Like years past, I had the opportunity again this year to attend the annual convention of the Washington State Association for Justice which was held in Seattle, Washington from September 18-20, 2019. Though Convention was held at the Seattle Bell Harbor International Conference Center, most of the out-of-town attorneys stayed at the Edgewater Hotel—a beautiful resort with unbelievable views of Elliott Bay just West of Seattle. I'll never forget the time I spent one afternoon during Convention. I just stood at my hotel room window, leaned forward onto the railing, and looked out across the water just before sunset. The beauty of the waves coming in and out, the somewhat salty smell of the fresh ocean air, and the amazing peace I felt at that moment literally took my breath away. It still does as I reflect back upon it a couple of weeks later.
Though that was a somewhat more personal reflection upon a specific moment in time, and though I did truly enjoy the location and the scenery, the convention itself did not disappoint either. The main purpose of each convention is to network and also to meet legal education requirements. Topics we learned about this year included:
- Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facilities;
- Various nationally prominent and modern approaches to the practice of personal injury practice including the Trojan Horse Method, the Domino Theory, and Psychodrama;
- Biomechanical Experts;
- The Power of Showing and Telling a Jury;
- The Art and Power of Body Language;
- How Little Moments in Our Lives Make Us Better Lawyers;
- Focus Groups;
- Voir Dire (jury selection);
- The Use of Depositions at Trial;
- Closing Argument: Saving a Rough Case in Closing; and
- Adverse Witnesses: Using Them to Win at Trial.
The Washington State Association for Justice brought in speakers not only from our own organization—across the state of Washington—but also from all across the United States. These nationally acclaimed speakers were able to address new and important topics pertaining to our practice and our ability to represent our clients. As our firm's representative at convention, I was able to share what I learned with the other attorneys at my office.
In addition to the important things covered during the educational portion of convention, I also had the opportunity to visit with friends and colleagues across the state. Some of these relationships have developed over the years. Others, with people I only met recently. By spending much of that week with these people, I was able to strengthen and grow some pretty amazing relationships into something I hope will last not only for the rest of my professional career, but even for many years beyond it. These experiences make convention a truly amazing and unique experience that is more than just the practice of law. It's part of what I love about being a lawyer in Washington state with amazing colleagues I am honored to call friends and amazing friends I am privileged to call colleagues. I have attended the convention for several years in a row now, but this year's convention stands out as truly special and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be there with such amazing people.