“I am older … I am older”

494 points

Photography by Joe Maple [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

My surname comes from TS Eliot’s Love Song by J. Alfred Brovrock. Click and read the poem if you want to do something more productive with your time than reading our blog posts at Above the Law.

You used a title similar to one My columns are in ATL About four years ago, but I think about 90 percent of my readers have changed since then. The content of this column is very different from the essence of the old.

Here’s the gist of this column: You should always think about your audience, including the age of your audience, when you are speaking. After all, although it’s hard to believe, it’s not about you when you speak; It is about your audience. If you are not yet 50 years old, as likely, please bear in mind the fact that your audience may have a lot more experience than you have.

I admit that I am getting old and sore. But let’s say we have a new person joining the HR department with a joint. We hold meetings annually covering exactly the same topics for 15 years; I’ve been attending for the past ten years. But the new HR employee has never attended one of these meetings before! So he is new to the HR employee. This person spends half an hour discussing the topics we’ll be covering during the meeting, forgetting that everyone in the room, except for the speaker, falls asleep quickly, and knows very well what topics we’ll be covering.

Miscalculated play, right?

Let’s say you are 45 years old in a law firm. I quit practicing private law (at Jones Day) when I was 53 years old. That means I practiced law as a partner in a reasonably good company for eight years longer than you – before I moved home and started overseeing cases. Or suppose you are an eighth-year colleague in your organization. I don’t even remember when I was an eight-year-old, but it must have happened a long time ago, lost in the mists of time.

So please don’t hit your voice recommending the client, blow by yourself, and start explaining to me that filing a removal notice removes the jurisdiction court, so the state court case conference will not proceed as scheduled. I was Write articles about removal Before you were born (I think). If it is important for a state court to lose jurisdiction when filing a takedown notice, mention this fact of course, but please don’t think it’s news to me.

Like many, many other things. I am aware of the fact that discovery is costly, the flip side is unpredictable, it’s hard to win a summary judgment in state court, and denials are dependent on pleadings and documents subject to court notice, and all the other essential things. I even know some complicated things; After all, I have been practicing law for longer than you have. Please don’t waste time telling me these things.

If you’re dealing with a case in an obscure area of ​​law, you might ask if you need specialist advice: “Have you ever dealt with a case of dispossession in Colorado? If not, I can take five minutes to tell you how these things are going.” .

Thank you so much! I need that advice, and I appreciate the introductory book.

But there’s really no need for your third-year colleague to explain to me that the court will weigh the probative value of the evidence against the amount of bias it causes when assessing admissibility. I understand this is news for the partner, as this is the first time the colleague has researched this issue. And that was news for me too – in 1984. But it’s not news today, and you could really think about that before you even started speaking.


There is a reason why we are dissidents.

But please consider the age and experience of your audience before you start speaking.

sign Hermann He spent 17 years as a partner at a leading international law firm and is now Deputy General Counsel in a large international firm. He is the author Curmudgeon’s Guide to Law Practice And Litigation strategies related to drug and device liabilityAnd (Affiliate links). You can reach him via email at inhouse@abovethelaw.com.

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