This blog is often filled with stories of clients who have sustained serious life altering injuries and have asked LEAV & STEINBERG, LLP to represent them in seeking the legal justice and adequate compensation due to the negligent actions of others. Very often the cases take years to progress through litigation. Very often at each step of the way (depositions, discovery inspections, physical exams) there are pitfalls and things that must be carefully planned in order to achieve success. The outcome is usually a result of the hard work in preparation. My personal life over these past six months is quite similar.
As this weekend approaches, I have been checking the weather in Chicago for Sunday. Mostly sunny, high of 65 and low of 52. Looks like perfect running weather. If it was only that simple. I made the decision to enter the lottery to run the Chicago Marathon about 6 months ago. Luckily I got in. That was where the hard work begins. I have trained for the last 4 months with six days of working out and varied my runs with heart rate training, pacing sessions, and interval speed work. The goal, to qualify for the Boston Marathon for April 2018.
I have previously run 4 marathons and have gotten within 4 minutes of qualifying. That has not stopped my determination. I am hopeful this year will be the year. I am focused and mentally ready. As my trainer has told me…the hay is in the barn…. time to run… The last few weeks are tapering weeks so the running has decreased and the level of rest increased. This can be tough as many of you on the east coast know….its mallomar season.
However, having been an attorney for over 19 years, and having successfully represented 1000’s of clients and families, the same dedication and effort has gone into my training as my career. In fact, I truly believe having been a negligence attorney here in New York I am truly prepared better than most for the battle both physically and mentally I am about to face this Sunday.
I can remember my first trial just a month or two after being admitted. I was representing a man struck by a taxi in New York City. He had a bad neck and back injury. The trial was held in the Courtroom of Justice Richard Lowe in 60 Centre Street. For those familiar with 60 Centre Street the Courtrooms are huge, intimidating and certainly make you nervous as you walk in. Judge Lowe was a great Jurist, learned, disciplined and certainly happy to make my first trial a challenge, but fair. I had a month to prepare for that trial. Each night was long hours of work. Well past midnight and often waking up early to take down thoughts that had come to mind during my restless night of sleep. Similar, my training this past summer has had me up at 4:00 AM, thinking about what run I had to do and trying to mentally focus on each of the things needed to improve.
As the trial got closer, my preparation was in full gear. I had pages of notes, consolidated, rewritten, typed, memorized…. I was doing my voire dire (jury selection) as I commuted to work, sat in Court, ate dinner. Similarly, my last few weeks have been playing the opening of the race in my head. I got this. I know where I will position myself in the crowd. I know the pace I want to keep at the start.
Then the trial started and truth is….. it was much simpler as the preparation had been extensive. There were, however, changes and pitfalls during the trial. An objection here and there that required me to re-phrase a question or think outside the box. I imagine this Sunday, as in marathons past, the same will occur. A cramp, dropping my drink, hoping not to have to use one of the bathrooms stops along the way (yes there is even method for training for this problem).
That trial resulted in a verdict 10x larger than the insurance policy available and 15x greater than what the carrier had offered us. The result was that the carrier and the insured paid my client more than what was available on the policy.
That was just the start. I have had similar challenges over the last 19 years and each time I learn that with great preparation, dedication, commitment and desire to succeed, most anything is possible. I hope this Sunday yields the same result.
Marathon goal: 3:15 min….
Goal as an attorney: Keep doing what I love