Since I almost succumbed to the flu yesterday after another all day meeting with a client (remember them, the ones that did not think I was “high-caliber?) I thought my day was going to be routine. I was just planning to catch up on some paperwork and report to my government consultancy office for the day.
I friend (that fellow blogger I already blogged about) asked me to attend a meeting to settle a case of my client that I asked him to handle. In short, it was for my client, but I asked that friend to handle this particular case for me. Why I gave him this case is another story…
I had a bad feeling going there. Traffic was unusually heavy that I ended up fifteen minutes late. And lo and behold, the gang was all there. The entire board of the company we sued was there. And there he was, a high-caliber elderly lawyer.
He is well known as he was a former justice and current lawyer of a former president under “resort” arrest for graft and corruption. Turns out he is a member of this board, as well as its legal counsel.
So the meeting begins. The president (I presume) starts with a litany of damages we have caused him. Then he proposes a settlement and this blew me away… He proposes to “live and let live.”
What the f@c& was that! They made me drive through EDSA at rush hour and then offered that settlement! I know they were using that “high-caliber” lawyer to attempt to intimidate me… Unfortunately for them, outnumbered or “outgunned” though I may be, I made it pretty clear that even if we lose the case, they lose the war. And in the process, I even acquired information I can use against them later on.
This provides the perfect background to tell you the things I’ve always wanted to tell lawyers like the ones I met today. Here goes…
1. Never rest on your laurels for you are only as good as your last work.
2. Reputation does not equal ability.
3. I know how to win.
4. Never, EVER, underestimate your adversary.
5. I know what you’re trying to pull because I’m trying to pull the same thing.
6. Try to keep up with the times. Even if you’re seventy years old and full of experience, you may be beaten by a rookie with a laptop, a PDA and WiFi.
7. Arrogance, like flattery, will get you nowhere.
8. Given the justice system today, settle.
9. I still got 30 years on me. How about you?
10. It’s never personal. It’s just work.
I just hope they don’t read this. They may get ideas.