Holland & Usry April 2018

BASEBALL AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM

“If I were on the field, I’d want the manager sticking up for me.” –Bobby Cox

Through our shared love of the Braves, my cousin and I have been able to travel to a number of cities. We’ve seen them play the Mets at Citi Field, the Cubs at Wrigley, and the Nationals at Nationals Park. Turns out that no matter where you go, you’ll find baseball fans eager to spend the day in the sunshine cheering on their team.

I played a little baseball as a kid, but it didn’t take long before I realized the only future I had was as a fan. Growing up around here, like most folks I pulled for the Braves. The problem was that they were terrible for the better part of my childhood. It wasn’t until about 1991 that our fortunes began to turn around. I still vividly remember the “worst-to-first” season of 1991. After years of being basement dwellers, we were a powerhouse. As a kid, it was beyond thrilling. I hadn’t even considered the possibility that the Braves could be good, let alone that they would win the pennant. But that’s exactly what we did. Even though we lost the Worlds Series that season in a crushing fashion, it was hard to view that turnaround as anything other than a massive success. We eventually won the World Series in 1995, capping off a glorious period for the Braves. Many people contributed to that remarkable period in Atlanta’s baseball history, one of whom was the Braves’ manager, Bobby Cox. He was a manager to admire, sticking up for his players through thick and thin. I was lucky enough to be in attendance for his last home game in 2010, and it felt like saying goodbye to an old friend.

Come to think about it, there are a lot of things about baseball that remind me of the legal process. Ask anybody under the age of 25 what they think about baseball, and they’ll probably tell you that it’s long and slow. The games can stretch beyond three hours, and the season is a whopping 162 games. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. The same goes for many cases we work on. I’d love to tell you that most legal matters can be resolved with a short meeting, but that’s just not how it works. The same way that a long season brings great rewards, consistent hard work on a case makes a more favorable outcome. I also like to think the role of an attorney isn’t too different from that of a manager. When I read that Bobby Cox quote at the top of this article, I can’t help but think of my relationship with my clients. As a lawyer, my job is to manage conflict. I’m there to be a tireless advocate, sticking up for the people I represent whether it’s opening day of a case or we’re nearing the home stretch.

I’d love to tell you that most legal matters can be resolved with a short meeting, but that’s just not how it works. The same way that a long season brings great rewards, consistent hard work on a case makes a more favorable outcome.

–John Holland 864.582.0416

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