If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

So you wanna be a defense attorney?

You think this job is all Sunchasers, Torties, and Shepherds? Think again, friends. Today was one of those days where I took a beating in court. Sometimes, that is the job.

The judge is happy to violate my client’s due process rights because they have been accused of not paying farmworkers all of their wages. She doesn’t care that we denied it. All of the case law was in our favor - we were right. I was on, and made a really good argument. But I still lost. You see, in this job, being right is not enough. We need to appeal and fight, and sometimes you have to lose first.

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I learned it from labor relations. Every union dispute always looks awful before it turns, and you always lose before you win. In the Gerawan case against the UFW, we fought for five years to count the workers’ ballots - and ultimately prevailed because we were right. But man, we took a beating along the way, losing the longest trial in the history of the ALRB before we won.

Honestly, I am not sure you are doing this job until you are backed into a corner and need to fight your way out.  Losing the ones where you are right is where it all begins.

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