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Moneyball — Movies for Lawyers — The Act Of Communication Point Of View

8 February 2012

From Katherine:

Yes, it is Oscar Season in our town. When I look at all the reviews that we have written about Oscar nominated shows, I realize that we have covered a goodly number. Of course, even a quick glance at the list for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress shows quite a number that we haven’t seen. At first, I was going to make a commitment to see all the ones in these categories and report back to you. Then I realized that there were a number that I had absolutely no desire to see. I thought, “Great! I’ll make Alan do those!” Of course, he didn’t want to see a lot of the “leftovers,” either. So I am only going to attempt to report what I think you can learn from the ones I actually had a desire to see – but had not yet seen.

You’ve heard a lot about MONEYBALL no doubt. It’s the movie about baseball and economics. It is also nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt), Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Best Adapted Screenplay (from the book by Michael Lewis), Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. For a film that everyone who I know who saw it told me, “It’s not so bad” that’s a helluva lot of nominations. Maybe you are or are not a Brad Pitt fan. Maybe you do or do not see a reason for Jonah Hill to garner a nomination in a field filled with extraordinary actors. Maybe when a big honking fact is left out of the story, like the fact that the character Pitt plays was actually gay in real life, it makes you just plain mad (our older son who is an attorney was thoroughly miffed by that big “E” on the scoreboard).

So I put everything aside and searched for what I thought attorneys could learn from it. It was an overriding theme: confidence. The main character (Brad Pitt’s Billy Beane) has spent a lifetime trying to overcome his lack of confidence…and at the same time has spent his entire adult life trying to inspire confidence in others. What really struck me is that this is what every lawyer I have ever worked with does in every case. The roller coaster ride of trial –from accepting the task of representing a client through verdict — is a daunting task that seems on a daily basis to shake the confidence levels of attorneys on a “sunrise, sunset” schedule. However, their job is to instill confidence in everyone on the team from the paralegals to the witnesses. One of the major messages I get when I help with witness preparation is: “You gave her so much confidence!” Or as a desired goal of attendance at one of our workshops: “I came here because I wanted to get more confidence!” Or at the end of a workshop a common comment is, “Wow – this really boosted my confidence level.”

As you watch Moneyball, look at the delicate dance that Billy Beane through Brad Pitt’s interpretation of the role plays between the one who needs confidence while instilling confidence in others. See yourself there?

TIP: On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you in this moment?
…how about this one?

Movies For Lawyers

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