EPISODE 69 — Brian Panish — Champions Compete with Themselves
Brian Panish, one of the country’s leading trial attorneys and Founding Partner of Panish Shea & Boyle, joins the podcast to discuss how he has become such an impactful voice in the legal world.
They discuss the never-ending sprint of winning, the importance of consistent self-improvement, and why champions should only worry about competing with themselves.
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5:46 – Passion begets greatness. “It’s about winning. It’s about competition. It’s about being relentless and never giving up. But the most important thing is passion for what you do. For me, it’s about the clients. I just love hearing all of the different stories from all these different people. There are only three areas where there’s always a winner and a loser in today’s society: politics, athletics, and courtroom law. When you have a bad loss, you can’t sit around and think about it. You’ve got to go back to the next day to practice and move on. So we have a 24-hour rule here where you can celebrate or commiserate for one day and then it’s time to move on.”
27:37 – Culture trumps all. “The most important thing in a law firm is its culture. If you have people who are committed to the firm’s goals, then you’ve got a strong culture. But if you have people who are complaining and saying negative things, then it starts going around the firm unless you have strong leadership and a consistent culture. That culture defines who you are and what you want to be. For us, our culture is getting the best results for the clients and doing the best work. We’re going to continue to do a great job and build our brand and our reputation and continue to get better. And if you do that, you’re going to be successful. But if people don’t want to work, then I’m the first to tell them that they can go ahead and leave.”
29:27 – The client comes first. “Lawyers need to be dedicated to the practice and the clients, and they’ve got to know about the cases. They’ve got to work hard, but they need to know that it’s not about them. It’s always about the client; it’s not about them getting a big verdict or getting in the headlines. It’s about doing the right thing for the client. If you keep that in mind, you’ll always be right. It’s when you stray from that and try to get a bigger verdict or go out to the media. Sometimes people are too into themselves.”
35:47 – Compete with yourself. “One time I was fishing with my dad and these guys across from us were catching all kinds of fish. And I was getting frustrated that they were beating us, but my dad said, ‘In life, you need to compete with yourself, not others.’ We see what other firms are doing and I have respect for them, but we try not to focus on them as we run our own practice.
41:25 – Success is loving what you do. “Success means helping people, developing quality lawyers, and continuing on this practice that we have. Success is not about money. You obviously want to win the cases or else you’re not going to be able to support your people. But I think I’m successful because I enjoy what I’m doing every day. I’ve never had a day where I dreaded driving into the office even though there can be some stressful days. If you love what you do, then you’re successful.”
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EPISODE RESOURCES & REFERENCES
Coach Jim Sweeney
Edward Bennett Williams
Winning by Tim Grover
Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Anderson v. General Motors
John F. Kennedy Jr. plane crash
Michael Jackson case