Lawyers make mistakes. Read a transcript (your own or that of someone else) or a news media account, go to court and watch, or just learn about it when a colleague describes a trial—with insight and an acknowledgment of missteps or hubris and a peacock display of self-adjudged skill. They are mistakes of omission or commission, but they occur every day. The checklist movement—adapting the checklist model used by surgeons and airplane pilots—is a critical tool for error reduction and elimination and has its place in law.* But beyond granular details that must be checked and double-checked for a particular category of case during preparation and trial, there are overarching lessons and advisories that can guide lawyers and improve trial practice and outcome. Below is a collection of such insights and tools.
Gary Gildin, Jules Epstein, Robert Little, Kenneth S. Klein, Jim Roberts, Rachel Brockl, H. Scott Fingerhut, Ramona Albin, Charles H. Rose III, Kaelyn J. Romey, Catherine E. Stahl, John Singer, Marian Braccia, Elizabeth Lippy, and Laura Rosed, Collective Wisdom: One Bit of Advice Collective Wisdom (2021).