Discovery with Karine Bohbot

Karine Bohbot’s trial prep: organization (then more organization), coffee, tunes and her Wonder Woman lunchbox


Published in 2018 Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine — August 2018

I can’t go a day without … coffee. Even my kids know enough to stay the heck away until that first cup has been drunk.

If you were in my office, you’d … hear a lot of cussing, laughing and music—and love what we’ve done with the place.

My colleagues would be surprised to know that … I used to be a boxer. Well, maybe they wouldn’t be surprised. OK, that I love wine. Nope, not that.

When I was a newbie lawyer I … was scared out of my mind about the practice of law. It took a while to trust my instincts and trust that I was a good lawyer. 

The quality I most like in a lawyer is … a sense of humor and not acting like you have a stick up your you-know-what.

My pre-trial routine is … I’m a control freak. I organize my trial binder from voir dire through to closing, then focus on getting my opening “memorized.” The part of trial I actually love is waking up every day about 4 a.m., getting my laptop, sitting on the couch, putting my music in and getting ready for my day. It’s quiet, it’s just me, and I do my best thinking in the morning. Then I make sure I have my Wonder Woman lunchbox ready for the day.

When I started, I wish I knew … that your gut is always right and never to be afraid to put yourself out there.

My career high point (so far) has been … being in an amazing, more-than-15-year law partnership with Elizabeth Riles. Best decision ever!

If I weren’t a lawyer, I’d be … an actress!

When I win a case, I celebrate by … taking my client(s) and office out for a drink. 

My fictional hero is … Wonder Woman, of course!

My real-life heroes are … my mom, for sure. She is an amazing woman and one of my best friends. My partner, Elizabeth Riles. Really, all the working moms out there. And the women in our legal community who fight the good fight every day, even when [someone calls them] the court reporter or the client when they walk into court—after 15 years of practicing law.

On weekends I … hang with the kids and husband. I love being outdoors, love having meals with friends. And, of course, watching sports.

The last TV show I binge-watched was … Sons of Anarchy, baby!

The most annoying thing about my job is … all the damn paper. 

If I won the lottery, I’d… head for Costa Rica, baby! Actually, I would spread the wealth to family and friends, I’d donate lots, and then I would move to Costa Rica.

My guilty pleasure is … oh, Nutella. Nutella all the way! 

My favorite word is … dipstick. My husband is English; it’s his fault.

My courtroom walk-up music would be … probably a Rocky song.

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