Are You (REALLY) Asking for What You Want?

How to get what you want in the courtroom

You’ve heard it a hundred times before: “Ask, and ye shall receive.”

And each time, you probably said, “Yeah, right. If that was true, I’d have won the lottery last week!”

But what if that statement was actually true?

Believe it or not, there’s significant truth to that statement. (Maybe that’s why it’s been around for 2000+ years).

For example, last week my son and I were at the pond being attacked by ducks (that’s a story for another day) when a firetruck pulled up and parked.

He asked about the truck, and the next thing you know, the firemen were inviting him to sit inside the cab, asking him if he wanted to wear a fireman’s helmet, and talking with him about fires and axes and firetrucks.

It was every little boy’s dream, to play in a firetruck. But none of it would have happened if he hadn’t asked.

Because he asked, he got what he wanted. (Of course, it helps that he’s dashingly good looking and charming as can be!)

The same is true in court. If you ask for what you want, you can often get it.

Want the judge to avoid scheduling the trial during your planned vacation? Just ask.

Want jurors to talk about your biggest concerns in the case? Just ask.

Want a better plea offer? Just ask. (Really!)

I’ll be the first to admit that it doesn’t always work, but more often than not, asking helps you get what you wanted. You just need to be willing to speak up and ask for what you want.

Here’s your 1% solution for today (stolen from Alan Weiss, who said that if you improve 1% per day, in 70 days, you’re twice as good):

It’s simple: Ask for what you want.

Other people aren’t mind readers. You have to ask for what you want.

If the judge doesn’t know about your vacation, she can’t schedule around it.

If jurors don’t know what the important issues are in your case, they won’t know to talk about their thoughts and feelings on the matter.

If your opponent doesn’t know what’s standing between an acceptable resolution to the case and a protracted jury trial, they’ll never make a better offer.

Asking makes the difference, and gets you what you want.

Ask specifically. Be direct. Let them know exactly what you want, and when you want it. Don’t water it down or hide it inside little “hints” – be bold, and ask for exactly what you want.

As the Rolling Stones taught us, you may not always get what you want, but sometimes, just because you asked… You might get what you need!

How to Succeed Inside -AND- Outside the Courtroom

As a fellow trial lawyer, I know the incredible demands placed upon your time.  Have you ever felt like you were being forced to choose between having either a fulfilling personal life or a successful professional life?

It doesn’t have to be that way.  I’m here to tell you, “Yes, you can have it ALL!”

If you’ve resolved to be more successful inside AND outside the courtroom this year, to enjoy more free time, or to take better care of yourself, I want to help you make sure that your New Year’s Resolution REALLY HAPPENS this year.

That’s why I’ve created a brand new productivity and time management training program, taking the most powerful productivity techniques and strategies that I’ve ever discovered, and putting them into a simple system that WORKS, even for busy trial lawyers.


It’s an easy to follow 90-day program that takes you step-by-step through proven techniques and strategies you can immediately use to take control of your time and your productivity.  These are the same techniques that I used to go from working 90+ hours a week (and not having time for a pet, let alone a girlfriend) to living a life where I’ve been able to get even MORE done in LESS time, enjoy MORE success, travel around the world, start a family, and spend all the time I want with my new son!

If you’re ready to do the one single thing that will help you regain control over your life, double your productivity, and allow you to enjoy a tremendous new level of success inside AND outside the courtroom, this is the program that will help you make it happen.

"TIME! (for lawyers)" - Time Management and Personal Productivity Program

Here’s what to do:  Go to and sign up at the bottom of the page.  You’ll immediately get access to the first “Quick Start Guide,” which will help you focus on the important stuff, and help you minimize the distractions that are preventing you from getting everything done.  After that, each new video session will include simple exercises to give you the helping hand you need to get MORE done in LESS time, so you can enjoy success inside AND outside the courtroom.

I’ve invested tons of effort learning all of these powerful techniques that I put into this single program – and I guarantee you that it will dramatically increase your personal productivity and success.

Here’s the information again:

Let’s make this your best year YET!
Elliott - signature

2009: The Year in Review

There are still two weeks left in this year, but many courtrooms have already shuttered their doors until 2010.  You probably won’t be in trial this week or next — you’ll be at holiday parties, spending time with family, or (ugh!) pushing to complete billable hours.  This year is nearly complete, but before you close the books on 2009, take some time to review the past year.  Set aside about 30 minutes this week and answer these 12 questions about your courtroom performance:


  1. How many trials (jury or non-jury) did you try this year?  Should you have tried more cases?  Fewer?
  2. Which one was your most memorable trial?  Why?
  3. What was your most memorable moment in trial?
  4. What was your funniest moment in trial?
  5. What was your most emotional moment in trial?
  6. If you could change anything about how you tried any cases this year, what would it be?
  7. Did you give in too easily on any cases?  Should you have gone to trial instead of negotiating?
  8. Did you push too hard or ask for too much on any cases?  Should you have negotiated instead of trying the case?
  9. What trial advocacy skill did you improve most this year?
  10. What was the best trial advocacy tip you learned this year?
  11. Did you have fun?  Are you still having fun?
  12. What was the most important lesson you learned this year about trying cases?

Invest the time to answer these questions honestly and bluntly.  If you don’t like the answers, start making plans to change the responses for 2010.  If 2009 wasn’t the year that you expected it to be, start making plans to make 2010 better.

Post your best stories below, and share your year with the more than 10,000 trial lawyers who read these tips each week!