1. Today we’re tweeting with Toronto-based lawyer @thetrialwarrior, who specializes in commercial litigation and arbitration
@thetrialwarrior thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @thetrialwarrior?
Thanks for having me. I appreciate the opportunity to pontificate, er, I mean, speak with you today.
The Trial Warrior is my alter-ego: he’s an Archetype; Cautious Optimist; Taoist Alchemist and Finder of Delusion.
2. Tell us about your law practice.
I practice domestic & Int’l commercial litig’n and arbitr’n, civil litig’n, class actions, admin law and reputation mgmt law
3. What type of clients do you represent?
I act for both plaintiffs and defendants. My clients range from multi-national corporations to individuals.
4. What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
Damages, Damages, Damages: Getting or avoiding judgment. Few cases are taken on or won on principle.
5. What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
1.“How much justice can you afford?” 2.“Don’t lie to me” 3.“Only one thing guarantees our failure, and that’s if we quit”
6. Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
Significance is subjective: $4 M judgment obtained for a US client or landlord/tenant appeal prompting legislative amendment
7. I’d say both of those qualify…. Why do your clients hire you?
I wish I could say it was my charm, but they usually hire me knowing that they will get what they pay for and nothing less.
8. What’s the most active area of your practice at the current time? Is that typical?
Jurisdictional challenges/foreign judgment enforcement and reputation management law (mostly internet defamation)
It’s atypical, but most commercial litigation for the most part varies in form and content
9. You’ve adopted Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” as your professional and personal guide. Should others do the same? Why?
Master Sun said:“He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” We each must choose our own path.
10. In addition to practicing, you teach at the U of Toronto. Does teaching make you a better lawyer? How?
What paint is to an artist; teaching is to a lawyer. Knowledge shared without, leads to wisdom within.
11. Indeed. How do you market your practice?
Mostly print/online media. I’m active in a few prof. assoc’s (ABA, OBA, ILA, IBA) and rely on client/lawyer recommendations
12. You blog at The Trial Warrior Blog (http://bit.ly/5a23d). Who do you write for? Why should they read it?
I write the blog for anyone interested in trial advocacy & international law who’s also committed to the pursuit of justice.
13. Besides Twitter and your blog, what Web 2.0 tools do you regularly use to market your practice?
Blawging and Tweeting is personal; I use online pub’s (SSRN/BePress) 2 promote my legal writing > client/lawyer referrals.
14. What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from Web 2.0 activities?
Combo of my firm’s website, online directories, & Google SEO all have increased referrals/client engagements significantly.
15. Sounds like real ROI. How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
I spend about 2 hrs/day. TTW spends more, although most of it is taken up philosophizing, strategizing and plotting ;-\
16. A man and his alter ego at work…. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
Maintaining one’s personal and professional ethics in the face of client demands and info/tech overload is the exigent issue
17. What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
The lamentable trend of the “vanishing trial” means trial lawyers are a “dying breed” turning us into knowledge technocrats.
18. What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
I’d be a guitarist in a heavy metal band, or a philosopher, or a ghost writer, writing about ghosts, or, all of the above.
19. How do you want to be remembered?
Niiezsche said: “Some are made modest by great praise, others insolent.” Neither famous, nor infamous, a fighter for justice
20. What do you do when you’re not working?
I read/write poetry, I play guitar, I procrastinate, I vent at injustices in the world, I watch Toronto teams get pummelled
21. What advice can you pass along to lawyers currently under- or unemployed due to the economic crisis?
Master Sun said:“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”Stay sharp, have a strategy: listen, learn, read, write, speak.
…and remember that Nietzsche said: “To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.”
22. Thoughtful guidance. And finally, what advice do you have for people going to law school today?
Never lose your sense of wonder or thirst for knowledge after you finish law school and always be an advocate for justice.
Thanks again for the opportunity. I/we enjoyed talking with you today.