adams

We had a lawyer named H.K. Spear who was sort of a character, and one day the judge said ‘General’ (they called him General because he’d been with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office). ‘Will you give me some law on that?’ [And] He said, ‘Judge, if I had it, believe me, you would have already had it!’

~ Norma Foster Adams
Kentucky Lawyers Speak”, page 19. 

When the judge ask you if you have any law on a position, will you have an answer in the ready.

Are you prepared to provide precedent on point or which can reasonably be extended to support your position.  If the precedent looks bad for you, can you distinguish it on facts or law or both?  And if the law is silent on your exact point, is there law from another jurisdiction that is probative that would help?  And never, ever forget the equitable reasons that your cause is just. Something more than, “no can do.”

Be prepared, be ready, be responsive.

Walter Gretzky had some pretty good advice for his superstar hockey player of a son — Wayne, “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”

You got to see the where the puck is going to be ready to plan your next move.

From “Kentucky Lawyers Speak”, Norma Foster Adams, page 19.