What It Takes To Be A Great Criminal Defense Lawyer

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great book titled Outliers. The book covered the careers of The Beatles , Bill Gates , and others. The premise of the book is that one does not become an expert until they do something over 10,000 hours. After 22 years of practicing criminal defense law, I still learn

The last R for trial lawyers is remember. Once you relax , rehearse , and  react , you have to remember. Remember what happened , what worked , and what failed . Why do we want to remember ?  Great trial lawyers don’t want  to make the same mistake twice.

How do we remember ? We start

The first two Rs’ were relax and rehearse. The third R is the ability to react. I had lunch with a civil lawyer a couple of weeks ago. The conversation turned to civil trials. He commented on there are no surprises in a civil trial .Everyone knows what is going to be said and done.

In yesterday’s post , I talked about the first R which is to relax. The second R is rehearse . Coach Bosque spoke about thinking  about the play before it happened and play in his mind what he was going to do with the baseball if it was hit to him. Preparing for a hearing

During the break between Christmas and New Year’s , I took my son to a baseball camp in Cleveland , Tn. At the workout there are some college coaches around while they work on some baseball skills. We had a little time before we headed back to Nashville . So , I signed him up 


Wayne Gretzky was one of the best hockey players ever to put on skates. He had a great line which is the title to this post "You miss 100% of the shots you never take.’ That advice is very true for criminal defense lawyers. A criminal defense attorney must take the shot early and often.

I started reading James McElhaney’s Trial Notebook. Mr McElhaney has written over the years on litigation for the American Bar Association. Here is his list  for the essential qualities of winning attorneys ;

  • Want to help others.
  • Need to right a wrong.
  • Must maintain high ethical standards.
  • A need to know everything.
  • Need to