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Judges are people. It might not always feel like it, but they are human beings that can get drunk on holiday spirit (or just spirits), act stupid, and embarrass themselves like everybody else. Not only is there an annual judge holiday DUI or two, from time to time, there's a really ridiculous judicial holiday drunk driving debacle.

Fortunately for lawyers and litigants, judges rarely let that holiday spirit crash into the courtroom. In fact, it is a routine caution from the bench that the holidays are not likely to impact their rulings. The warning is usually followed by a stern "bah humbug!" However, if it does happen that you get an overly festive judge, you'll find a few tips on how to handle the unusual situation below.

Why Oppose When They Can Amend?

"Judicial economy" is a hard-sell to some clients.

They don't really care about the judge's workload or the time it takes to prepare, oppose, or argue a motion. They want results, and they want it now.

If you change the expression to "client economy," however, it gets a little easier to explain. Sometimes it makes economic sense not to go to court.

Being a lawyer means seeking justice on behalf of clients. However, lawyers understand that justice, particularly in the civil sense, is about dollars and cents, more so than justice.

When it comes to persuading a civil client that it is in their best interest to settle, a lawyer's role as a fiduciary can really complicate matters. To that end, it is the ever-constant duty of the attorney to remind the client of the business judgment rule of litigation. If it makes good business sense for a client, they should settle.

Below, you'll find 5 tips on how to persuade clients to settle by getting them to think like a business, and not a spurned individual.

Don't Give Inmates Anything But Advice

Steven M. Cohen apparently was concerned about his client's oral hygiene in jail, so he gave the man a toothbrush.

That resulted in a felony conviction for delivering illegal articles to an inmate. Then the state Supreme Court suspended Cohen's bar license and ordered him to pay $8,600 as a penalty.

So what's the lesson here? If your inmate client has really bad breath, do not give him a toothbrush? Or maybe it's more about timing.

Against People-Pleasing: Why Lawyers Should Be Hardcore

Troubling the leaders of his day with questions, Socrates was the gadfly of Athens.

So said Plato, his student and chronicler of his trial. Of course, Socrates accepted a death sentence for his self-appointed role in society.

Today, lawyers are taught the Socratic method of asking questions. And sometimes, they have to be painfully hardcore about it. While lawyers often try to downplay this part of their career, maybe they should embrace it.

For elder law attorneys, an unfortunate trend seems to be on the upswing among the client base: individuals over the age of 65 filing for bankruptcy. However, given that the number one cause of bankruptcies is medical debt, this makes a bit more sense.

As Forbes explained, the 65+ demographic now makes up a higher percentage of bankruptcy filers than it did a decade ago. Some speculate that the increase is due, at least in part, to the increased cost of health care over that same time. Notably, legislation was passed in 2005 to reform bankruptcy to reduce the number of filers, but has not been effective.

Tom Petty will likely be forever remembered by plaintiff's lawyers for one reason, and one reason alone ... wait for it ... wait for it ... the wai-ai-ting is the hardest part. And if you've ever had to wait for a government entity to approve your plaintiff's settlement, you've likely wanted to slap every person after the first who sang those lyrics to you.

However, before you start the waiting game known as settlement limbo, there are a few things you can do to help make your agreement more agreeable to the entity that has to approve it.

How to Say 'Seasons Greetings' on a Budget

It's not too early to think about seasons greetings, and for some things it's probably too late.

So let's just talk about what you can do this season -- especially if you're on a budget. Assuming you're not a Grinch, let's say you can spend a couple hundred bucks to cheer up your clients.

Come on. If you're charging a couple hundred bucks an hour, you can do this.

The legal issues surrounding undocumented immigrants are varied and often controversial. When it comes to disclosing a defendant, litigant, or even a witness's immigration status, courts must exercise a careful balancing act between the probative value and the potential for prejudice.

However, a new rule in the state of Washington seeks to lead by example when it comes to handling an individual's undocumented status. It basically makes it so that a person's immigration status will always be considered prejudicial, unless, by way of motion, the court finds it is more probative than prejudicial. While the new rule does not outright prohibit the introduction of evidence regarding an individual's immigration status, it does erect barriers to its introduction.

Can 'Best Practices' Be Bad for Your Law Practice?

Before Copernicus published his book 'On the Revolutions of Heavenly Spheres,' the scientific community traditionally thought that the Earth was the center of the universe.

That's thousands of years of wrong.

So what does that have to do with "best practices" and law practices? Well, maybe the traditional way of doing things is not exactly right.