5 Takeaways from MBLA's District Court Litigation Boot Camp for New Lawyers

The Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association program, District Court Litigation Boot Camp for New Lawyers, held last Saturday, was a rousing success, drawing over 75 registrants. This program, part of the MBLA’s professional development initiative, was co-sponsored by the Boston Bar Association  Thanks to speakers Serge Georges Jr. (Law Office of Serge George, Jr.), District Court Judge Matthew J. Machera, and Hank Brennan of Carney & Bassil, the program was able to provide criminal, civil and judicial perspectives.

For those of you who missed the program, BBA Week has got you covered. We reached out to Serge, program chair and President-elect of the MBLA, to get his five takeaways from the event:

1) Know the facts of your cases inside and out.  There is no excuse for superficial or haphazard factual investigation.

2) Do not overestimate your legal knowledge or the unassailability of your legal position.  Research and know the applicable law, rules and standing orders no matter how much you think you know.

3) Conduct effective discovery that is centered on what you need to establish your claims and defenses.  Do not rely on generalized "forms" and cutting and pasting.

4)  Draft concise motions that are organized, well grounded, use good citations, and that get to the point. At oral argument, be substantive but pithy and don't talk the judge to death.

5) Join a legal organization where you can have access to more senior attorneys to get mentoring, including practical advice on strategy and drafting.