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Shotguns, roaches and salesmanship There’s an anecdote about a hapless insurance defense lawyer who tried to woo a group of risk managers by taking them hunting, and accidentally peppered one with shotgun pellets. Another story recounts how two divorce lawyers grossed out an already traumatized couple by chatting on the way to trial about the size of the roaches at the last family law convention. Blunders that drive away business, and why the legal mind is especially vulnerable to them, is the subject of Marketing the Legal Mind by lawyer Henry Dahut. Published by LMG Press, it’s distributed by Atlas Books. Dahut had a high-profile practice in Riverside, Calif., for years, so he knows about dealing with clients. He says the war stories are real and come from interviews he had with more than 100 partners nationwide about the frustrations of selling themselves. The legally trained mind is a linear one not suited to mentoring and inspiring business builders, he says, and every firm has one or two “toxic partners” who prove it. It’s a short book, about 200 pages. Some classic marketing stunts are missing-like the time Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges of Los Angeles mailed out hand grenades-but part of what the book hopes to teach is how to apply Dahut’s client-empathetic analysis to new situations. Weighing the cost Earlier this year, a Mount Shasta, Calif., lawyer who was a litigant in a case before Judge Roderic Duncan called him a rat and was sanctioned with five days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Her attorney expressed surprise, saying he thought judges were more easygoing. (Apparently the attorney never heard of Judge Joseph Troisi, who once responded to a probationer’s curse by biting the man’s nose). So we’re offering the going rate for outbursts, as drawn from state appellate courts around the country: Joking about when the next judicial election would be held. Cost: $200 or three days in jail. Telling the judge, “This court obviously doesn’t want to apply the law.” Five days and $500. Telling the judge, “The court is suppressing evidence.” Ten days. Calling the judge a “tyrannical dog,” a “dirty son of a bitch” and “some kind of nut.” 11 to 22 years (vacated). Telling the judge during sentencing, “that’s a bunch of bullshit.” Six months. Making a “vulgar and crude . . . single-finger gesture” in the judge’s face. Five years (reduced to five months, 29 days). 12 angry persons What is it with jurors? Jack Ayer, a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law, asks whether it’s just happenstance that every hot trial these days is generating jury news. Think about it. The Martha Stewart trial had Chappell Hartridge. Initially his aplomb drew praise. But then the defense accused him of hiding anti-woman bias when he filled out the jury questionnaire, and argued it was ground for a new trial. Besides, wasn’t his talk about her conviction being a “victory for little people” a tad creepy? The Tyco prosecution had Ruth Jordan, who, six months into the trial against former execs Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, may have flashed an OK sign at the defense. During the ensuing furor, she got a nasty letter and the judge declared a mistrial. So a second juror, Pete McEntegart, wrote about his disillusionment in Time magazine. The Scott Peterson case had a retired secretary from Redwood City, Calif., whose name hasn’t been printed by the newspapers. But it’s early. And she does have a nom de guerre: The Stealth Juror. During jury selection, defense attorney Mark Geragos lit into her based on a tipster who said he’d overheard her during a senior citizen bus trip to Reno, Nev., saying Peterson is guilty.

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