Trial Lessons from Running a Campaign: Texas Lawyer

Alan Bush is a routine freelance contributor for Texas Lawyer.  His latest article, “Trial Lessons from Running a Campaign,” appeared in the December 15, 2014 issue.

Alan’s wife recently won a seat on the local school board, and he worked as her campaign manager.  It taught him some lessons about trying lawsuits.  Here’s what Alan had to say about it:

Running a campaign is a lot like trying a case. Twelve jurors decide a trial. Now multiply that by a couple thousand. That’s how many voters came out to the polls and cast votes in the school board election, in which my wife won a seat. I was her campaign manager. Jury trials and elections both leave the results in the hands of strangers. Trial lawyers could take a couple pages out of the playbook for campaign managers. Let’s look at four.

1. Ready your heart. In the heat of an election, a campaign manager is tempted to abandon his principles. To cut corners, to tear down the opposing candidate, to bend the truth, to be someone he is not. I held my ground only because I prepared my heart beforehand. It worked to our advantage,

King David, the John Wayne of his day in Israel, had some thoughts on that. He wrote that committing his way to the Lord made his “righteousness shine like the dawn” and “the justice of [his] cause like the noonday sun. King David was also concerned that his heart would be ready for action, praying that God would be pleased by the “meditation of [his] heart.”

Read the full article for more.  In it, Alan lays out some practical thoughts on:

  • Preparing your heart before litigation or a trial;
  • Taking courage despite being outnumbered;
  • Staying positive; and
  • Feeding the candidate (or client).