“Why do you take notes? Lawyers don’t take notes. I never had a lawyer who took notes,” the president asked former White House counsel Don McGahn, according to the Mueller Report.
McGahn responded he keeps notes because he is a “real lawyer.”
“I’ve had a lot of great lawyers, like Roy Cohn. He did not take notes,” the president said.
The court disbarred Roy Cohn in 1986.
You have to be careful what you say. As Cardinal Richelieu noted, “If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him.”
Lawyers learn to take notes in law school. I was invited to give a guest lecture on collaborative law at George Washington University. There was one big change from when I was in law school. I was staring at the backs of 30 Apple laptops. I wonder if that would that have made Professor Fratcher’s lectures on reliction and dereliction any less boring?
I take notes so I can remember what was said. I don’t want to be the divorce lawyer who can’t remember his client’s name. As Lewis Carroll wrote in Through the Looking Glass:
‘The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never, never forget!”
“You will, though,” the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.”