Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Increasing the Pie

Kelly's post below illustrates why her career path leads to the transactional side of the law. As a transactional tax lawyer (as opposed to a tax litigator), I also enjoyed the intellectual exercise of negotiating how to structure organizations, deals, mergers, etc... in order to get the best result possible for all sides at the table while still meeting the client's goals. In the Business Organizations course, I emphasize that one of our key roles as business lawyers is not to argue over who should get the biggest slice of the pie, but instead to increase the size of the pie that is being split.

I used to believe that a litigator had a different role to play. However, in today's legal climate, so many cases are settled or head to mediation that the same skills are needed by that classification of lawyers as well.

However, cases still go to trial and I am a great believer in the adversarial system. I believe that competition (and strife) lead to the best result when two sides represent their clients in the law arena.

I would gladly have the Zen lawyer represent my company during merger talks, but when it comes time to sue the other party for breach of contract, I will feel more comfortable with the lawyer who doesn't do meditation but instead goes by the religion of winning.

1 comment:

Kelly J. Bozanic said...

Amen! Thank God we are all made differently and serve different purposes. I wholeheartedly agree that the adversarial system can sometimes be the best way; in a way, adjudication ushers in its own form of peace. (See my comment after Prof. Reilly's "Schism" post.) As for my career path, I look forward to contributing to ways of increasing the size of the pie. (I love that analogy!)