When I released each book in military motions practice, I had colleagues question why I would give away the special sauce. They reasoned that this somehow dilutes the likelihood that I would be hired as counsel on cases when I was giving away my “secrets” to the free uniformed military counsel. The same questions arise when I used three days to teach uniformed counsel at an Army Defense Counsel Assistance Program training event.
I guess the easy answer is, I just don’t care. As the expression goes, you can’t take it with you. Ordinarily, I think that colloquialism refers to your money and is an encouragement to spend money while living a satisfying life. For me, it means that all of my knowledge and experience in my chosen profession will die with me if I don’t share it.
That’s not to say that I don’t value that I make my living from those who hire me for that same knowledge and experience. Indeed, I do.
I also happen to believe that sharing my experiences does not somehow mean that my experience has been recreated in newer counsel. In fact, I know it does not. As much as I want and hope that my writing and teaching will help, there is no substitute for my experience that I can wield on any given case. There just isn’t.
Perhaps it’s my middle age. But I think more than I care to admit sometimes about what legacy I will leave behind. And I promise you, I don’t believe for one minute that my legacy will be any specific case I have tried: won or lost.
I hope to my core that my legacy will be that I have contributed to growing a literal army of counsel who will continue to fight against tyranny, who will guard against the erosion of the rights of service members, and who champion the rights of the seemingly voiceless, falsely accused soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines, and coastguardsmen.
So, I will keep writing books in my Shaping the Battlefield series. I will keep volunteering to teach when given those opportunities. I’ll keep giving away my “special sauce.” I can’t take it with me after all
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