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  • Jim Costa

Jim’s Rant For The Day. “Jim, Heads Up! Read This.”

Events of this week reminded me of the above statement hollered at me in a class I was taking. When I was working on my Paralegal degree I was in my desk before class. The instructor came in and hollered that to me. I looked up in time to see a book in the air to catch. He knew I was an avid speed reader and would read anything I could get my hands on.

That was all he said. The book was A View From The Bench by Judge Wapner. He was the first to pioneer a Peoples Court TV program. It was an amazing sharing of his personal philosophy on the law and the legal process. But the real crux of his heart and soul was to be found in the last chapter.

Although I read it some 25 years ago, I believe he attended the University of California. It was in that law library that he had his defining epiphany on his legal education. While meandering through the countless shelved stacks of books he saw it first hand. He described the huge amateurest painting as the ugliest work of art he had ever seen. It was a cow in the center with a farmer in coveralls with a rope around its head pulling it towards him. Behind the cow was another farmer in coveralls pulling on his tail. In the middle was a suited man on a stool milking the cow. Under the stool was the word “Lawyer”.

He said emphatically to settle or arbitrate before you go to court. Throughout the book his key point was to rid yourself of the emotions and decide the least “winning” you would walk away with. Then settle before the lawyers get all the milk.

I was reminded of this when receiving phone calls and emails about the Sussman trial and his acquittal. I had to express my opinion that the Huber staff is not stupid but many times us anxious spectators can be in a rush for satisfaction. In my opinion the Huber staff didn’t want a Sussman hide hanging on the wall, they wanted him to testify in court so he could legally wiggle out of a Non-Disclosure agreement and say “Hillary did it!” And that’s exactly what the staff got – their predetermined victory.

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