January 01, 2013

Sua Sponte A Judge Comments

A judge points out differences—and some similarities—between trial and war.

Hon. M. Margaret McKeown

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Whatever Sun Tzu may have been thinking in the sixth century B.C., he surely was not considering legal ethics and professionalism. And for good reason—the battlefields of war do not parallel the front lines of litigation. War is armed conflict; litigation is civilized dispute resolution, or at least it should be. But endless discovery disputes, years of Rambo tactics, and a blizzard of filings may cause some to disagree. Indeed, the war analogy has spawned “war rooms” for trial preparation, the divorce battle in the movie The War of the Roses, and briefs spouting “warring” legal arguments.

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