JON KATZ, P.C.
Attorney at Law
LAWYER FOR JUSTICE
Practicing LawThroughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia
HIGHLY-RATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE / DRUNK DRIVING LAWYER / DRUG DEFENSE LAWYER
EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL & DWI DEFENSE IN AND
CONVENIENTLY LOCATED IN SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND AND FAIRFAX COUNTY, VIRGINIA
Upon arrest, the battle lines are drawn. Jon Katz is a highly-rated 18-year criminal trial battle veteran fighting tirelessly to win for your liberty.
The story behind our law firm's scales of justice-martial arts symbol.
Super Lawyers-listed since 2008 in MD and DC, and since 2009 in VA.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY MAIN OFFICE: 8720 Georgia Avenue, Suite 703, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910,
(301) 495-7755/FAX (301) 585-7733, jon[at]katzjustice[dot]com
FAIRFAX COUNTY BRANCH OFFICE: 1420 Spring Hill Road, Suite 600, Tysons Corner/ McLean, Fairfax County, Virginia 22102, (703) 917-6626.
JON KATZ: DEVOTED TO YOUR LIBERTY, HIGHLY-RATED, AND IN THE NEWS:
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ARTICLE: POWERFUL LAWYERING
CAVEAT EMPTOR: May 27, 2010. The Trial Lawyers College today is much different from the one that I attended. It has become overinstitutionalized, over-corporatized, and over ivorytowerized. Lawyers will still benefit from their programs, but caveat emptor.
POWERFUL LAWYERING THROUGH FEARLESSNESS, HARMONY AND PEACEFULNESS
By Jonathan L. Katz (1999)
After several years of law practice, I started more wholeheartedly embracing a more peaceful and harmonious approach to trial lawyering. The results have been phenomenal. I have been pursuing an overlapping and powerful path of t'ai chi, the teachings of the Trial Lawyers College (Dubois, Wyoming), and a focus on internal and external peace. T'ai chi dominates as the focus of this path.
T'ai chi teaches its practitioners to be as still and rooted as a tree, as powerful as a rushing river, and as balanced as yin and yang. I practice t'ai chi chuan yang style short form, as developed by Cheng Man Ching. T'ai chi's five principles are simple, yet profound, particularly when applied throughout the day in all physical, verbal, thinking, and psychological matters. Those principles are maintaining the harmony and balance of yin and yang, relaxing and sinking the body into the ground, keeping the body upright, making the waist the commander of any turning of the body, and keeping the wrists softly unbent. T'ai chi teaches that we must be relaxed and harmonized no matter how dangerous, threatening, or stressful the situation that we find ourselves in. Permitting tension is to become weaker and to block off essential channels of strength, energy, and creativity. The more I put t'ai chi into practice, the more I realize that these principles work and are essential.
On the peace front, my lessons have included what I have learned from Jun Yasuda, a Buddhist nun with the small peace-promoting order called Nipponzan Myohoji. I met Jun-san in 1991 when she fasted only on tea and beat a drum for thirty days across from the White House, and two blocks from my office, to pray for peace during the Gulf War. For years, Jun-san has devoted her life to activism and prayer for peace. She constantly marches, fasts, and prays throughout the country and the world for the cause of peace. She also carries on the Nipponzan Myohoji tradition of building Sri Lankan-style Peace pagodas. She has built a beautiful huge white pagoda at her current base in Grafton, NY, in a rather remarkable fashion, when considering that the pagoda-building was an entirely volunteer efforts, and that the volunteers all offer their help without being asked, because Jun-san believes that a true peace pagoda cannot come from soliciting volunteers. Jun-san feels a strong affinity for Native Americans, as did the founder of her Buddhist order, who was Nichidatsu Fujii Guruji. Fujii Guruji was closely bound with Gandhi through their devotion to peace, and Fujii Guruji also collaborated with Native American leader Leon Shenandoah from New York.
Pulling together the trial lawyering benefits of peace and harmony is the intensive Trial Lawyer's College, which I attended for the entire month of August 1995 in Dubois, Wyoming. The focus of the Trial Lawyer's College is to go beyond technique -- which the attendees are assumed to already have -- and to make better lawyers through making ourselves better people and by enabling ourselves to discover, rediscover, and enhance our strengths as they relate to trial lawyering. The common threads of the College include being guided by our passion and love for our clients and for justice (the attendees primarily represent the underdog, which makes it easier to have love and passion for such clients), softening our harsh edges, and more intensively understanding our opponents and the people we are trying to persuade.
T'ai chi encompasses many of the essential elements that are discussed in this article. Important elements of t'ai chi include the power of a soft and supple body and a peaceful mind. The quiet and aware mind can better hear between the lines and can anticipate the next attack, so that the attack may be deflected with minimal force. The soft and supple body (like the soft and supple mind and spirit) gives the opponent little to push against. Reducing our fears makes us stronger, as well, because fear causes tension and, therefore, diminishes our strength.
T'ai chi master Cheng Man Ching spoke of overcoming our fears in terms of imagining that we are practicing t'ai chi while balanced atop a narrow pointed cliff. To not eliminate one's fears while atop the cliff is to guarantee certain death. Eliminating fear also calls for keeping and tempering the fearlessness of a child filled with wonder, and living in the moment, as wonderfully detailed in the following story of the man and the two tigers: A man is chased in the wilderness by two tigers, only to be forced off a cliff, hanging for life from a vine. One tiger waits above and the other waits below for a human meal. Two field mice gnaw away at the vine. The man sees a wild strawberry growing from the side of a cliff, reaches for it, tastes it, and -- with his life hanging in the balance -- thinks of how delicious the strawberry tastes.
The peaceful and harmonious path is beneficial both for lawyering and for living. Achieving on this path is a never-ending process.
Adapted from an article previously appearing in the Trial Lawyer's College's Warrior newsletter (1997), and from a similar article published in the magazine of the International Alliance of Holistic Lawyers (2001). Click here and here for more information on t'ai chi.
ADDENDUM I (From our Underdog Blog):
May 21, 2006
The power of peaceful persuasion / The deliciousness of fearlessness.
In 1997 and 2001, I published and re-published my article entitled Powerful Lawyering Through Fearlessness, Harmony And Peacefulness, about the extraordinary benefits I have derived from following an overlapping path of the benefits of t'ai chi, what I learned through the Trial Lawyers College, and the peaceful path exemplified by my teacher Jun Yasuda. The article can benefit from some concrete examples of how these benefits have applied, I throw in two here.
Trial battle can get very intense, with the necessity of dealing with opposing counsel, their witnesses, the judge, one's client and witnesses, and the list goes on. When doing t'ai chi about a week ago during a lunch break in a lengthy criminal trial, I found an outdoors place to do t'ai chi. As I started doing the t'ai chi form, and through the end, I felt like a visitor to the planet, connected with what was going on, but feeling dispassionate enough so as not to experience weakness from all the passion I feel for obtaining justice for my client. I had never heard t'ai chi described in this way; it is an extension of t'ai chi's focus on relaxing, even when it appears one is in the greatest danger. Because I feel so passionately for justice for my clients, this type of dispassion from t'ai chi is critical, because it does not reduce my passion, but helps keep me more fearless and powerful during the battle for my client. .
Today, my wife, son and I were enjoying the Awakening and the rest of Hains Point, as we passed by numerous fisherpeople at the easternmost tip of the park, which is alongside the Potomac River, looking at Virginia. An ethical vegetarian since 1988, I felt very uncomfortable seeing one fish not even flapping in a shallow water container, and another fish flapping around on the hook of the person who seemed to be with those maintaining the shallow water container. I looked straight at the fish, and chanted Jun-san's prayer for peace: Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo three times, bowing to the fish on the third repetition. Almost simultaneously, the fisherperson removed the fish from the hook and threw it back in, despite being with a pan to save caught fish. He had been speaking Mandarin with his friends, so I said "shyeh shyeh" (thank you), and walked off, wondering if I had anything to do with his returning the fish to the water.
T'ai chi teaches the necessity of being fully relaxed 24 hours daily, even in the most heated of battles. The key is to harmonize one's situation against disharmony, not with the purpose of harming anyone in the process, but being willing to do so if needed to reach that harmony. Therefore, if one can disarm one's physical opponent with minimal damage to the opponent, all the better, but t'ai chi can also inflict severe physical damage. At trial, if a collateral result of harmonizing the situation is to cause severe upset to the opposing witness, the key is for harmonization to be the goal, not to either reach or avoid upset to the opposing witness.
As my Powerful Lawyering article recounts, t''ai chi master Cheng Man Ching spoke of overcoming our fears in terms of imagining that we are practicing t'ai chi while balanced atop a narrow pointed cliff. To not eliminate one's fears while atop the cliff is to guarantee certain death. Eliminating fear also calls for keeping and tempering the fearlessness of a child filled with wonder, and living in the moment, as wonderfully detailed in the following story of the man and the two tigers: A man is chased in the wilderness by two tigers, only to be forced off a cliff, hanging for life from a vine. One tiger waits above and the other waits below for a human meal. Two field mice gnaw away at the vine. The man sees a wild strawberry growing from the side of a cliff, reaches for it, tastes it, and -- with his life hanging in the balance -- thinks of how delicious the strawberry tastes. By Jon Katz.
ADDENDUM II (From our Underdog Blog):
November 14, 2006
Two lawyers inspired me to practice t'ai chi.
This week, I added the yin-yang symbol to the top-right of Underdog blog, together with a link to my article on practicing law by incorporating t'ai chi, the peaceful path, and lessons from the Trial Lawyers College.
The yin yang symbol is an important expression of t'ai chi, and the phrase is part of the five main principles of practicing t'ai chi, which principles are simple, yet profound, particularly when applied throughout the day in all physical, verbal, thinking, and psychological matters. Those principles are maintaining the harmony and balance of yin and yang, relaxing and sinking the body into the ground, keeping the body upright, making the waist the commander of any turning of the body, and keeping the wrists softly unbent.
I came to t'ai chi finally in 1994, not by any new age desire, but because t'ai chi appeared to be beneficial to providing the extra strength, harmony, and calm that I sought during my daily courtroom battles.
In 1991, I first met late trial lawyer Victor Crawford -- who helped inspire me to learn t'ai chi -- at a criminal defense lawyers' meeting. I somehow learned that he was a practitioner, and asked him questions about it from time to time. Three years later, I asked Vic his advice for learning t'ai chi. Vic sent me some brochures about classes given by Ellen and Len Kennedy, (who became my teachers) and some other local instructors. He attached a note foreseeing amazing doors that were about to be opened through learning t'ai chi; what an understatement.
I started going to the free Saturday morning t'ai chi practice sessions at Glen Echo Park, and then signed up for lessons there with Ellen and Len Kennedy, who are great teachers and who are former students of Robert Smith, who was t'ai chi superstar master Cheng Man Ching's first western student.
My t'ai chi teacher Len Kennedy also is a lawyer, who believes so much in t'ai chi that for years he has taken time to teach t'ai chi weekly in addition to the intense hours he likely puts in currently as Sprint general counsel, and previously as a big law firm partner.
I visited Vic Crawford about a year after starting to study t'ai chi, and told him I was unsure how much time to devote to going to t'ai chi classes. He urged me forward, and talked about the amazing energy and other benefits that come from practicing t'ai chi. I have witnessed such energy and strength firsthand when Len Kennedy has invited me forward to demonstrate various t'ai chi moves; with little energy, he'd bump me along a linear path. At the time, Vic was suffering from cancer that would claim his life less than two years after I started studying t'ai chi. He spoke of understanding his body independently from his doctors.
Vic was no new ager practicing t'ai chi. He was a brash lawyer, and a lobbyist first for the tobacco industry and then against it as he battled cancer following his own years of smoking. This was the inspiration I needed to follow the t'ai chi path.
Practicing t'ai chi in the courtroom reminds me of a scene from a World War II movie where an American soldier, hidden from view, guns down enemy soldier after enemy soldier, calmly chomping on his cigar at every step of the way. As much as we must be sensitive about any violence, had this soldier lost his calm to anger, fear or yelling, he would have been a dead duck. His calmness, together with his shooting skill, gave him strength. Jon Katz.
November 16, 2006
Videos and links showing the awesome power t'ai chi.
On November 14, I blogged about the awesome power of applying t'ai chi to my daily life and law practice. The following videos show the amazing power of t'ai chi, as demonstrated by the legendary Cheng Man Ching, who taught the teacher of my t'ai chi teachers, and who modified the t'ai chi form to 37 interconnected postures:
- Cheng Man Ching's t'ai chi chuan yang style short form.
- Cheng Man Ching, with commentary by Robert W. Smith, who was Professor Cheng's first western student and the teacher of my teachers.
- Cheng Man Ching sparring.
- Last part of the 37 postures, and additional demonstration.
- Also, some excellent t'ai chi links are at my personal website and at Wuwei t'ai chi club's site.
JON KATZ, P.C. - EXPERIENCED FIGHTERS FOR JUSTICE
Jon Katz, P.C. fights tirelessly for justice for our clients, with 30 years of combined experience. We are driven to win, put our clients ahead of money, and are ever-passionate for our clients and their causes. Our law partners Jay Marks and Jon Katz serve our clients directly, with caring and understanding. Jay and Jon met in 1969, attended public school together, trust each other deeply, revel in the thrill of victory, and fight side by side. We opened in 1998, and look forward to many more years of doing good for our clients and society. We are dedicated to justice, welcome tough cases, and never shy away from controversy.
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View with Windows Media Player. Rebroadcast courtesy Fox News.
SEE AND HEAR US ON THE AIR AND ONLINE:
Jon Katz, P.C. repeatedly gives legal commentary on the airwaves and in print.
JAY S. MARKS(Admitted in MD/DC/IL, and the U.S. Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)). Se habla espa˝ol. Se fala portugues.
JONATHAN L. KATZ(Admitted in MD/DC/VA state and federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court) Se habla espa˝ol.On parle franšais.
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