147 – Robert Disque – Are You a Trial Lawyer or Just a Litigator?

Empathy is an emotion not commonly associated with lawyers. But harnessing it can provide valuable insight.

On this episode of Trial Lawyer Nation, Michael Cowen is joined by colleague Robert Disque who focuses his practice on 18-wheeler and commercial vehicle cases. 

Tune in to hear Michael and Robert discuss Robert’s path to law, the difference between a litigator and a trial lawyer, and how to talk to clients about bad cases. Robert also shares how empathy led him from the defense side to the plaintiff’s side, and how empathy has helped him find common ground with opposing counsel. And how does Robert’s passion for gardening benefit him as a trial lawyer? It’s taught him patience and the willingness to accept mistakes.

Don’t miss out! Michael’s book, Big Rig Justice: A Comprehensive Guide to Maximizing Value in Truck Accident Cases is now available!

Featured Guest

Name: Robert Disque 

About: Robert has been an associate attorney at Cowen Rodriguez Peacock since early 2018, concentrating on 18-wheeler and commercial vehicle cases involving death and catastrophic injury. He earned his undergraduate degree from Creighton University and subsequently attended Baylor Law School on a three-year, full-tuition academic scholarship. While at Baylor, Robert served as an Associate Editor of the Baylor Law Review and competed on several moot court teams.

Company: Cowen Rodriguez Peacock

Connect: Robert Disque  

Episode Highlights 

[2:43] The difference between a litigator and a trial lawyer. Law school teaches you the rules to work up cases and prepares you to be a litigator. Being a trial attorney is more about case presentation. 

[7:13] Robert’s first case on the defense side. Robert was assigned a traumatic brain injury case involving an 18-wheeler that swerved into traffic.

[10:12] Empathy for defendants. Knowing that most truckers don’t want to get dragged into court can help you find common ground with the defense attorney.

[17:30] Dog cases. Some cases are simply bad and not much is not going to change leading up to trial.

[25:07] Radical Candor. When it comes to difficult conversations, a lot of pain can be avoided by being upfront, honest, and transparent early on.

[35:39] Rock analogy. Rocks represent the big things that move the ball forward on your biggest cases and water represents the small things that you can get bogged down on. It’s important to concentrate on the rocks. 

[44:29] Robert’s gardening hobby. Robert discusses his love of gardening and analogizes it to being a trial lawyer.

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In this popular and award-winning podcast for trial lawyers, noteworthy author, sought-after speaker, and renowned trial lawyer, Michael Cowen explores critical topics distinctive to the legal profession with some of the biggest names in the industry – specifically focused on developing extremely efficient law practices, securing a competitive edge in the industry, and wildly excelling in the courtroom.

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