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5 Advocate (Texas) 1 (1986)

handle is hein.barjournals/adsbate0005 and id is 1 raw text is: State Bar Litigation
Section Report
The Advocate

T. Richard Handler, Chairman
2200 interFirst One
Dallas 75202
C. L. Mike Schmidt, Chairman-Elect
One Campbell Centre
Dallas 75206
Terry 0. Tottenham, Vice-Chairman
Bank of Southwest Building
Houston 77002
Forrest Bowers, Secretary
1401 Texas Avenue
Lubbock 79408
Frank Baker, Treasurer
One Alamo Center
106 St. Mary's
San Antonio 78205
S EXPIRE 1986:
Harlow Sprouse
John Hall
hard Handler
C. L. Mike Schmidt
Terry Tottenham
Frank Baker
San Antonio
Doyle Curry
Luther H. Soules, I]l
San Antonio
Sam Sparks
El Paso
Bob Bradshaw
T. Ray Guy
The Honorable George M. Thurmond
Del Rio
Lev Hunt
us Christi
st Bowers
Roy Barrett
LETTER: The Advocate
atrick Hazel
University of Texas School of Law
727 E. 26th Street
Austin 78705


Vol. 5, No. 1 January 1986

At a time when our profession is often assailed for its shortcomings, I think it
beneficial to reflect on what we are about, those of us who deem it an honor to
be counted among the community of lawyers, whose professional ancestors
drafted the Constitution and whose peers continue to defend it.
The most effective advocates I observe tend toward overpreparation but un-
derstatement. They seldom, if ever, raise an angry voice, lose control, or need to
resort to technical rules. They know how to get along with people. They prepare
their cases and witnesses so well that issues and events flow before the triers
of fact as smoothly and clearly as a mountain stream, albeit not without occa-
sional rapids. Their credibility is never endangered because they do not ask any-
one to accept the implausible. They distinguish between mere evidence and
persuasion, between that to which a juror can be exposed and that about which
he cares. Their strengths are so reassuring that they remain unconcerned about
any suggestion of weakness in their willingness to negotiate. To them it is an
honor to be an officer of the court, entrusted with the responsibility effectively
to convey the position of another.
The great advocates instinctively reflect that, while style is important, mastery
of style sits third chair to their knowledge of people and the confidence born of
a sincere belief in one's cause and of knowing well the facts of one's case. While
success is important, the great advocates also recognize that personal victory
and the prevailing party do not always sit at the same counsel table.
And whether the great advocates practice in firms small or large, they practice
alone, always true to their highest ideals, with the knowledge that their reputa-
tion for integrity among other advocates and judges is their most valuable trea-
sure, which no one but they can diminish.
We can all be great advocates, if we set such standards, make the effort, and
accept no less from our colleagues.
Ric Handler

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