February 9, 2018
Mindfulness, Trial Practice and Zealous Advocacy

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This week we will have the wonderful opportunity to spend time with Harley Tropin, exploring mindfulness, the practice of law, and trial practice.

Harley is president of Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton and concentrates his practice on high stakes business litigation. For for than 25 years he has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, and is regarded as a “Bet-The-Company Litigator.” Florida Trend’s “Legal Elite” and Florida SuperLawyers recognize Harley as a top attorney in business litigation.

In July 2009, Harley was named to the Florida Legal Elite Hall of Fame. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and has taught trial advocacy at the University of Miami School of Law for the past twenty years.

For more than 7 years, Harley has participated in various mindfulness programs introducing and sharing mindfulness with lawyers, judges, and law students.

You can learn more about Harley by clicking here. You can also read an interesting interview with Harley where he shares wise words on being rainmaker.



(same pages as from last week):

—Kabat-Zinn, “Mindfulness for Beginners,” pp. 11-15.
—Rogers, "Mindfulness for Law Students," pp. 7-10.

Reading Packet

After reading Harley Tropin's short article from the Dade-County Bar Association Bulletin, write a short reflection that recollects a professional or personal situation where you were "met with a stimulus that demands a response" and not respond as you would have liked. Describe the event and what you think led to your "over-reaction." How, if at all, do you think mindfulness might have helped? Use the "snow globe" metaphor in your response. (1-2 pages)

The article from "Mindful" magazine dovetails nicely with Harley's article and you will see similar references. It will offer you a helpful reminder of what we have been learning about mindfulness practice. There is bound to be something in this article by Bob Stahl that adds to your understanding of mindfulness. At the very end of your reflection on Harley's article, add one sentence that conveys what you learned (or were reminded of that you find important) from Stahl's article, and how it may help your mindfulness practice.

The longer piece—by Patton Hyman—is a brilliant discussion integrating mindfulness and practicing law/trail practice. Identify a portion of Patton Hyman's article that resonates with you and be prepared to identify the passage and discuss what you found useful/insightful about it in class.

Please turn in the writing assignment by Thursday at 3:00pm, by e-mailing to both Deb Martin and me, and bringing your Daily Sitting Practice Card to class.

Mindfulness Assignment:

1. Formal Practice: Use Insight Timer and sit each day for at least 10-minutes (paying attention to your Snow Globe). Use either one of my guided practices or listen in silence. Note your observations on the Practice Card.

*Some of you may find 10 minutes to be challenging and I encourage you to establish, up front, your determination to practice, and to draw upon your diligent natures, to bring it about. If you end up sitting for less time, that's okay. Please note it on your card. You are not counted off for sitting for less time; we are, after all, developing our practice and it takes . . . time)

2. Insight Timer: One day this week listen to the "20 Minute Body Scan" that I guide on Insight Timer. Use Harley Tropin’s “DND” posit, distributed in class. Importantly, share your observations of the 20 minute sitting with me through Insight Timer.

3. SoBe Mindful Stop (Tree/Wind): The informal practice we have begun of (1) stopping when you see a tree and adjusting your body posture/stretching your fingers, and/or (2) taking a slower, deeper breath when you feel or sense the wind, is a practice known as the "SoBe Mindful Stop." See if you can, every now and again, practice when outdoors.

4. Walnut: When you see your walnut, remember the science findings you've been learning (and perhaps use it as a time to read the science article for this week). Perhaps it will remind you of your brain—in particular your pre-frontal cortex—and of the ways that mindfulness practices are associated with meaningful changes to the structure and function of the brain.

5. Mindful Space: Attend at least one Mindful Space this week. I will send an e-mail with a list of options. If your schedules do not permit you to attend one (and please do not drive in to school just for the Mindful Space) please let me know at your earliest convenience.