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Advice of Counsel from Abraham Lincoln, Trial Lawyer

In honor of Lincoln's birthday, it is altogether fitting and proper that we remember Lincoln not just as one of our greatest presidents, but also as the greatest trial lawyer ever to occupy the White House. So if you were to go to his house today for a birthday dinner, and ask him for some advice on how to be a great lawyer, here is what he might have told you:
“I dared not trust the case on the presumption that the court knows everything. In fact, I argued it on the presumption that the court didn't know anything.” Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln compiled and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher and Virginia Fehrenbacher (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1996), p. 243.
"In law it is good policy to never plead what you need not, lest you oblige yourself to prove what you can not." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Letter to Usher F. Linder" (February 20, 1848), p. 453.
"[W]hen you [make your opening argument], talk to the jury as though your client's fate depends on every word you utter. Forget that you have any one to fall back upon, and you will do justice to yourself and your client." Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln compiled and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher and Virginia Fehrenbacher (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1996), p. 192.
"Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser---in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Notes for a Law Lecture" (July 1, 1850), p. 81.
The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for to-morrow [that] which can be done to-day. Never let your correspondence fall behind. Whatever piece of business you have in hand, before stopping, do all the labor pertaining to it which can then be done." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Notes for a Law Lecture" (July 1, 1850), p. 81.
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