WDTL Roundtables and the Savvy Litigator
Monday, May 17, 2021
by: Patrick G. Lynch

Section: Spring 2021

Patrick Lynch is an associate at Lewis Brisbois focusing on product liability and toxic tort cases.
“We are not going in circles; we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Would you rather learn because you made a mistake and had to recover from it, or because you were able to spot a problem, months in advance after discussing the issue at a WDTL Roundtable?  I know which one I prefer.  By participating in WDTL Roundtables we are able to learn new ways to evaluate cases, new discovery strategies, new strategies being employed by plaintiffs, and new resources or precedent to advance our client’s interests.  I firmly believe that all defense lawyers would benefit from attending the WDTL Roundtables, but this is doubly true for young lawyers like myself.  

For young lawyers, finding opportunities to practice “the practice of law” is a challenging and confusing process.  As lawyers, our initial training largely takes the form of professors guiding us in the ability to think critically, evaluate arguments, and apply these arguments to facts.  What our training does not prepare us for is the rigors of evaluating real cases being zealously advanced by real plaintiffs.  For that, we need experience, and the advice of our peers, and one of the best avenues to find such knowledge can be found at the WDTL Roundtables.

WDTL Roundtables take place once a month, currently via Zoom.  The discussions have a subject, for example the next one concerns Expert Witnesses, and provide a venue for litigators to discuss their opinions, questions, and problems in a format designed to facilitate learning.  WDTL Roundtables provide lawyers a forum to discuss discrete issues with other professionals who may approach cases completely differently, allow us all to develop a greater ability to approach cases flexibly, and to evaluate cases using a broader knowledge base, rather than only from our own narrow experiences.  Becoming better lawyers is the goal of every litigator, and if you are not attending WDTL Roundtables, you’re leaving a valuable resource untapped.