Remain Tense

     Do you really want to calm down?
     Meditation has become trendy for harried business types of late. So, naturally, there are meditation programs for lawyers.
     See, for example, “Better lawyering through mindfulness.”
     Oh sure, this looks benign, but this may the biggest threat the legal profession has ever faced!
     I’ve tried meditation – for three days as of this writing, in 10-minute sessions – and I’m frightened for you.
     I used my personal mantra – “DUUHHHHHHHH” – so I could say I meditated ironically.
     Then I calmed down. I relaxed. I was aware of my surroundings.
     And what I didn’t want to do was argue with anyone.
     You see the problem.
     If this meditation thing spreads, your clients won’t want to sue. They may not even notice they need to sue.
     What’s worse, fewer people will do bad stuff because they’re too relaxed to bother. How can that be good for anyone?
     You might as well turn your office into an ashram (which sounds darned relaxing, now that I think about it).
     But please resist the temptation. This is not good for business.
     I mentioned this topic to my non-lawyer wife last week and her immediate reaction was that meditation could be used in court – for judges, jurors, everybody at the same time!
     Imagine this – but don’t do it in a calm way. Everybody shows up for a nice contentious hearing and the judge orders everyone to close their eyes and count their breaths while focusing gradually on each part of their bodies.
     The next thing you know everyone is shaking hands and going home.
     This trend is a disaster in the making. Contact your local bar association. Maybe we can get some anti-meditation ethical rules written.
     Buck the trend. What you really need in your practice is the opposite of meditation. A nervous, stressed-out client is a lucrative client.
     You want premeditated clients, not postmeditated clients.
     Your employees shouldn’t be calm either. Remember, tension is contagious. If a lawyer is freaking out, the client will follow suit.
     Here are some techniques you can use to keep your clients and associates on edge.
     Schedule a mandatory 10-minute office-wide meeting each day. Have everyone sit in a circle, get comfortable, and take turns insulting one another. The senior partner or designated screamer then has the task of leaning into each person’s face and shouting a one-word obscenity that best describes that person’s performance the previous day.
     This will not only wake everyone up, but should create some nice nervous tics.
     Burning some foul-smelling incense (perhaps dried dog poop) at the meeting is a nice touch too.
     Pipe death metal recordings into waiting areas – but do it intermittently, so that listeners will be startled.
     Scatter pamphlets on bankruptcy and judgment avoidance around your office where clients can see them.
     Hire unemployed actors to pretend to be new hires and then fire them in front of everyone.
     Offer free coffee.
     Lots and lots of coffee spiked with energy drinks.

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