As I was reviewing my interview with Mr. Karl Sturge, an attorney based out of Miami, Florida, I heard a few key things that he made note of. One of the more relevant ones to our class was reacting vs responding. Mr. Sturge discussed not only talked about how to control your emotions, but how to strategically use reacting to what you hear while in a trial. Mr. Sturge talked about how difficult it was for him to learn the skill to not react, but to respond. It can be very difficult at times for a lawyer to listen to the opposing lawyer ramble on with lies or incorrect statements, but that is a part of being a lawyer. Mr. Sturge said that to be a good lawyer, you cannot get caught up in the lies the opposing lawyer is saying or the decisions the judge makes on topics of discussion, you must simply just listen to what they are saying, and be able to use it against them. Another thing jumped out at me from my interview was about listening properly and effectively. Mr. Sturge, as a trial lawyer, confessed that above all, like reading and writing, you must be a great listener if you want to be a successful trial lawyer. He discussed how listening not only to your opponent but to the judge or jury is important. If you are not listening with great attention at every moment, that one slip up could come back to destroy your chances of winning that case. Lawyers do not only have to listen to their clients, but also to opposing side’s story and the rulings that the judge makes on evidence that is allowed to be discussed or should not be brought up during that specific trial. Whether it be the judge telling both lawyers some things must be avoided while in trial, or the opposing lawyer is making a rebuttal or objecting to something you say, it is important to not only hear what is being said, but to process everything that is being said. To wrap it up, lawyers must be able to use their emotions wisely and listen properly and effectively if they want to be successful at their job.
Go to 10:11- 10:58 to hear a great quote about how important it is to be a great listener and why it is so important.