'The Golden Rule' for ATLA

By: Sach Oliver, Trial Attorney/Managing Partner

FALL ATLA DOCKET 2021

ATLA (Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association) Docket publication.

As trial lawyers we must follow the Golden Rule. But which one? I suggest we consider both Golden Rules and how they can make us better leaders of ATLA. As leaders in our communities, for our families, for our state, and for our clients, we should follow the Golden Rules.

Golden Rule 1: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12). Our world today has become so entrenched with disagreement and name calling. It seems many folks have taken the position that if someone disagrees with them, then they are bad people. Some folks have even started calling those who disagree with them bad names and making disparaging remarks against others. Did you know we don’t have to act this way? How can we embrace disagreement with kindness? By following the Golden Rule.

Some ideas to consider with those who disagree with us:
• Listen,
• Consider their point of view,
• Recognize it’s ok to disagree,
• Consider offering our side’s point of view,
• Be kind the whole time, and
• Don’t resort to bad name calling.

As lawyers we live in an adversarial world that is hinged on an adversarial justice system. In almost every case where we represent our clients vigorously, we will square off and disagree with the other side. Let’s disagree with dignity and follow the Golden Rule.

As ATLA members protecting the civil justice system and Arkansas families right to a jury trial, we square off and disagree with proponents of bad tort reform. We can fight for our clients and Arkansas citizens while disagreeing with dignity and following the Golden Rule.golden rule

Golden Rule 2: During the trial, we are not allowed to ask the jurors to put themselves in the shoes of the victim or injured person or deliver a verdict that they would wish to receive if in the shoes of the victim or injured person. While we might not be able to ask jurors to step into the shoes of our clients, we can learn something from this trial Golden Rule Concept when facing those with whom we disagree. Something I have learned is that if I place myself in the shoes of the person I am disagreeing with, I sure learn a lot about that person. Often times, when we put ourselves in the position of the person we are disagreeing with and consider his point of view, we might just realize they are not bad people worthy of negativity; WE JUST DISAGREE.

Let us be an organization that leads our state by following the Golden Rule, treating others as we wish to be treated. Let us put ourselves in the shoes of our adversaries, considering their point of view, and stand up for our principles and values with kindness.