From the Trench, 0122 COBJ, Vol. 51, No. 1 Pg. 4

PositionVol. 51, 1 [Page 4]

From the Trench

No. Vol. 51, No. 1 [Page 4]

Colorado Lawyer

January, 2022



"Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo." (If I cannot bend the will of heaven, I will raise hell.) — Virgil, The Aeneid

When I graduated from law school, I didn't plan on becoming a litigator. I presumed my legal career would be more transactional and not filled with objections, lengthy witness examinations, and verbal fights in front of a judge. My choice to skip the courtroom warrior path was based on my distaste for the adversarial mudslinging that I heard plagued the litigation scene.

Impacted by the poor job market of the Great Recession, however, I didn't have many options. My first job was as a plaintiff's attorney. Shortly thereafter, I transitioned to family law, where I remain, having zealously advocated for my clients in and out of the courtroom for over a decade now. What attracted me to family law was my somewhat misguided belief that creative problem-solving and strategic thinking could resolve any conflict. But as we all know, not all issues can be resolved without a person in a black robe deciding what is best. Despite my best efforts, all too often I find myself in a courtroom. Sometimes I win; sometimes I don't.

That's the nature of litigation. No one wins them all. When I fail, I learn, and hopefully I never need to learn the same lesson twice.

Because of the risk involved, litigation is a big deal, win or lose. Every case is determined by a stranger or a group of strangers who have a micro -glimpse of the issues to resolve. The finality of the decision is what can make the process so overwhelming and all-consuming. There won't be more time to prepare tomorrow, and do -overs are few and far between. You must be ready and well-prepared for the curveballs that your opposing counsel (or worse, your client) throws at you during your presentation. You only have one chance to tell your client's story.

All litigators are storytellers; it's built into the job. Whether the audience is a judge or a jury, when the case law supports a convincing argument for both sides and the facts are ambiguous, the best story might prove the winning edge. And for those who dedicate their careers to fighting the good fight, the rewards include a lifetime of stories to tell. Over the years, I've had the great pleasure of hearing and reading many tales of litigation. Some are a bit like fishing stories, where time and space have clouded memories and truths. But all of them are entertaining...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT