Mastering the Unscripted Moment

William R. Hinchman
speaking off script

speaking off script

I remember what I was thinking as if it were yesterday.

“This oral argument is a big deal. For the past two years, we have been slogging through discovery. Expenses are high and client expectations are even higher. The scales may tip just in our favor if I pull off this argument and the judge grants summary judgment.”

I prepared for days. I crafted a detailed outline, old-school style: handwritten, on a yellow legal pad. I entered the courtroom, sat at counsel table, and laid out my materials. It was then I discovered my yellow legal pad was gone. If I could have run, I would have. But before I could even look for someone to help, the judge took the bench. My only option was to forge ahead without my trusty legal pad.

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