No fools, those of you determined to stay alive probably have tried the talk cure. You might have been researched that cognitive therapy is unusually effective. Yet, you remained depressed. The good news is that it hasn't been your fault.
A new study by Eilen Driessen, published in PLOS, found that the effectiveness of the talk cure has been overstated. That has been the result of "publication bias." Journals tended to accept and publish studies which indicated the high efficacy of psychotherapy. Even cognitive therapy doesn't work as well as researchers had been telling you. Here you can read the study.
The tragedy in this is that, given the dark thinking embedded in a depressive episode, you lawyers might have been filled with self-blame. After all, such and such a therapist was highly recommended. Cognitive was the hot game in town. Like mindfulness, it reconfigures thought processes, right. And the therapist was so sincere.
Now, you are totally off the hook.
But the lesson from this is not to trust, at least not too much, any supposed cure for emotional unease. The soundest take on this is the new book - "10% Happier" - by television personality Dan Harris. For his anxiety attacks and other emotional aches and pains he tried a number of ways to heal. As a result, he says in his book, he's about 10% happier. There's no miracle-gush.
If you are currently in therapy, request to see the clinical notes. You and the therapist might not even be on the same wavelength. It wasn't after about 2 decades of therapy, on and off, with David W. Harder, now a full professor at Tufts University, that I had a hunch, well, this dog don't hunt. After my lawyer sent for the notes, it was obvious the fit was off.
If you are trying out other tools - be they mindfulness, exercise, medication, change of location, an animal companion - don't take any one of them too seriously. Or expect too much. Any of them which relieves even 10% of the pain is performing well. During the past 30 months, I bundled them together. The depression has gone from chronic to intermittent. Also, it's less intense.
Before, during, and after "People of California v. ARCO," there have been lawyers warning of the huge implications of a sustained verdict. That verdict went against three of the defendants. Here is a copy of the decision.
For example, on Law360, Peter Hsiao and Andrew C. Stanley of the Morrison & Foerster law firm published a chilling article on possible scenarios if the holding is maintained:
" ... many states have public nuisance laws similar to that in California. Many of those states have also not yet directly addressed the application of public nuisance law to lead paint, or the overlap with a product liability type of action ... As a result, the imprecise nature of public nuisance law in various states suggests that California's decision could have a significant effect as precedent in other courts around the country."
The three defendants who lost are Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries, and ConAgra. But there are myriad other public companies and private enterprises still in business which at one time manufactured and/or sold lead paint. They, too, could be caught up in the "implications." Those range from a vortex of litigation to loss of brand equity.
There will be an appeal hearing for the three defendants.
If the verdict against them stands, then there could be many copy-cat lead paint public nuisance lawsuits throughout that state and the rest of the nation. The only way former lead paint companies might be able to survive is to join in to a 21st century of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. After that, they will have to re-brand.
Such a settlement could fund a comprehensive remedy for the vestiges of lead paint remaining in residential buildings.
With the economy improving, the trend should be for the ambitious to stay put in jobs. And not apply to study for an additional credential such as an M.B.A. So, surprise, more than the half the M.B.A. programs surveyed, reports The Wall Street Journal, have an uptick in applications.
Do the applicants know something that underemployed and unemployed lawyers should know? It might be worth talking to colleagues in business about the marketability of a JD with an M.B.A. International opportunities keep growing, for example. And many of those players have to understand how business is regulated in those nations.
Build a brand is the recommendation of those supposedly in the know about that fundamental shift in the litigation market. Here is the summary of the Citi Private Bank's Law Firm Report.
Yet, it is a fundamental of communications that everyone and everything already has a brand. That everyone or everything might have created that brand or it may have simply been superimposed on it. For example, Firm X might have hired top consultants to position and package itself as the group who wins those bet-the-ranch trials for you. Or, Firm X might have simply become known as the second-tier group you go to when you are watching your pennies and only need good-enough services.
Therefore, firms losing billable hours as a result of the fundamental shift in litigation have to rebrand.That is being done all the time in this disruptive era. Microsoft has rebranded, successfully. IBM is trying, but not yet there. And, of course, if VW doesn't eventually pull off a rebranding, it will cease to exist.
The essential of rebranding is to differentiate your firm from what it had been and promote its edge compared to the competition. That has to be supported with your emerging track record. You never look back. You only look forward. The past is not prologue.
IBM isn't there yet because is it lugging around its past like a sack of rotting vegetables. Your law firm might be doing the same thing.
Think about it: The defense teams in "People of California v. ARCO" may have been stuck in their Rhode Island success with lead paint public nuisance class action litigation. So might their public relations representatives. You bet, there is that old business adage: Nothing fails like success.
We learned that after Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped Clinton Correctional. Now the state of Louisiana might also have to pick up the tab for another kind of manhunt. The saga is cartoonish but the missing convict Benjuiel Johnson is dangerous.
Because of a clerical error, reports Helen Regan in Time, Johnson got to walk out of the Dixon Correctional Institute about five days ago. That means he has had plenty of opportunity to set up a new life somewhere.
He had been serving a 40-year sentence for manslaughter.