Just Words Feed

What the Pope Had to Say About the Best Legal Future

Okay, he didn't explicitly talk about how lawyers can meet the challenge of creating the best legal future when he addressed Congress, but here's what I heard that applies to the work at hand:

Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments, and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples. We must move forward together, as one, in a renewed spirit of fraternity and solidarity, cooperating generously for the common good.

Tom Brady's 4 Agreements vs. Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct

ThinkstockPhotos-179518805Because the LA Times has a story today on how Tom Brady kept his spirits up through Deflategate we now know about Brady's favorite self-help book,  The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom. Just because, here's a look at how the four agreements stack up against the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct:

  • Be impeccable with your word  Rule: 4.1 Truthfulness in Statements to Others In the course of representing a client, a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact or law to a third person.  And don't forget Rule 3.3, Candor Toward the Tribunal.
  • Don't take anything personally  There is no professional ethical obligation for lawyers not to take things personally, so go ahead. But if you do, it will probably give opposing counsel a tactical advantage, so I would personally counsel against it. You are more likely to wind up looking like Roger Goodell.
  • Don't make assumptions  Again, nothing specific in the rules about assumptions, but the rules and commentary do use the word "facts" 22 times. Which should serve to remind us that an important part of our training to "think like a lawyer" is to ground our reasoning on the facts. What better way to avoid erroneous assumptions?
  • Always do your best  The rules call on you to be "competent, prompt and diligent" but do not require you to always do your best. But surely that's at least a best practice? Unless you're playing the Jaguars?