Don't take cases personally and never call the judge "Lady"

Discovery with Deanne Arthur

Published in 2022 San Diego Super Lawyers magazine

By Deanne Arthur on March 31, 2022


I can’t go a day without … coffee.

If you were in my office, you’d … be like family. In fact, most of my family is there or around there. My Dad shares office space with me, my cousin has a law practice on the same floor, and another cousin owns a nearby shop. 

The lawyer I most admire is … Claire Lightner. She is so effortlessly fantastic.

The quality I most like in a lawyer is … the ability to not take cases personally while still advocating for their client.

When I started, I wish I knew … so much more! But mostly, how not to take offense by opposing counsel.

My career high point (so far) has been … winning a two-day trial for a maternal aunt and minor child, where both parents were abusing drugs. The aunt got full custody.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … a veterinarian. That was my dream until I saw a vet go shoulder-deep into a horse’s rear end.

When I win a case, I celebrate by … having a nice dinner with my fiancé, no kids allowed. 

My courtroom walkup music would be … gospel music. Gotta get my mind right and be prayed up.

A different practice area that intrigues me is … criminal defense. I love jury trials, but the threat of someone going to jail is always a downer.

My fictional hero is … Wonder Woman. That outfit! And I want the ability to make everyone tell the truth.

The talent I wish I had is … singing! I put on a full concert in my car and shower. It just doesn’t sound as pleasant as I feel doing it.

The craziest thing I witnessed in a courtroom is … a self-represented opposing party get frustrated and start calling the Judge “Lady.” As in “Look, lady…” Needless to say, he did not get favorable orders.

If I had a morning show, my co-host would be … Jennifer Lawrence. She should co-host everything.

The last TV show I binge-watched was … Ozark. I love Jason Bateman. Even serious Jason Bateman.

Nothing cheers me up like … my 6-year-old son.

My guilty pleasure is … General Hospital. It takes a week to get through a day and everyone resurrects from the dead, but I love it. Doing family law is already like a daily soap opera anyway.

My favorite word is … not polite to repeat.

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