Last night I was watching an NHL playoff game. When one team scored a goal thousands of cheering fans roared as 5 grown men ecstatically hugged each other. While I was thrilled my team had scored, I was a bit jealous. Really, these guys are professionals; I’m a professional, too damnit! So, why didn’t anyone cheer when I won that motion this morning? Ego boosts aside, there are a few ways the rules of hockey could improve law practice, or at least make it more satisfying…
First and foremost, legalized fighting would be a great benefit to the courtroom. Not just to settle frustrations, but as a way to address issues and move on. Instead of hitting each other with thinly veiled jabs, you can drop the cufflinks and throw a few haymakers. The bailiff will come separate you when you’ve tired yourselves out. Maybe they’ll even have ice for your knuckles.
And under these new rules, you wouldn’t even be held in contempt for punching opposing counsel in the mouth. Instead it’d be like hockey. You get a seven-minute-time-out…from your job…and you still get paid for the seven minutes. That’s a .2 in my book.
Just once I’d like to walk into a courtroom before a hearing with the Final Countdown playing. Music isn’t just great for warm ups, how much better would side bar conversations be if the jury was able to do the Macarena while they waited? Obviously I already play “we are the champions” for every legal victory I’ve ever experienced, but now I have to wait until I’m back at the office. Half the fun of that song is getting to enjoy it while your defeated foe watches through his tear soaked eyes.
I don’t have great penmanship. But I’d definitely put forth an effort into learning if there were a crowd of people outside my office waiting for autographs. Right now the only thing waiting for me is a parking ticket. And if I’m lucky, a crazy former client there to exact revenge from some perceived ineffectiveness.
Finally, it would be great to just shake everyone’s hand after court. This happens sometimes, but not enough. Too often after I crush them, attorneys storm out of the courtroom without even the most basic of common courtesies. Not only are they are they missing out on being the bigger person, they are missing out on a great opportunity to get a cheap shot in on opposing counsel when they least expect it. (See paragraph 1).