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!

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