My Idea of a Fun Afternoon? Writing a Brief, Maybe with Grateful Dead in the Background

Discovery with Derek Cole

Published in 2020 Northern California Super Lawyers magazine

By Derek Cole on July 8, 2020


I can’t go a day without … sarcasm. It is my coffee.

If you were in my office, you’d … ask where the thermostat is, because it feels like the temperature is 100 degrees.

My colleagues would be surprised to know that … I’m a closet Deadhead.

When I was a newbie lawyer I … thought a judge would seriously consider my motion for summary judgment rather than just look to find a single disputed act.

The lawyer I most admire is … Abraham Lincoln, whose humility, impeccable ethics and extraordinary wit were as evident in his law practice as they were in his presidency.

The quality I most like in a lawyer is … a sense of humor. If we can share a laugh while working opposite each other, then we know we’re doing our jobs right.

My pre-trial routine is … preparation, preparation and more preparation, with lots of jaded commentary mixed in.

When I started, I wish I knew … that to practice law right, I would need to become a psychologist without the degrees or title.

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … probably a lot less cynical but nowhere near as interesting. 

I almost quit the law because … Wait, I can quit?

On weekends I … do my best to unwind, but spend too much time thinking how soon it will be Monday again.

The talent I wish I had is … to actually do the awesome things those motivational Facebook memes tell me I can do.

I get angry when … I see the word “said” used as a pronoun. I am equally offended by “preposition sandwiches” (e.g., “in accordance with,” “in relation to”).

The movie line I quote most often is … “I’m not dead yet.” (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

I wish I had invented … an app that reads my mind and accurately records all my billing time entries without me having to press a single key on my laptop.

The last TV show I binge-watched was … Westworld, which I still don’t understand, but totally loved.

Nothing cheers me up like … a Manhattan around 5 p.m. on a Friday after a long workweek.

The most annoying thing about my job is … the amount of time I have to spend to record my time (hence my earlier answer).

My guilty pleasure is … writing amicus briefs.

My courtroom walk-up music would be … “The Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme).”

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