"Are We the Baddies?" 

Timothy Kowal, Esq.
May 12, 2021

As attorneys, it is important to have an internal dialogue asking: Is the judge in our case going to wonder, are we the baddies?

"Hans.. I have just noticed something. ... Have you looked at our caps recently?"
"Our caps?"
"Yeah, the badges on our caps, have you looked at them?"
"What? No, a bit..?"
"They have got skulls on them. Have you noticed that our caps have actually got little pictures of skulls on them?"
"I don't uh...."
"Hans... are we the baddies?"

(British comedy show That Mitchell and Webb Look.)

Less amusingly but to the same point, here's the Rutter Guide:

Did the “right party” win? This fundamental question should be asked in every case. ... If an independent and objective observer, after reviewing all the facts, is likely to conclude that the “right party” won at trial, the judgment will probably be affirmed. If the appellate court judges feel comfortable with the result, the odds are that any error at trial will be deemed “harmless,” because there was no “miscarriage of justice”.
(Eisenberg, Cal. Prac. Guide Civ. Writs & Appeals (The Rutter Group 2017) ¶ 1:50.)

Before striking out on any trial or appellate venture, always ask:

"Are we the baddies?"