Walk It Off

Even though I am no longer practicing law, I still do some consulting and often get calls from lawyers that I know wanting to bounce ideas off of me or ask questions. Just the other day I got just such a call and realized after I hung up that I had gotten more exercise in that 15 minutes than in the rest of the day.

Why?

Because I pace as I think.

Some of you may remember the old television show The West Wing. One of the things that the show was famous for was the way people discussed problems and issues while walking the halls of the West Wing of the White House.  When I used to prepare for trial we did the same thing, all of the lawyers working on the case or helping to brainstorm it would wander around the office. Even when we were in our "war room" getting ready I still paced the floor while arguing points or working my way through problems.

People think differently, so i'm not telling you that walking and talking are the best ways for you to think but what I am telling you is that sometimes you need to do whatever is your equivalent of that and…think.

If you are handling a case I can tell you that most severe problems in that case won't be caused by the facts or the law, they will be caused by your (and sometimes the other side's) inability to understand how the facts and law fit in and apply to your case. 

There is a tendency to want to be doing something. Sometimes it is reading law, other times drafting motions, still other times poring over discovery answers (you did do discovery didn't you?) for the fifth time. When facing a problem, you want to do something to find a solution but often action is the wrong direction to take immediately upon learning of the problem.

Try walking…and thinking.

Especially thinking.

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