Thursday, 8 May 2014

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize

matters are very often resolved without judicial intervention, sometimes on the eve of a motion or trial...

As an articling student, we often assist on motions or trials that require several hours of preparation before a hearing date. We conduct our research, draft our materials, and wait with anticipation for the hearing date that took months or years to obtain. However, these matters are very often resolved without judicial intervention, sometimes on the eve of a motion or trial. Even if the result is advantageous, the anti-climax, at times, can be quite disappointing.

As is often the case with the litigants themselves, we wanted our day in court. It is sometimes difficult to keep our eyes on the prize; we won without having to go through the risk of the motion or trial. This completely reasonable intellectual rationalization offers little comfort to an articling student, whose time and effort seems to have been for naught.

I have found solace in another, equally valid rationalization; the positive result or resolution would never have been possible without the preparation for the motion or trial. One’s strategic position can be significantly altered when an opposing party reads well-researched, well-written materials. At that point, a master or judge may no longer be necessary.

Therefore, while the drama may be somewhat muted, I have learned to take an advantageous result obtained before a motion or trial as what it is: a win that was earned.
Eric K.