The Machiavellian Lawyer once said:
The young lawyer should never adopt the attitude of a know-it-all, even if he believes himself to be wiser than his peers. Rather, he should let others speak first. He should be content to watch, listen, and learn.
To gain a tactical advantage over an older opponent, the young lawyer should feign ignorance. “I don’t understand,” he should tell his older opponent. “Will you explain?”
The older lawyer, who is apt to be boastful and self-important, will be eager to show off his years of accumulated wisdom. In his boastfulness, he is likely to talk too much, giving away insights into his legal reasoning and justifications for his legal strategies.
Publication Note: Originally published 8/5/04.