Don't Bother Looking for Hiccups in Adam Fried's Pretrial Prep

Discovery with Adam M. Fried

Published in 2020 Ohio Super Lawyers magazine

By Adam M. Fried on December 4, 2019


If you were in my office, you’d … see six half-full cups of cold coffee, all of which I forgot to drink due to the incessant phone-ringing.

When I was a newbie lawyer … I represented an automobile dealer against a pro se plaintiff. The potential damages were $75. The courtroom was full of high school students as part of a social studies project. After I lost, the judge ordered me to front the damages.

The lawyer I most admire is … my partner, Leon Weiss. My parents were involved in a lawsuit while I was in high school. Leon represented the opponent. All my parents ever said was, “I wish we’d hired Leon.” 

My pretrial routine is … 50 jumping jacks, 25 pushups, and some table-banging to calm agitation caused by my inability to decipher my handwritten notes.

When I started, I wish I knew … that clients prefer no-nonsense advice, even if it is to tell them they are heading in the wrong direction. 

My career high point (so far) has been … being invited to coordinate a resolution on charitable donations from around the world as part of a group of amazing lawyers working pro bono. [Editor’s note: Fried helped sort out the fund for Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry, who escaped after 10 years of imprisonment in Ariel Castro’s Cleveland home.]

When I win a case, I celebrate by … trying to figure out why I couldn’t get the case settled. 

The SCOTUS justice I’d like to meet is … Ruth Bader Ginsburg, because her strength and power is palpable and because she is my daughter’s hero.

I can do a pretty good impersonation of … Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes.

My most bizarre talent is … I taught myself how to suppress a hiccup. I haven’t had more than one hiccup in a row in the last 25 years. 

The most fascinating person I ever met is … Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, who advised presidents and represented Anita Hill in the hearings on Justice Clarence Thomas. I had dinner with him when he and a team of civil rights lawyers flew in to consult with me on probate practice in relation to a wrongful death case. 

The craziest thing I witnessed in a courtroom is … an opposing counsel bringing in thousands of pages of exhibits, few of which he could use in trial, and 
all of which he had labeled by hand from A to Z. When the alphabet was finished, he went to AA to ZZ. The last exhibit was something like ZZZZZZZ. 

The movie line I quote most often is … “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

My guilty pleasure is … the second finger of bourbon.

My favorite word is … not appropriate for publication, but it does serve the emotive function of speech.

If I had a time machine … I would go back to tell that municipal court judge to pound salt when he demanded I advance payment of the judgment on behalf of my client. 

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