Nobody likes greedy or selfish people, for obvious reasons (they take more and leave less for you). And nobody likes people who lie, or who act with ulterior motives, because they can’t be trusted (“False in one; false in all.”). They make you feel foolish and powerless — you can’t predict their behavior and thus tailor your own because you don’t know what facts bear on their secret agendas.

Because such behavior is repulsive, litigators look to portray opposing parties and lawyers as greedy, selfish or deceptive in an effort to tarnish their credibility. In the trenches, veteran lawyers seem to worry less about the law and more about how selfish and sneaky they can paint the opposing party and its counsel.

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