IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW

This week's blog post comes to us from guest blogger Timothy Dunbrack of the Kelley Kronenberg firm. He mentioned this presentation to me some months back at a bar meeting, and it sounded fantastic. I am proud to share it with everyone and am proud of Mr. Dunbrack for having gathered the information.


I hope you will take his request seriously and email him other suggestions. I find it most instructive to see what people think. The last one on the list astounds me as I work with high-schoolers who are involved in debate, mock trial and moot court. So many have doctor parents, and tell me that their parents wished they were not doctors. I guess the grass is always greener.


IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW

by: Timothy A. Dunbrack, Esquire

Kelley Kronenberg

I was recently asked by The Young Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar to give a presentation to up and coming attorneys. After coming to the harsh realization that I am no longer a young lawyer, I decided to look to learned colleagues and members of the bench to provide a one sentence response to the following query: If I knew then what I know now.... The responses were swift, insightful and worth pondering no matter the experience of an attorney. I share the following top ten with my brethren.

1. I have learned that it is extremely important to pay attention to the opposition's case rather than concentrating only on the side of the case that I am presenting.

2. I would read the applicable statute then re-read the applicable statute and then do my research. I would do this many times over the course of a case.

3. If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken more cases to trial.

4. If I knew then what I know now, I would have trusted my instincts and encouraged my clients to appeal more often.

5. If I knew then what I know now, I would have struck out on my own and work for myself instead of somebody else.

6. I would seek out more advice from senior practitioners.

7. I would not be intimidated by my adversary's law school credentials or reputation as better preparation trumps all.

8. I would never "argue" with a judge as we are taught to argue a case, but that word is a term of art and should not include one's approach to the Court.

9. I would have acknowledged that despite their bravado and public persona, everyone is under tremendous pressures personally and professionally. I would have had a kind word more often, been more accommodating, been quicker to forgive and slower to anger.

10. If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone to medical school.

As this project continues to be a work in progress, I would welcome any and all additional reflections, serious or otherwise, to be sent to me at tdunbrack@kelleykronenberg.com.

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