PREPARATION

The trail opened up onto the Lupine Meadows that were, at that time, in full bloom. The breeze, blowing weirdly this way and that, buffeted by the grey jutting Tetons, made the flowers tremble and dance in colliding waves of blue and purple. The trail itself was a narrow strip of hard-packed earth running north toward Jenny Lake. Hikers, spread out and separated from each other along the trial, were each trying to establish a buffer zone in which they could imagine themselves alone with the mountains and the sky. Each one carried a heavy pack that contained those things that were needed in the backcountry.

Preparation makes all the difference. That is true for a five day hike in the Grand Tetons, and it is just as true in lawsuits. Good hikers know what to bring with them. They know, too, what not to bring. Too many luxuries, while nice to have around a campfire, can weigh you down on the trail. Careful preparation in civil litigation is just as essential. Good litigators understand how to tailor a litigation plan to fit the exact needs of their clients. Knowing what questions to ask, what documents to look for, and how to use the information in the client’s case are keys to obtaining the best result. It pays to plan, to think ahead, to run lean and remain agile. I learned this early in my career from some of the best litigators in the State. We all put this into practice at Cunningham Dalman. Careful, thorough, and focused discovery, strategic thinking, and clear objectives are the hallmarks of our litigation practice.

The Teton Range thrusts upward 14,000 feet into a cobalt sky like the spine of a giant stone dragon. The snow in early spring clings to canyons that shade the slopes from the sun. You know that the snowmelt is roaring through the lower hills seeking rivers that lead to the sea. The trail through the purple carpet of blossoms stretches north toward a campsite that is still several miles away. The air is cool and very dry, but the sunshine is direct and bright. You feel small hiking through the Lupine Meadows and you also feel very happy if you let yourself. And you feel free. And grateful. Wild country affects you like that.

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