One of the things I love about being a trial lawyer is that I continue to learn and grow, both as a lawyer and as a person. Two years ago I made a fateful decision which was very hard, to quit being associated with the Trial Lawyers College and to take another leap of faith. I will be eternally indebted to TLC for all I learned, mainly about myself. Gerry Spence always said we need to work on knowing ourselves to be able to be the best trial lawyer we can be, and he is so right. I spent 15 years at TLC, almost 14 of them on staff, the last couple of years as a liaison to the Board. I am so indebted to John Nolte, Don Clarkson, Kathie Sinclair and Katlin Larimer for how they helped me be me. There are so many people at TLC whom I care very much about. However, in 2009, it was time for me to leave, just as how it had been time for me to leave my old firm in 1994 when I first came back from TLC. One thing about learning who you are is recognizing when it is time to make a change. Listening to your gut, following your intuition, is one way of taking care of yourself.
After I left TLC, I felt a little isolated. Not only had I burned bridges with TLC, but also with my fellow friends and ex-pats, who now call themselves the 3 Sisters. Those three women had big ideas, starting their own trial lawyer training program, writing a book, continuing to grow. When I was first asked to help with the 3 Sisters seminars, I said no. I was conflicted. It took me awhile to know what I should do.
The 3 Sisters, Joane, Fredi, and Mary had already started their seminars with Carl Bettinger and Charlie Abourezk. A year went by and Joane approached me again. I missed the intellectual stimulation of the college and I missed my friends, so I somewhat reluctantly agreed. I did not want to get back in a rat race of jetting to various locations to teach. At first I was unsure of my commitment to 3 Sisters.
I soon discovered the true creativity, intellect and caring of these friends - and I include Carl and Charlie in this. This collaboration has been exciting. It has opened me up to new ideas and experiences and is a blast! I feel the excitement one feels when she gets IT, the big IT!!!!! When I started at TLC, I had tried several cases, but I was still scared. I am no longer scared. I love being in the courtroom talking to the good citizens of this state about my clients who I generally have grown to love. I know that when I am in the courtroom, advocating for justice for my clients, that is where I should be. I am at peace with what I do, and my job is thrilling.
The 3 Sisters is filed with brilliant, caring, creative people (I am not so conceited to include myself in that description). When we get together at one of the seminars, the creative ideas grow exponentially. But for me, knowing I am where I need to be, in my life, in my profession and at 3 Sisters is so gratifying.
My last trial was in June. The case was settled after the first week. That case illustrated for me what it feels like to be in the zone - to love my client, to feel the justice of my client's position and to know I, along with my wonderful client, were up to the task.
I am so blessed to work with Joane Garcia-Colson, Fredilyn Sison, Mary Peckham, Carl Bettinger and Charlie Abourezk. They are the best. I mean that in a colloquial way, but also in a very real way. THEY ARE THE BEST!!! The most caring, creative, intelligent lawyers I know. I am blessed.