Bucks Writs - Summer 2017 - 19


Lawyers & Fishermen
Have in Common
- By Scott Fegley
Dare I draw a parallel between two seemingly dissimilar
pursuits as lawyering and fishing? One is a vocation
practiced, for the most part, indoors. The other a
recreation practiced, for the most part, out of doors.
When I asked Google to compare lawyers and fishermen,
the search returned only an unflattering article comparing
lawyers to a certain species of fish. Wade deep into
both worlds, however, and one can appreciate the traits
that make a good fisherman also make a good lawyer
and vice versa.

And, of course, they embellish. A fisherman's
story is a tapestry appreciated by any age. In law,
storytelling is often left to trial lawyers, but find a lawyer
who fishes and you will find a good storyteller.

The Art of Presentation

Optimism is fuel for the fisherman as it is for the lawyer.
Each occasion is another opportunity to apply one's skills
against a worthy opponent. And as he ages, I suspect both
the fisherman and the lawyer find more satisfaction in
passing on his craftsmanship to another so that someone
else's life may be equally enriched. 

The Quest for Your Best
There hasn't been a fisherman in history who has won the
battle with every fish he hooked, nor a lawyer that hasn't
felt the disappointment of one that got away. Success is
temporary. Failure is motivation. And learning is continual.

A good fisherman knows he cannot throw anything into
the water and expect a fish to bite. A fisherman practices
the art of persuasion as much as any courtroom lawyer.
His objective is to persuade a fish that his offering looks,
smells and acts just like its natural quarry that it gulps down
without hesitation. If the bait or lure presented looks or
smells bad or acts unnatural, the fish will swim away. It is
much the same in the courtroom. If a lawyer's evidence
looks or smells bad or seems unnatural, he is unlikely to
persuade a jury to swallow his line.


Thought and preparation must precede the presentation.
Careful selection of a dry fly to match the hatch along a
stream is as important to the trout angler's success as a
lawyer's selection of his words before oral argument. A
novice angler often allows the line to smack the water
alerting every fish present to his posturing. But the skilled
placement of flies or words in an alluring manner is a sign
of craftsmanship.

Representation,	consultation	and	expert	testimony	in
disciplinary	matters	and	matters	involving	ethical	issues,
bar	admissions	and	the	Rules	of	Professional	Conduct

James C. Schwartzman, Esq.

*	 Chairman,	Judicial	Conduct	Board	of	Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Disciplinary	Board	of	the	Supreme	
Court	of	Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Continuing	Legal	Education	Board	
of	the	Supreme	Court	of	Pennsylvania
*	 Former	Chairman,	Supreme	Court	of	Pennsylvania	
Interest	on	Lawyers	Trust	Account	Board
*	 Former	Federal	Prosecutor
*	 Selected	by	his	peers	as	one	of	the	top	100	Super	Lawyers	
in	PA	and	the	top	100	Super	Lawyers	in	Philadelphia
*	 Named	by	his	peers	as	Best Lawyers in America	2015	
Philadelphia	Ethics	and	Professional	Responsibility	Law	
"Lawyer	of	the	Year,"	and	in	Plaintiffs	and	Defendants	
Legal	Malpractice	Law

Perhaps there is some similarity about making a cast
and making a sentence - both must be accurate, graceful, rhythmical and neat.
- John Moore

The Art of Storytelling
Good fishermen tell good stories. They draw from the
richness of their experience, the humor of their gaffes, the
wisdom of their years, and the beauty which inspires them.

1818 Market Street, 29th Floor * Philadelphia, PA 19103
(215) 751-2863


ISSUE: 1708
ORG/PUB: Bucks Writs


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