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Why You Should Never Argue Outside the Courtroom

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 05, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Lessons in the law come from all kinds of places.

Often, it is in the courtroom where litigators demonstrate their skills. It is beyond Trial Advocacy 101; it is the real deal.

Sometimes the lessons occur outside the courtroom, and occasionally in the hallway. Here's one lesson seasoned litigators should know: never argue in the courthouse halls.

Hallway Arguments

The main reason you should never argue in courthouse corridors is that you don't know who might be listening. Judges, jurors, and witnesses sometimes live there, too.

It's especially dangerous to argue publicly when the media is in the house. Someone said they are "God's little spies" -- like witnesses to everything.

Attorneys Brent Blakely and Michael Avenatti should know that by now. As they argued in the hallway of a Santa Monica courthouse recently, reporters were taking notes.

"Standing nose-to-nose with attorney Brent Blakely, Avenatti told him he represented a felon," Brian Melley reported for the Associated Press. "Blakely shot back that Avenatti is a felon."

Not a Good Look

Of course, Avenatti is not a felon. But virtually every story about him recently ties in the restraining order against him for allegedly dragging a woman across an apartment and throwing her out.

Blakely's client, on the other had, is a felon. But when did it become a crime for a lawyer to represent a convicted felon?

In any case, the hallway confrontation was not a good look for either lawyer or their high-profile clients: Blakely represents Michael Cohen; Avenatti represents Stormy Daniels.

Avenatti, however, might lose his client. Blakely's client, of course, already lost.

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