Depositions and Different Missions

by Andrew Co
Week 3

Week three came and went even faster than the last! This week I dove head-first into the writing competition and got a better understanding of the issues and case law before our deadline next week. I have no experience writing a motion like this, but fortunately, we were given evidence and authorities to reference.

On Monday, we had a Motion Writing seminar presented by partner Samantha Duke from Orlando. She is a very accomplished attorney and legal writer. Her presentation was very informative for our writing competition memos. She discussed proper structure, when to omit or highlight certain points, and provided advice on minimizing errors. She recommended printing out each draft and editing by hand, which was encouraging, because I already try to do that for my larger memos.

I sat in on a hearing with associate Erin Weinstock where the parties agreed to an order the night before, so it was pretty quick. Erin went out of her way to introduce me to the judge, which was nice being so supported and part of the hearing. I also sat in on a deposition led by associate Jessica Gross. Jessica has taken me under her wing and provides a lot of helpful feedback on my assignments. I appreciate that she has been so patient with me.

We had a productive attorney meeting on Thursday, including a visit from Managing Partner Frank Sheppard and the weekly presentation by Ashley. I was very impressed with Ashley’s knowledge of the cases and relevancy to our firm’s practice. She spoke without looking at her notes and it was a great performance in front of the other attorneys in the office.

Friday morning started with a workshop on Evidence, presented by associate Alex Melvin from Orlando. He is a former state attorney so his courtroom experience and comfort with trial work were very evident (pun intended). I have not taken Evidence in law school yet, and this was a great preview of the real issues that come up. Alex taught us how to lay proper foundation, common objections to make, and exceptions to a few of the key objections. Hearsay!

This week, I sat in on three depositions. The issues were very different, and I enjoyed seeing how each attorney approached the witness when asking them questions. Some were more conversational and friendly, whereas others were more direct when discussing the facts of the case. I am not exactly sure what my style will be, but taking notes helps me reflect on what kinds of questions get helpful answers.

Dressed to the nines with Erin!

I capped off the work week by working with associate Brittney Polo on three similar cases to write letters to opposing counsel to meet and confer along with including insurance stipulations. Brittney is Ashley’s mentor, and she worked with Erin (my mentor) to give Ashley and me a range of work, which I greatly appreciate! I am still very open-minded on the exact type of law I want to practice, so exposure to everything the firm has to offer is amazing. This has been an opportunity to see different types of assignments, clients, and work styles between all the attorneys I have worked with.

Finally, Erin invited me to volunteer at the Miami-Dade Bar Installation Gala over the weekend. Being at that prestigious event showed me the importance of networking, getting involved in the community, and dressing to impress!

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