Utilizing the concept of flexibility and the ability to change

Top Gun Nominations are still open

Shaina Colover
2017 June

“Be like water.” – Lao Tzu

As I lowered myself backwards down the steps from my office to the parking lot last night, the day after a particularly inadvisable run/squat workout, (don’t ask…), I found myself pondering the concept of flexibility.

As trial lawyers, being nimble is of utmost importance. We never know what we may encounter in our cases, what spontaneous hurdles and impediments may block our paths or make our roads rocky. However, the ability to recognize opportunities to move in new – and sometimes unexpected – directions to get to our desired destination is a skill that will benefit us no matter what we encounter.  Don’t be fooled into thinking agility means laissez-faire; it most certainly does not. Flexibility is based on well-defined principles, and it has been shown that a flexible mind has a better chance to reach the desired destination because it thinks differently and takes a unique path.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” — Robert Frost

In the words of Albert Einstein, “the measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” Yet all too often we are faced with the rigid: “I’m totally flexible… (provided everything’s exactly the way I want it),” approach. Yes, it is important to stay committed to your beliefs…but stay flexible in your approach. “No way,” and “my way or the highway,” are conversation enders. Welcome the stated concerns and arguments of your opponents as opportunities to see new facets of the case from their eyes, and as opportunities to find creative ways to address their concerns, as those will surely be the concerns they set forth in settlement or to the jury. Be nimble, stay on your toes, be flexible… be like water.

“It’s easier to think outside the box if you don’t draw one around yourself.” — Jason Kravits

TOP GUN Trial Lawyer of the Year Nominations

We are still accepting Top Gun Attorney of the Year nominations through the end of July! Every year OCTLA recognizes and honors local trial attorneys (either practicing in Orange County, or trying their case in Orange County) for their exceptional trial skills over the past 12 months. These attorneys not only show courage and commitment to their clients, but also demonstrate truly exceptional skill, ability, preparation, and professionalism to obtain outstanding results on behalf of their clients. Have you or your colleagues received an outstanding verdict or settlement this year? If so, by or before July 31, 2017, please submit an OCTLA Trial Lawyer of the Year Nomination Form, located on our website www.octla.org, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information!

This year’s charity: Eli Home

After careful vetting of many worthy organizations, OCTLA has selected The Eli Home as recipient of the proceeds raised during the Top Gun Awards. The Eli Home was founded in 1983 as a “place to call home” for abused women and children in Orange County. The mission of the Eli Home is to “welcome, shelter, comfort, heal, encourage and strengthen homeless victims of child abuse and family violence, and prepare them to reenter the community to lead stable, non-violent lives, free from fear and intimidation.” Since this 34-year journey began, Eli Home has proudly helped 37,926 children and their families. We are very pleased to have the opportunity to make a significant difference for this fine organization.

“Well-done is better than well-said.” — Benjamin Franklin

We can make a difference this year by helping Eli Home secure the financial resources it needs to continue its mission to restore safety and hope to the lives of women and children in Orange County. OCTLA will be holding our Silent Auction at the TOP GUN Attorney of the Year Gala & Awards Program on December 2, 2017 in Newport Beach.  All proceeds of the silent and live auction will benefit The Eli Home. Please consider contacting us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to donate an item or service to the Silent Auction. 

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” — Winston S. Churchill

Shaina Colover Shaina Colover

Shaina Colover is 2017 President of the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association and practices personal injury law with her dad at The Law Offices of Ronald B. Schwartz, upstairs from Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach. She serves on the CAOC Diversity Committee and is former chair of the OCBA and OCTLA education committees.

Copyright © 2023 by the author.
For reprint permission, contact the publisher: Advocate Magazine