Be a spectatus

Trial lawyers have to be risk takers if they are going to be great trial lawyers. It can sometimes be frightening and intimidating. How we react to our fears determines how well we represent our clients.

In the book The Airmen and the Headhunters author Judith Heimann quotes a pilot of a bomber shot down in World War II as saying that during dangerous flying missions he had often been frightened. But he went on to say: "provided you don’t panic with fear, it doesn’t matter how frightened you are." We read in scripture, Joshua 1:9: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged…"

In ancient Rome a great gladiator was considered a hero and admired by all. Gladiator’s often were required to go into the ring and battle with an opponent until they were finally killed themselves. However, gladiator’s who were the best were allowed to retire with honor as they aged. These specially revered fighters were given a tessera with the letters SP on it. The SP stood for the Latin word "spectatus" which means a man whose valor has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. All men and women who want to be trial lawyers should strive for the honor of being someone who has proven their valor beyond a reasonable doubt. People who have the courage to face the challenge and pain of battle in litigation. May we all deserve the award as trial lawyers.

About Paul Luvera

Plaintiff trial lawyer for 50 years. Past President of the Inner Circle of Advocates & Washington State Trial Lawyers Association. Member American Board of Trial Advocates, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy, International Society of Barristers, member of the National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame & speaker at Spence Trial College
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