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    News, Inspiration, Challenging, Motivating

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California Lawyer

Courtly Manners: The Inner Beauty Contest

You are about to exit the freeway when suddenly a white SLS Mercedes cuts you off, causing you to slam on your brakes and slosh your now-not-so-large coffee around the car. Moments later, as you pass the offending driver, you pause and let your fingers do the talking. Lucky you? Not if half an hour later said driver walks in as the GC heading up the beauty contest that's been six months in the works. She is not amused.

Regardless of how the other driver tells the story, the fact remains that you flipped her off and she is now in a position to return the favor.

According to the Emily Post Institute, three factors influence relationships: appearance, actions, and words. Misuse of any of these factors repels potential clients, and two of these occur before you ever open your mouth.

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Daily Journal

Lawyer etiquette during the holidays: avoid the ‘naughty list’

It is that time of year again where ample opportunities exist to build or blow up client and family relations. Can you avoid the “naughty list”? Certainly.  Here are some tips for mastering awkward encounters.

Particularly irksome to many attorneys is the holiday greeting.  “It’s like walking on eggshells,” says William Shreve, IP partner at Knobbe Martens in Irvine.  “There is a natural tension in the holidays as to what you wish: ‘Merry Christmas’? ‘Happy Hanukkah’? You always walk the line, not knowing their religious background or if they are active in practicing their faith,” he says.

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Daily Journal

Business Etiquette for the Win

As legend goes, Ray Kroc of McDonald's could not decide between two executives for a high-powered position so he took them both to lunch. When the food arrived, one executive immediately salted his food while the other, tasted it first. Kroc decided the executive who first assessed the situation rather than assumed it would be the better candidate and gave him the job. Just how important are your manners when it comes to winning over a general counsel? Plenty. Manners are a good indicator as to how you will act once hired. Etiquette is the hinge factor that can swing clients in your favor even if your qualifications are less than your competitors. According to Mark LeHocky, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Ross Stores, Inc., in Pleasanton, "Manners and etiquette are one measure of a person's effectiveness."

Etiquette also reveals your sense of judgment. William Scarff, Jr., Vice President, Assistant General Counsel and Chief Litigation Counsel at Allergan, Inc. in Irvine says this about etiquette: "It is very useful to observe how people treat others when they think no one is looking. How careful are they? Are they the kind of people who talk about business in elevators or in the hallway? If they are careless in those situations, it often means that they will be careless in others."

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