Claim Ownership


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One thing young lawyers often have to learn the hard way is that you could have the most air-tight case in history, but if you don’t understand or anticipate how people will process information, then you can quickly lose a jury, and then, of course, your case.But understanding how people react isn’t just a skill reserved for jury trials.From depositions, to mediations, to simple client correspondence, knowing how a case looks from the outside is one of the most necessary tools a lawyer can (and should) have. But since I know very few lawyers who also happen to be practicing clinical psychologists, there’s a good chance that in major cases most lawyers will hire a consulting company to do things like run mock-trials and prepare witnesses for depositions.My guest today is one of those consultants, and with full disclosure that he’s a dear friend, I would argue he’s one of the best in the business.Bill Kanasky and I go way back, but just as our friendship has evolved, so has the nature of our work. He and his team at Courtroom Sciences work on thousands of cases a year, and so while I may practice the law, it’s guys like Bill who really have their pulse on the legal landscape.We discuss jury temperament, how defense lawyers can be more “offensive,” and the rise of nuclear verdicts. Oh, and there’s plenty of smack-talk.Enjoy the show!
In my 35 years of practicing law I have never felt uncomfortable during the course of my work. Now, have I screwed up big time – yes.Have I been weighed down by guilt and shame – yes.And have I been judged for the mistakes I’ve made – yes.  But I sincerely can’t recall a time where I felt uncomfortable just for being myself.Unfortunately, the power disparities inherent to the legal profession are not always a well-spring of mentorship. In the worst of instances, they can become outright traumatic. And nowhere is this disparity more apparent – and more dangerous – than in the relationship between a clerk and their supervising judge.  Now, let me be very clear. There are PLENTY of fantastic judges; we’ve even had some on this show. But the problem with bad judges is that you run into a “who’s watching the watchmen” scenario pretty quickly. And sadly, the tools to hold judges accountable, especially by those who work beneath them, can be sub-par at best and non-existent at worst. My guest today is someone who has lived this nightmare.But instead of doing what too many clerks do - keeping silent and just ‘power through’ – she decided to fight back. Aliza Shatzman is an attorney and advocate based in Washington, DC who writes and speaks on the subject of judicial accountability. In 2019, her clerkship for a federal judge went from rocky, to confrontational, to purely malicious. Not only did she face blatant sexual discrimination, but when she decided to report her superior, she was retaliated against by the very system she swore to uphold. Aliza is now the co-founder of The Legal Accountability Project whose goal is to ensure that as many law clerks as possible have positive clerkship experiences, while extending support and resources to those who do not. She has submitted written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee, and published articles about her experience in Slate, Ms. Magazine, and multiple legal publications.And I’m thankful she took the time this week to join me for a conversation about all of this and more. It’s not the most comfortable conversation – but it’s not supposed to be. Enjoy the show
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from my Old Man was to use my time as an undergraduate to earn degrees in Business Management. His logic was simple: the lawyer thing might not work out, but people will always need managers. What I didn’t expect was how well that degree would serve me once this whole “lawyer” thing did, in fact, work out. As any attorney will tell you, law school prepares you for a lot - and one of my favorite things was how it taught me to think differently. But what many legal institutions don’t teach their students is how the whole “business” side of a law practice actually functions. When I first opened The Bassett Firm, one of the few things I was confident in was that as long as we could get clients, I could step up and manage the business. Over time, I’ve been able to delegate most of those responsibilities to our amazing team of leaders, including a recent and major transition of turning the duties of Managing Partner over to Michael Noordsy, my law partner of over a decade.And in doing this I can now spend my time leading instead of managing, because as my guest this week, Eric Fletcher, will tell you: Leaders should not be managers. Leaders should be guiding the vision of a given operation. For more than three decades he has gone on an quest that has seen him work for international non-profits, Fortune 100 companies, and of course, major law firms including McGlinchey Stafford and Hughes & Luce. Eric is a TEDx Speaker and the co-author of two books - the recently released Decisions That Matter: Tales of Law Firm Leadership In Moments of Consequence and the 2013 groundbreaking social media book, 8 Mandates For Social Media Marketing Success. Eric serves on the speakers program of the Advertising Education Foundation as well as the Advisory Board for Southern New Hampshire University Masters in Marketing program.And  in 2013 he founded Eric Fletcher Consulting which assists clients in strategic planning, growth, and marketing and communication. Eric and I talk about what it takes to be a rainmaker, how relationships are the core of building a business, and what young lawyers can do to plan for their future while also learning to adapt to what life throws at them.It was a great conversation full of small gems and big laughs, so as always... Enjoy the Show! ________________________FORBES ARTICLES:Managing Commotion v. Leading Through DistruptionWhy Connections, Followers And Fans Are Not The Formula For Marketing ROI
I think the biggest mistake that many of us make is to confuse the facts of someone’s life for the story of their lives.  And notice I said “us” because, as much as I hate to admit it, I have been guilty of this miscalculation. The best-case scenario with this error in thinking is that we miss out on learning about the emotionally rich and complex interpersonal lives of others.  After all, these are where the best lessons lie.  And in the worst cases, we end up defining others by one or two factors that hardly tell the full story which leads to a ruined reputation or worse.  Put simply, when we boil others down to a set of labels, we almost always lose the forest for the trees.  But my guest this week doesn’t just see the forest, she helps others grow their own.  Honorée Corder is the founder of Honorée Enterprises Publishing, a strategic book consulting and coaching firm. She has published over 50 books, including contributing to the best-selling Miracle Morning series.  Honorée has worked with dozens of aspiring nonfiction authors to help successfully craft, write, publish, launch, and market their books. She began her career in direct sales before beginning work as a business and executive coach until she discovered what she calls “her true love” - writing books.  Honorée now works with business professionals who want to write a book to boost their brand, get more business, or simply share their stories with the world.  We discuss the power of narrative, how sometimes it’s the unasked questions that speak the loudest, and what it means to succeed in spite of the labels we’ve been given Enjoy the show!
This week’s episode is definitely a pot-stirrer; you’ve been warned.Now, as a business owner it is never lost on me that if it wasn’t for a killer support-staff, you could have the smartest lawyers in the world working for you but damn near nothing would get done. As we move into this Labor Day weekend I want to look past the cook-outs and mattress sales and get back to the root of why this holiday exists, what it meant and means in our culture today, and how we need to honestly examine the way we view labor in a society that is watching the wealth-gap grow at a frighteningly quick pace. Maybe you’ll enjoy letting it simmer, or maybe you’ll spit it out like gazpacho soup, but either way I hope you can take something away, even if it irks you. So (hopefully) Enjoy the show! 
One of the things I’ve always tried to do on this program is present a variety of viewpoints.  Even when a guest and I have a phenomenal conversation, that doesn’t always mean I agree with everything they’ve said. But I never believe anything is lost by their opinions being in the world, and in the end, it’s up to you, the listener, to glean what whatever it is you want to take away.Now, I think it goes without saying that if I were to ever tell a guest something was stupid, or they were flat out wrong, not only would it be awkward, but it would also be considered by pretty much everyone to be a form of bullying. Sadly, this kind of behavior has become more and more prevalent in our culture, and while I think there are a multitude of reasons for this, in this week’s episode, my guests and I discuss the very specific intersection of bullying and the law. I sat down with Amy Stewart of the Steward Law Group, James Dolan, a practicing psychotherapist and life coach with 40 years of experience, and our moderator, Scott Stolley, a solo appellate attorney and current member of the Texas Supreme Court Advisory Committee.We take a deep dive into four main areas: bullying by opposing counsel, bullying by clients, bullying by colleagues, and finally, bullying by the judiciary. And while this is a very legal-specific podcast, I think a lot of the strategies and lessons to be learned for anyone.Enjoy the show! 
 One of the things I enjoy most about being a trial lawyer is that to do it effectively you have to construct a narrative. The clear-cut facts are the constants, they can’t be polished over with a story, or at least they shouldn’t. And the variables? Well, that’s where narrative steps in. So as odd as it may sound, in a lot of ways the great lawyers of history have more in common with great mathematicians. Both were tasked with the deceptively difficult task of reconciling the known with the unknown. Of course, this kind of problem solving is required for almost any knowledge-based job, but only a select few careers rest on one’s ability to think and then justify that thinking. Now, narratives have been proven to be one of the most effective ways to convey information and I’m sure there are plenty of scientific reasons behind this. But in a more esoteric sense, I believe a well-crafted narrative is a sign that the narrator has thought deeply about the situation.But another profession that I think screams as a job that requires the parsing of information to build a complete narrative is think-tank fellow. They work exclusively with variables because their constants are never truly constant. To do this kind of work takes a brilliant mind, but luckily enough, I was able to get one on the show. Akshobh Giridharadas is a Visiting Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), which is consistently rated as one of the top think-tanks in the world.Akshobh has been a broadcast and print journalist for ESPN and Channel NewsAsia, and has taken his knowledge into the consulting sector including work for the World Bank. He continues to write on diverse topics such as geopolitics, business, and technology and has published articles for multiple outlets including The Diplomat, MoneyControl, and The Quint.A two time TEDx Speaker and holds two master’s degrees: one in international affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a second in journalism from Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication in Pune, India.And finally, Akshob is the co-host of a new Podcast series titled The Global Detail Podcast (GDP) with Brandon Duke which goes beyond borders and headlines and seeks to interview an eclectic mix of experts with powerful stories about their geopolitical experiences. It’s a deep conversation and I hope you can join it. Enjoy the show! 
Every once in a while you have a conversation with someone that you didn’t even know you needed to have. Usually we think of these as happening among close friends or family, but sometimes you get lucky and a complete stranger can blow your mind. That’s the kind of episode you can expect.My guest this week was Nick McGowan, a Mindfulness & Self-Mastery coach and the Senior Sales Executive at MediaLab 3D Solutions.He has done everything from selling cars, to media consulting, to property management. But he has also traveled the harder roads of life and he isn’t afraid to talk about them.I thought I knew what I wanted to talk about going into this conversation, but it went off script in the best way possible. Nick and I discuss childhood trauma, the burdens of leadership, and how our awareness is often an overlooked or underutilized super-power. The conversation is raw and pushes the upper limits of PG-13, so maybe listen to this one with headphones on…Either way, enjoy the show! 
Every once in a while, life is going to hit you in the face with the unexpected. This fact, in and of itself, shouldn't come as a shock to most of you. Then, the bigger question becomes, "what is life going to hit you WITH?"Sometimes it's a gentle punch on the shoulder reminding you to pop your head back up and pay attention. And other times...well other times it feels like being leveled by a freight-train. Or, as in the case of my guest today, sometimes life literally hits you with a car. Vanessa Ruck is a motivational speaker, brand representative, social media icon, and public-school volunteer know simple as, "The Girl on a Bike". A once rising star in the world of marketing, and a young professional who was a self-described "adrenaline junkie", Vanessa's life was thrown upside down by an accident that she was lucky to have even survived. Her story of perseverance is exactly what we need more of in these times, and I was thankful she took a moment out of her day to chat. Enjoy the show!  
Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a while but Legal Grounds is back! As anyone inside or outside the legal arena knows, trying a case can lead you to places that take up a significant amount of bandwidth – and that’s exactly where Team TBF (The Bassett Firm) has been.   But while I’ve had more back-to-back 12 hour days in the past two months than I’ve had in most of my legal career, as I got ready for this week’s guest, I was reminded of the folks for whom these kinds of hours are just par for the course. And while the case I was working on did involve some pretty devastating details, it was merely a singular story of tragedy that I’ve had to process these past couple months. But when it comes to those folks working in healthcare – especially during the pandemic – tragic loss can become the background music to their daily routines. And yet, they persevere. In the grand scheme of things, if you find yourself in a hospital setting, there is a good chance you’ll get to know your nurses much better than you’ll ever know your physician. And they aren’t just on the ‘frontlines;’ oftentimes they work so far forward they’re actually ‘behind enemy lines.’ They are the glue that holds the healthcare system together - able to spot even the smallest details inside the mountains of paperwork and intricate bureaucracy that is healthcare.That’s why people Legal Nurse Consultants, like my guest, Valerie Lane, can be invaluable to helping find the ‘rub’ in any given case. They have a different lens that, when employed correctly, can spot even the smallest incongruitiesValerie has been a practicing RN for nearly 3 decades. She has specialized in everything from surgical nursing to extended care treatment. And in 2007, began her journey as a Legal Nurse Consultant, eventually founding her own practice, Lane & Associates, which provides attorneys with everything from synthesizing medical histories, finding deviations of care, and locating expert witnesses in a given field - just to name a few.Valerie is a graduate of Excelsior College’s school of nursing, and of the past couple of years she has - as any good leader does - dived back into her education in an effort to be the best servant to her clients and, by extension, their clients.As always, the conversation was as illuminating as it was enjoyable. Thanks for sticking around! It feels good to be back to our regularly scheduled programing so make sure to keep an eye out for new episodes popping up in your feed. Be Easy, y’all. -Mike H. Bassett
Hey there listeners. This week we’re serving up another light roast.While no one from The Ivy Leagues reached out for me to speak to this years graduates, I figured I’d give it the old “college try”. And yes, you can expect that level of Dad-joke to appear at least once.What follows is a mediation on a phrase you hear me say often. “Be easy.”I hope it can be a sliver of light in the darkness. Congrats to the graduates of 2022 and enjoy the show! 
I usually don’t ask questions to start off these episode descriptions, mostly because I don’t know how you, the listener, will answer. But here we go:Do you think you could give up eating meat? If you’re like me, the gut reaction is probably heck no! But then maybe you start to think about your health… or maybe you start to think about the health of the planet… or the plight of animals on factory farms… I get it. These aren’t always enjoyable things to think about, but I also think it’s necessary for us to constantly challenge our previously held beliefs. And boy did this conversation do that in spades. Paul Shapiro is the CEO of The Better Meat Company. Founded in 2018, their process for turning potatoes into a porter-house is one of the coolest scientific things I’ve gotten to learn about in a while. Paul got his start as an activist, founding the organization Compassion of Killing and then went on to multiple leadership positions at the Humane Society of the United States.Paul is a four-time TEDx speaker, and is also the author of the bestselling book, Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals will Revolutionize Dinner and the World. He has been interviewed by outlets like CNN and luminaries such as Neil DeGras Tyson, and his writing has been featured everywhere from Scientific American to The Washington Post. We talk about the impact of our meat-driven society on our planet and the animals we share it with, and let’s just say while I might not go vegan, I’m definitely eating a little less meat. And I gotta tell you, I feel a little bit better. Enjoy the show! 
One thing I think we often forget about leadership is that it's not a solo mission. Leaders build leaders; full stop. I've had a lot of fun with this podcast and gotten to know and chat with a lot of interesting & influential people. But this week's conversation was a much-needed reminder that leadership is a communal AND active endeavor. My guests this week are both co-hosts of the amazing podcast, The Llama Lounge. Consisting of a cohort of current and retired U.S. Air Force service members, Joe Bogdan (a former solo guest) and Nina Choy are part of a larger group of leaders whose goal is to transfer their skills to those who are following in this footsteps. Our conversation revolves around the three core tenants of Servant Leadership: Resiliency, Emotionally Intelligence, and Team Engagement. There's plenty of twists and turns, but that's what makes this one of my favorite episode we've done thus far. No matter what field you're in, there is solid  advice for every aspiring or current leader. Enjoy the show! 
I knew that I wanted to record an Easter episode of the podcast, but it wasn't until I I sat down to write that I discovered that it was the first time in a long time that Easter, Passover, and Ramadan were all happening concurrently. Most people know that there is overlap in the three Abrahamic religions, but this is literal overlap. In this episode, I explore how each of these celebrations share the theme of "another chance", and how even if you don't subscribe to any one faith, there is a lot to be learned from these holidays. So whatever you celebrated this past Sunday, I hope it filled your cup. Enjoy the Show! 
I’ve been in a lot of rooms full of smart people. But very rarely do I think I’ve found myself in a room full of wise people. Of course, this isn’t a dig against my peers in any way. I think all of us possess unique bits of wisdom we’ve picked up on our journeys, but to become a “wise person” is a task that often seems to border on Sisyphean.So when I was thinking about my conversation this week, I was reminded of a quote from the Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tze: “To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”Charles Hamm is an Author, LinkedIn Influencer, and after 76 years on this earth, a pretty wise guy. And in my opinion, one of the reasons for this lies in his ability to strip lessons down to their core components, to remove the excess. His just released book is titled, “Ponder on it, Pilgrim: The Bucolic Mark Twain on Critter Councils, Cookie Bandits, and Texas Grit,” and aims to show readers why wisdom is the key to living in a chaotic world. This conversation is both light-hearted and heavy, and I hope it’s as fun to listen to as it was to record. Enjoy the show! 
Anyone who has watched an 80’s college-comedy knows that one of the things you never want to have happen is to be called into “The Dean’s Office”...Now of course, there is PLENTY in those comedies that absolutely DO NOT fly in our world today. But past the obvious misogyny, racism, ect., my conversation this week made me realize the humor of the uptight, ivory-tower-dwelling academic might be aging poorly, too. When I was in law school at St. Mary’s, I knew of the Dean, which is to say I knew his name and I knew what he looked like. But I was intimidated by him. Why?I honestly don’t know, but I suspect a healthy amount of imposter-syndrome on my part, and a lot of negative-reinforcement on the “barrier” that - back then - was supposed to exist between ‘the academy’ and those who attended it. Thankfully, that wall is coming down. And thanks to this week’s guest, I’m happy to report that my alma mater is at the fore of this endeavor. Since 2020, Patricia E. Roberts has been the Dean of St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio. Prior to this, she was the Vice Dean, Roberts was William & Mary Law’s were she oversaw multiple legal clinics that provided pro bono representation to underserved clients in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area. The school’s first in-house clinics, including those specializing in veterans’ benefits, elder law, special education, appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and coastal policy, were created during Dean Robert’s tenure as director.Her dedication to providing legal resources to underserved communities, as well as her passion for the advancement of legal education, have made Patricia one of the leading voices in legal education. Along with multiple other duties, she is also the host of the EdUp networks Legal Education podcast where she discusses innovations in legal education and predictions for its future in conversations with thought leaders and law school deans from across the country.  Patrica and I talk about the future of legal education, our own law school experiences, the struggles (and victories!) of the pandemic, and why everyone deserves representation. Enjoy the show!  
In the history of The Bassett Firm, we have only ever run one advertisement. It was in the bulletin of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Waxahachie, and I don’t even think it counts as a proper “ad”. It was a simple notice that - if someone was in a legal bind - our firm would be happy to listen to their issue and point them in the right direction, or, if it was in our wheel-house, do what we could to get their matter resolved. Our firm still takes this kind of pro-bono work seriously, and it’s one of the things I’m proud of my team for participating in. After all, you can’t have a mission-statement based on the Good Samaritan if you don’t watch others actively live it.That’s just one of the nuggets of insight I walked away with after my conversation with this week’s guest, Josh Miles. Josh Miles is a brand-obsessed Chief Marketing Officer, keynote speaker, photographer, artist, and podcast host who, after co-founding his own firm, MilesHerdon, pivoted towards a career helping others make their creative obsessions their profession.Josh was the CMO for SMPS, the only North American organization for marketing and business development professionals in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries, and currently serves as the CMO for Codelicious, a startup delivering a comprehensive, full-semester computer science curriculum for grades K-12As a TEDx presenter, Josh speaks coast-to-coast, including hosting the podcasts Obsessed Show and PSM Show.  He is also the author of Bold Brand 2.0 - How to Leverage Brand Strategy to Reposition, Differentiate and Market your Professional Services Firm, all while sitting on the advisory board of the Purdue University Lamb School of Communication.  Enjoy the show! 
There’s a pretty weird statistic out there that my guest this week brought to my attention. In a recent Gallup Poll, 86% - so more than 3/4th’s - of folks reported being disengaged from the task they call their “career”. That’s why when he started introducing himself, my guest decided to start asking people, “what do you love doing?” instead of “what do you do?”It’s the deeper questions like this which served David Mykel during his time as a litigation consultant, then a non-profit leader…then the head of his own consulting firm…and ultimately as the founder of his own coaching organization, PSYFI - short for Psychological Fitness. His journey has been anything but smooth, which is exactly why it’s extraordinary. From being at the top of his field to walking away from it all, David has taken his skills of psychology and his passion for fitness and turned them into an organization that has helped over 4,000 high-performing individuals with a 98% advocacy-rate. We discuss everything from the need for empathy and the ways in which we can all add 1% to our day, to how breathing can reset our brain and why we all were built to move. Enjoy the show.
While I am far from being a luddite, I also wouldn't claim to be the most savvy guy when it comes to technology.  I mean, you're talking to someone who was stoked to beat his son to the punch on buying a iPad Pencil cap holder.And while my time in the world of business has essentially forced me to keep up with at least the big changes in tech, I can't say I've spent a lot of energy thinking about how much time has gone in to adapting to new systems. Of course, the pandemic forced all of us to pivot harder into a digital future. But just like most great leaps forward, there are often too many either forgotten or intentionally left behind. Thankfully, there are folks like my guest today, Lukas Simianer, who are working to bridge the digital-gaps.In 2020, Lukas founded Clusiv, the world’s first e-learning platform built for and by the blind and visually impaired. Founded with the mission of reducing the net amount of suffering in the world, Clusiv has established itself as the leader in accessible upskilling and vocational training. And Lukas’s path to becoming a leader in this has been anything but ordinary. At the age of 17, he became one of the youngest service members to be awarded his jump-wings, earning a coveted assignment to the historic 82nd Airborne. He received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Afghanistan at the age of 19. Lukas would eventually discharge from the service and so began the hunt for what he terms “a calling”We discuss that journey, the leadership lessons - both good and bad - he learned during his time in the service, and why brokennesses isn't just inevitable, it's a strength. Enjoy the show!
This week’s episode feels like a throwback to the early days of Legal Grounds when it was just two lawyers talking shop. Now don’t get me wrong, I love getting to talk with folks about pretty much anything and I’m always thrilled by how diverse my pool of guests continues to be. But something about getting into the nitty-gritty practice of trial law with someone who shares the same passion for the craft just hits different. My guest this week is Frank Ramos, a partner at Clarke Silverglate, where he practices in the areas of commercial litigation, drug & medical devices, products, and catastrophic personal injury. But his talents don’t stop there. Frank has written and edited over two dozen books, serves on multiple boards, runs his own consulting and resources firm (The Miami Mentor), and still finds time to host the DRI Podcast, “In Conversation With…” Frank and I discuss the difficulties of transitioning from law school to actual practice, the need for a more apprenticeship-based approach to training and learning, and why getting to know other’s stories is the corner-stone of leadership. Enjoy the show! 
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