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Ethics/Professional Responsibility,
Community News

Apr. 15, 2024

Judges give young attorneys a lesson in decorum

If all else fails, "conjure your inner Swiftie and 'shake it off'," says Los Angeles County Superior Court Presiding Judge Samantha P. Jessner.

From left: Gustavo Munguia, marketing director at CD Lawyers, Judge Laura A. Siegel and Argie L. Mina of Susman Godfrey LLP.

Recently-admitted attorneys had the opportunity to mingle with top Los Angeles judges at a reception hosted by the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Barristers/Young Attorneys Section on Wednesday.

"I think, for younger attorneys to see the judge who's up there on the bench, in their robes, making decisions, then they come here and they can see that, you know, judges are just people ... it's a good way to foster that sense of community, between attorneys and judges here in Los Angeles," said Martin F. Hirshland, the section's assistant vice president of public relations.

Presiding Judge Samantha P. Jessner and Chief Central District Judge Dolly M. Gee regaled the crowd of attorneys with anecdotes and words of advice.

Judge Tiffany W. Tai, left, Judge Latrice A.G. Byrdsong.

"The best, most effective lawyers I have ever met are not jerks," Gee told the assembled attorneys. "They are tenacious advocates. They do not tear down or disrespect their opponents. When they encounter opponents who act like jerks, they either ignore them, or they de-escalate in a respectful way."

Meanwhile, Jessner delivered a speech peppered with cheeky references to Taylor Swift lyrics.

"Once you define your goals and find your people, you will recognize the importance of the symbol of being professional, the importance of looking respectful and deserving of respect, and believing not only in yourself, but knowing all too well the importance of community and connection," Jessner said. "And again, if all else fails, conjure your inner Swiftie and 'shake it off.'"


Skyler Romero

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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