Preparation is our armor. It provides us the courage to wade into courtroom battle, confident in our understanding of the law, knowledge of the facts, and ability to persuade. At some point, every trial lawyer is asked to replace predecessor counsel on the eve of trial. As new counsel, we face the daunting challenge of adequate preparation in inadequate time—and we must overcome that hurdle reliant on prior counsel’s efforts and perspective. In these cases, how can we balance our compulsion for preparation against the exigency of trial?
Why I asked LCA Senior Fellow Ken DeMoura
In addition to being past president of the LCA, Ken is an enormously talented trial lawyer. He is the quintessential “hired gun”—a specialist handling the most difficult adversarial matters. He has tried more than 50 cases to verdict and more than 50 arbitrations through award. Ken is routinely called to replace outmatched predecessor counsel on the eve of trial. He has a huge heart and a homespun manner of making the difficult understandable. It is no surprise that clients and attorneys regularly engage Ken when trial looms.
Of course, representing a client who hired you on the eve of trial is vastly different than our routine trial practice. Ethical and practical issues abound. Recently, Ken shared with me his pointers on handling these “hired gun” matters, and I encourage you to watch our conversation HERE.