I always thought that lawsuits were won or lost on their merits. I mean, sure, a really good lawyer could win a really bad case, and vice versa. But I always thought that who your attorney is didn't really matter, all else equal.
But about a week ago, I did my first mini trial. My partner and I represented a life insurance company trying to avoid paying out a policy for an insured who committed suicide. Meanwhile, next door, four other amateur lawyers were trying the very same case. Afterwards, we learned that the life insurance company prevailed in one courtroom and the insured prevailed in the other courtroom.
Lest you forget---these were the same facts presented by different pairs of amateur lawyers. None of us were terribly great or awfully terrible. The only real differences between the two cases were the lawyers and the juries.
There are some interesting---if not wholly enjoyable---implications from that.