Clients and other lay persons do not always understand that lawyers for opposing sides can get along and even join together for lunch. Mike Maslanka points out what can happen when lawyers cannot extend the simple courtesies in his latest post. As a lawyer for one side or the other, it is easy to demonize opposing counsel and opposing clients. But, we generally do better work and represent our clients more effectively when we can remain objective.
As a wise San Antonio judge once advised, invite opposing counsel to lunch early in a lawsuit. The good will from that lunch will last several months or more. In the case referred to in Mr. Maslanka’s post, the presiding judge ordered both lawyers to attend Continuing Legal Education courses on ethics and to join together for a meal. It is hard to demonize someone with whom you have broken bread, but, yes, you can still fight them like nobody’s business…….