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Could This Be the 'Rite' Way to Win a Case?

Did you catch last week's New York Times report on the variety of superstitions and rituals that some top lawyers follow in the belief that they could help secure a case win (or, put a different way, prevent a loss)?

Some attorneys stick to the same food for lunch every day throughout the entire length of a trial, while another puts off getting his hair cut until trial's end. A lawyer who tries to insert the name of his dog (Watson) into summations told the Times' Benjamin Weiser: "The trial gods are very powerful. You respect them. You make little offerings."

Weiser notes that the rituals often stem from something attorneys did during a prior case that ended successfully for them.

For some attorneys, a recurring superstition involves wearing a particular item of clothing during a trial (a "lucky suit" -- no pun intended).

The rituals go all the way up to Supreme Court cases. The National Law Journal's Tony Mauro noted a few years ago the example of an attorney who makes a point of wearing a tie given to him as a memento eight years previously by the widow of a partner who used to wear it when he argued. Said the attorney: "I always wear that tie when I have an argument at the Court, even though it is getting a bit frayed."

Any Legal Blog Watch readers have some favorite rituals that they adhere to during cases? Call it superstitious or anti-scientific, but if following a certain pattern helps make an attorney more confident or at ease during a case, one can see how the habit could fall under the heading of "can't hurt, might help."

Written by managing editor Paula Martersteck.

Posted by Product Team on February 20, 2011 at 03:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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