I am writing this message in a courtroom, awaiting a jury verdict. A very fitting venue to reflect on what it means to be a trial lawyer. After over 35 years as a trial lawyer, I thought I had a pretty good handle on our profession. But these last couple of years, my focus slipped from the thrills of our practice to the obstacles. I struggled, along with all of you, as we navigated remote hearings, video depositions with exhibits in sealed packets, mute buttons, calendar settings, and securing our most prized commodity—a good internet connection.
But for me, and I hope for you, as the months passed, I slowly adapted and began to regain some of the thrill. After a few remote depositions, I became more proficient with the technology and could work on assessing credibility over a monitor. Settlement negotiations, which seemed impossible without in-person meetings, became more manageable. Trials with witnesses surrounded by plexiglass and jurors’ faces obscured by masks were welcomed rather than the alternative—justice delayed.
I am honored to be your president as we all navigate our new reality. By necessity, we have all mastered new skills and found unexpected value in our proficiencies. We have expanded our storytelling mediums, and it is impossible to imagine going back to just black and white transcripts. We have entered a new age in our profession.
The thrill is back, and so is the jury. Thankfully, some things never change—our system of justice is the best in the world, and the verdict is well-measured and just. I look forward to our journey together.
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 President