Author Archives: Marc Gustafson, Special to Lawyers Weekly

When the snark kicks in, cease and desist

It seems cease and desist letters and witty responses to them are all the rage these days. Online you can find an exceedingly polite letter sent by a lawyer for Jack Daniel’s and what some have dubbed “The Best Response to a Cease and Desist Letter Ever” sent on behalf of a website owner embroiled in a dispute with the Township of West Orange, N.J.

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Are you the lawyer you wanted to be wanted to be?

There was a quote I read on a friend’s loft in college that asked, “Are you the man the boy wanted to be?” This always struck me as an interesting thought, although I’m not sure I grasped its full meaning as a twenty-something know-nothing. But from time to time things in my legal career cause me to pause and to reflect on this question and ask myself whether I am, in fact, the lawyer the first year law student wanted to be.

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That advice sounds really good, maybe I was the one who gave it

It seems just about every profession has its own version of the same axiom. For the clergy, it's "Practice what you preach." Doctors are offered a taste of their own medicine. If you played sports, you are familiar with too-old-to-play coaches imploring players to "Do as I say, not as I do." And who of us missed out on a frustrated parent yelling at us to "Do as I say, not as I do"?

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Guest Commentary: Lawyers operate in different universe from clients

In a recent conversation with two lawyer friends, we each commiserated that, despite the differences in each of our practices, clients often use us as a sounding board to vent their frustrations. (A not so cheap sounding board, I might add.) Recounting the meeting that had made him late to our gathering, one friend explained that he had come from an engagement that ran long due to a client just wanting to have his problem heard by someone who wasn't related to him and hadn't heard his gripe several times before.

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Guest Column: Telling your client’s story

It has become more than a cliché and the basis of innumerable jokes, but few of us will ever forget the late Johnnie Cochran's closing argument mantra "if it doesn't fit, you must acquit." (Ironically, it is purported that the much lesser-known Gerald Uelmen actually penned this phrase.) Of all of the evidence and all of the testimony from O.J. Simpson's 134-day televised murder trial, these seven words will be forever etched in our collective minds. Why? The power of storytelling.

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