I heard a story about a top attorney today over lunch with a colleague (my colleague is an attorney who most other attorneys would do well to emulate). This top attorney is apparently a real terror when faced in opposition and yet when you meet him it is a pleasure speaking to him. I wonder if this doesn’t become a necessity on today’s legal battlefields?
Litigation has never really been a pleasant exercise. There is a chance you could lose and wind up paying the costs in addition to having to bear the consequences of what gave rise to the litigation in the first place. Unfortunately it is not getting any easier to deal with. In the last few days alone I have found myself dealing with colleagues and litigants who are obstructive, difficult and downright rude in my efforts to either bring matters to a close or simply progress a matter in a civil manner. Colleagues in particular are becoming ruder and more devious in the way they handle their client’s cases. In my ideal world litigation can be conducted in its adversarial manner and, at the same time, civilly. Sadly I seem to be living in a dream world and I find myself wondering if it is becoming necessary to behave similarly when faced with such opponents. Colleagues rarely behave like colleagues and instead behave like sworn enemies. Our objectivity as lawyers is fast fading as lawyers become more and more emotionally involved, often in synch with their clients.