Fellow New York personal injury lawyers (and would-be ones) let me tell you about a free online subscription I just love. Eliot Wilcox, a Florida trial lawyer, runs a great blog with an email subscription to a weekly trial skills review. It is a three minute read each Friday, and reminds us personal injury lawyers of important trial skills.
No matter how good you are at trial, these quick reminders can help you be even better. Even great golfers need to be reminded once in a while to keep their head down on the swing. Same with trial lawyers. We may have learned all the good techniques, but being reminded to use them from time to time is great for our “swing”.
Elliot’s philosophy is like mine: Never stop learning. No matter how good you are, you can always get better. Life is short, and trial skills are long.
For example, recently, on my car rides, I have been listening to some personal injury trial books on my smartphone. I started with the “holy trinity” of personal injury trial books: (1) Rules of the Road: A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Guide to Proving Liability; (2) Reptile, by David Ball and Don Keenan, and (3) David Ball on Damages. These books are a “must read” for all personal injury lawyers.
You can’t listen to or read them enough times. More stuff keeps “sticking”. In fact, when I’m preparing for trial, I always skim through them, looking for little nuggets I can use in my trial.
One of the joys of being human is that, no matter how good you get, you can always improve. That’s true whether you are trying to improve as a doctor, plumber, president, dogcatcher, father, husband, or personal injury lawyer. The difference between a good personal injury lawyer and one who only pretends to be is this; the truly good trial lawyer knows he or she has got more to learn, and never stops trying to improve. The mediocre trial lawyer is a self-satisfied know-it-all who can’t, and won’t, suffer anyone’s advice. I count myself in the former group, and I hope all my trial-lawyer readers do, too.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
michaels-smolak.com Central and Syracuse NY Personal Injury Lawyers Michaels & Smolak, P.C.