Unlike Leo Durocher's famous statement that "nice guys finish last," she believes that "nice girls finish first." After all, she asserts, people like to buy from people they like ... And we generally don't like people who are not nice to us. Kaplan says it's easier to be mean and gruff. It takes a special effort to be nice. Paraphrasing a saying my mother used so often, "You get more with honey than with vinegar."
This seems so obvious to me, but obviously is something that our profession finds so difficult to understand. Many Bars have adopted "Lawyer Civility Codes." Why should this even be needed? Quoting an infamous source, "Why can't we all just get along?" Why is it that we need be rude and obnoxious to our adversaries? Do we truly believe that such conduct will win us points or cause our client's position to be moved forward? On the contrary, such behavior often merely entrenches the opposition further. Being nice, courteous and kind requires neither that we be a doormat nor that we cave in to our adversary's position ... we can stand forthright to advocate our client's interest and position, yet still be civil and nice.
Again paraphrasing, "Try it, you might like it." Certainly, there will be reduced stress all around.
P.S. This works with colleagues and staff as well.
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