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The other side’s lawyers are not the enemy (even when they act like it)

In a disputed matter, it’s a mistake to treat the other side’s lawyers as The Enemy — even when they deserve it.

As lawyers, we’re supposed to be zealous advocates for our clients’ lawful desires. But anger can easily get in the way of cool good judgment.

In dealing with an opposing counsel, it helps to adopt, and resolutely stick to, the view that it’s the clients who have a problem, not the lawyers.

(Lawyers should cultivate a mindset of “lucid detachment,” said (Sir) John Mortimer, English barrister and creator of the Rumpole of the Bailey TV series, in his autobiography.)

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