THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH
Reverse Brainstorming in Everyday Legal Practice First off, “Reverse Brainstorming” has become management jargon today, but it is a process used over centuries by the best minds practicing law. Simply put, “reverse brainstorming” is the habit of putting yourself in the shoes of the other party and thinking out possible courses of actions by an adversary and the outcomes.
The same method is used to prepare and structure
Try to find law and precedents that would allow
the arguments in a brief really, but instead of only
maximum compensation or penalty and how to
considering what the attorney on the other side
utilize/neutralize or reduce/enhance their appli-
might say or do, one also has to give the greatest
consideration to what the bench may say or do
– clinching arguments are difficult to conceive without reverse brainstorming.
Do not engage in summary rejection of ideas without investigation
Use the insight gained to strengthen and structure your own case
Reverse brainstorming approaches the process of finding solution to a problem in a ‘reverse’ manner.
Lawyers, good lawyers, usually think in this manner,
Rather than thinking about how to solve the
but the need to highlight ‘reverse brainstorming’ still
problem, you start with thinking about how to cause
remains because it is rarely ‘seen’ as a distinct tool in
the problem, the different methods that might be
the arsenal of an attorney, or as a habit to cultivate as
employed, how it can be pulled off successfully, or what
seriously as managers do. Many a time, with growth
could be the outcomes. Thinking in this manner helps
of experience and confidence, attorneys start looking
to reconstruct the mindset of the party committing a
for short cuts and start missing the obvious. They give
violation or infringement of the rights of your client,
up the habits they cultured as students and as young
and can allow you to find chinks in the armor of your
lawyers, and start depending upon the ‘feel’ or instinct.
opponent. Rather than taking a straight approach, you
And it happens because of the acute shortage of time in
put yourself in the shoes of the attorney on the other
the life of an attorney. So, many attorneys who already
side and try to win the case from that perspective in
know well of the method of ‘reverse brainstorming’ skip
your mind by applying law, logic and evidence.
it to save time or efforts. But they would have fared better if they made ‘reverse brainstorming’ an integral
A guide to use the reverse brainstorming method can
part of their work processes and not on something to
include the following steps
call on only when required.
• • • •
Identify the problems and the laws/rights which
Once you have been through a thorough reverse
might have been infringed
brainstorming session, creating the brief for your
Identify possible penal or civil outcomes note
client becomes much easier, more structured, and your
arguments tend to carry the maximum punch. On the
Identify possible laws or stare decisis that might
other hand, if your reverse brainstorming session yields
aid the cause of the other side
time and again that your opponent has an easy win
Try to find law and precedents that would help
that is difficult to prevent, then it is better to convey
you to win the case as the other side
the same to your client and seek the help of seniors.
Published on Oct 4, 2012
Reverse brainstorming is a technique used by lawyers where they put themselves in the shoes of their opponents to win the case from that per...