I’m a big fan of The Odd Couple — the play, movie and, of course, the TV show. Many years ago I had the pleasure of seeing Tony Randall and Jack Klugman perform the play live (come by my office and check out the autographed playbill).
In my view, the best moments of the show are not when Oscar and Felix fight, but when they try work together to achieve something. Despite their multiple differences — or perhaps because of them — the result is far better, and funnier, than if either had tried it on his own. Like when Oscar was dating singer (and erstwhile Gong Show judge) Jaye P. Morgan, prompting Felix to try his hand at songwriting. On his own, the results were less than stellar. When he solicited Oscar’s assistance, a hit was born.
Lawyers too are better served getting input from their colleagues rather than trying to go it alone. As smart as we are, our colleagues bring different, and usually helpful, perspectives to an issue. Many firms in fact require consultation with another attorney under certain circumstances, such as before filing a complaint or other claim, rendering a formal opinion, or proceeding to trial.
Certainly, these shouldn’t be the only instances when you consult with your colleagues. So before you file your next motion, or send a memo to a client, ask one of your colleagues to take a look. The final work product will invariably be stronger. And that should make you, and your clients, Happy and Peppy.