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The 10-second rule

My first boss after I graduated from law school was a judge. It was the best job I could have had as a newly-minted lawyer, and we remain good friends today almost twenty years later.

One of the most valuable, technical lessons he taught me was “the 10-second rule.” He believed, and I have come to believe, that an advocate typically has 10 seconds to persuade another person to do something or to believe something. If the advocate has not made the point in 10 seconds, the audience is likely to lose interest, and the advocate will fail to persuade.

When I represent clients, “the 10-second rule” informs how I advocate for them. Whether I am before a judge or a jury, I concentrate my argument on the essence of the case: what are the one or two facts or legal principles that give my client the best chance to win?

Let me close by providing another example of “the 10-second rule.” Hire me. I can help you.


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