Make simple things difficult? Lawyers? Pshaw!!! Well it is true, we can and often do take something simple and turn it into something far more difficult. Many lawyers come out of law school not knowing the practice of law but only the theory, and that theoretical underpinning can wreak havoc for some. Even looking at uneven pavement or a pothole gets some lawyers thinking of the potentially liable parties and the causes of action that could be asserted. What is a blessing can sometimes be a curse, even when the esteemed “practice of law” does not get left at the office and makes its way home to mealtime discussions. But in the practice itself, the KISS mantra (i.e., “Keep It Simple Stupid”, for the uninitiated) is often good guidance both for litigators and transactional types alike.
Technological advances have in many ways made lawyers more efficient. But at the same time, lawyers who have practiced for many years often look back and have a simpler perspective, as they were able to get things done much faster and with far fewer pages for matters with the same significance. But hey, who knows, maybe that transaction did need 11 pages of ERISA representations and warranties even though the target had only a couple run of the mill benefit plans. Or maybe it was a better idea to file a massive complaint prior to even reaching out to opposing counsel to see if something could be settled amicably in a relatively short period of time. But probably not. As we continue to head towards putting the pandemic behind us, perhaps it is time for some reflection on how to keep things simple which will pay dividends not only to clients but to the legal profession generally. With everything that we have been through, lawyers and their clients can use whatever help they can get to improve work-life balance and mental health for the post-pandemic years ahead.
“Do we lawyers always complicate matters a bit too much? Sometimes? Are we windbags? Do we waste too much time on trivialities? One thing most lawyers can agree with is that the wheels of justice often move slowly. Why is this? Is it always the fault of the lawyers?…Maybe another reason for lawyers spending more time on a matter than might be necessary is fear of being accused of malpractice. You see this concern expressed both in litigation and nonlitigation situations.”