Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday Roadwork

31 minutes today.  If you wonder why I often have odd numbers for the times of the roadwork, such as 31 minutes instead of 30, it's to keep things varied and interesting for me.  It's a personality quirrk, I know, but I have learned not to fight myself; I do what's effective for me.

4 comments:

M said...

Ha ha...I tried starting meetings like 1:35pm etc and it somehow did work OK as people, more often than not, were constantly running late.

31 mins eh? I need to go for a run in the morning...

M

Steve Blunt said...

You should check out Alex Wade's book, 'Wrecking Machine'. Wade was (might still be) a successful London media lawyer who went off the rails, then got into boxing and did a few Real Fight Club bouts. His book was a cult hit in the UK and I think he still boxes even though he now lives somewhere where the surf is good and tghe living is less stressful. Wrecking Machine is a hell of a book. See www.alexwade.com - I confess I'm a fan and he's been good enough to encourage me in my attempts to master the sweet science.

Steve Imparl said...

Hey Steve,

I've seen Alex's name mentioned online here and there. Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out!

So, you're a boxer, too?

Alex Wade said...

Hi Steve,

I was alerted to your site this morning - good work and I hope you continue to enjoy your boxing. I don't know if it'll fit, and I hope you don't mind me posting it here, but here's an excerpt from Wrecking Machine. There's a lot more on this but for brevity's sake I've just pasted two paragraphs that you and other lawyer/boxers might find interesting:

Boxing appears to be a fertile arena for sub-editors searching for pithy headlines, but especially when the headline describes a legal story. It is almost as if boxing is law, as it is practised in the courts of England and Wales. For The Law, like boxing, is aggressive, confrontational, adversarial; it is not the quaintly investigative ‘search for truth’ favoured by the French judiciary but an exercise in testing a witness’s promise to tell the truth and nothing but by putting him under the most excruciating linguistic pressure. As in boxing, an audience – the jury – watches for any sign of weakness, as skilled white collar warriors in the mould of Edward Carson QC deftly tease errors and omissions from a witness, just as a good boxer takes it easy in the opening rounds, swapping jabs, looking for openings, slipping and feinting, before unleashing his best combinations, a jab, straight right, left hook, jab again, then right uppercut, followed by more jabs, then more of the same, again and again, until his opponent collapses under the battery, until the witness can maintain his lies no more.

****

I am a confirmed believer in the contribution of adrenalin to advocacy,” says Michael Beloff QC, one of the most successful and well-known of contemporary barristers. Beloff continues: “Those moments when the Judge is about to appear in Court, and, in the traditional deference to the Queen’s justice, one rises to one’s feet, remain for me, moments of unrefined anxiety – akin to those experienced by the sportsman about to enter the arena.” Beloff, speaking of the way in which the craft of advocacy is under threat from a variety of quarters, is compulsively, knowingly drawn to the imagery of conflict, the language of violence, precisely because this is his world, as much as the quotidian reality of cuts and bruises is the boxer’s. Of the way in which innovations in civil procedure were introduced to facilitate pre-trial settlement – to produce, in effect, a shift away from “the unconfined adversarial culture of the former civil justice system” in favour of written, rather than oral, advocacy – Beloff says: “The aim was to still the clash of advocates’ arms, to prevent indeed the forensic gladiators from even entering the arena.” To Beloff’s chagrin, for the work of the forensic gladiator is key to justice, and thus, in the adversary system, “traditional oral advocacy is a plant to be cherished, not pruned.”