Mistakes

I made a big mistake at work recently.  Not like, disbarment kind of mistake.  A much smaller mistake.  But a mistake that was silly and easy to not make and I shouldn’t have made.  And as soon as I realized I made it, I felt like the Dumbest Person Ever.  Mistakes, they happen.  But up until now, mine have been things like typos (which I made on every.single.document. I had to execute for two sisters recently).  Mirror wills are a major weakness for me.

So what do you do when you make a mistake?  Step one?  Own it, but only to yourself and your boss.  Never tell the client that you made a mistake, unless it’s actually going to affect the case.  Step two?  Cover.

For example, when I used to debate in high school, we always covered ourselves by asking, “and where did you get that fact?” when we debated people.  So when the opposing counsel mentioned a document that changed the entire case which I could have easily looked up myself, I covered by saying, “well, I’m going to need a copy of that.”

Yes, I looked it up myself as soon as I got off the phone.  When I spoke to the opposing party the next time, I began by saying, “I have had a chance to obtain a copy of the document and see that you are correct.  Let’s talk about everything else.”

On the bright side, my boss was very understanding.  As I confessed what I had done, he simply said, “Oh. Well, lesson learned.”

How do you cover for mistakes?

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