May 20, 2019 practice points

Celebrating Atticus Finch: Hiring Local Counsel

Fit the cross to the witness; the witness to the cross

By Hon. Mark A. Drummond

There is an old adage that goes something like this: regardless of the actual translation of any Latin phrase that appears over any door to any courthouse in the United States, what those words actually say are, “Hire Local Counsel.”

Writing this column in an office just a few hundred yards away from the Mississippi River, I am smack dab in the middle of what is called “fly-over country.” From time to time, I was asked to be local counsel for someone from a big firm from a big city.

For the upcoming year, the ABA Section of Litigation is focusing on solo and small firm lawyers. The chair of the Section of Litigation, Palmer Gene Vance II, Lexington, KY, put it this way to the leadership members at the fall meeting in Louisville, Kentucky: “As a lawyer practicing in Lexington, Kentucky, I am keenly aware that solo and small firm lawyers are the backbone of our profession, comprising more than half of all practicing lawyers. One of the Section’s special initiatives this year focuses on solo and small firm litigators, offering resources designed to help them develop their practices, meet their professional goals, and connect with friends and mentors in the legal community.”

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