your best decisions.
Once during a week of trial in federal court, the judge required the plaintiff’s attorney to produce his next witness and threatened that if he did not,
he would dismiss the case. The final
witness of the day had testified and 10
minutes were left in the day. The attorney had no witness to produce until
the next day, when he had scheduled a
doctor to testify. The judge demanded
the next witness. As his gavel rose to
dismiss the case, the attorney didn’t
panic, but found his pause and his calm.
In that space, he had time to see all his
options and to make a reasoned decision. Before the gavel struck, he asked
the judge for an offer of proof. When the
clock struck four, court was adjourned,
with the case scheduled to continue the
next day. Mindfulness prevailed.
On page 16 of this issue of N WLawyer,
Professor Rhonda Magee explores the
history and the supportive neuroscience
behind mindfulness meditation. She
writes as a practitioner, a researcher, a
teacher, a lawyer, and a human. Please
read it. We are lucky to have her in
NWLawyer. The next time you are in
court and have to make a critical decision under pressure, you may find yourself thanking Professor Magee.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that the world is
changing around us and we must find
tools to not only survive, but to thrive.
While mindfulness isn’t new to other
professions, it is new for many lawyers.
It may not revolutionize your life, but it
may help you find your zone, your calm,
and your vacationed mind. So I won’t
tell you that it is “the answer,” but it is a
tool that will give you answers.
If you approach mindfulness with an
open and curious mind, you may find that
a young quarterback’s wisdom leads beyond the Super Bowl. So take a moment
and pause, and follow the words of Dr.
Gervais: “Quiet your mind,” “Focus your
attention inwardly,” and “Visualize success.” It might, just might, be the beginning of something big for you, too. N WL
WSBA President Patrick A. Palace
practices in Tacoma. He can be reached
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-627-
3883. Follow him on Twitter: @palacelaw.