Can you coax your mind from its wandering

and keep to the original oneness?

Can you let your body become

supple as a newborn child's?

Can you cleanse your inner vision

until you see nothing but the light?

Can you love people and lead them

without imposing your will?

Can you deal with the most vital matters

by letting events take their course?

Can you step back from your own mind

and thus understand all things?

- Lao Tzu

In law, as in life, stepping back from one's own mind is the key to understanding all things.

When one is caught up in one's own mind, it's impossible to see oneself and one's world clearly . . . objectively. A lawyer is tasked with seeing into the mind of his opposition. To do so requires exorcising himself from himself . . . at least to the extent that it allows him to enter the hypothetical circumstances of another.

An overly emotional or egotistical lawyer is his own worst enemy, as he is trapped inside his own mind with no eye out. I've seen the aftermath of this lawyer in and out of the courtroom. Such a lawyer does not act in his client's best interest.

- M. Chappell