Aug 26

A major factor in the way we feel about (and get along with) other people we encounter is how we explain their behavior. The way in which we explain a particular behavior (our own or someone else’s) is called an attribution. We constantly try to explain why things happen around us. We are hardwired to fill in the blanks in the world so that things make sense to us. We observe what someone does, but we don’t know why he/she did it. This bothers our brains. Our brains want explanations, they want the blanks filled in, they want to be able to feel comfortable explaining why things happen so that they can identify patterns and predict things in the future. Feeling like we can predict things makes us feel better (even if we are completely wrong). We do this all day long, every day. And since we do this so much, in order to do this as quickly as possible, our brains take shortcuts. Given the complexity of trying to explain behavior, shortcuts are not the most accurate way to go about it. But unfortunately, we want it done quickly more than we want it done correctly. So often times these shortcuts become erroneous habits, or biases (aka an attribution bias). Continue reading »

Aug 18

This is my third blog post on the subject of alcohol/drug rehabs.  I pointed out in the first that with few exceptions insurance no longer covers rehab (meaning the month-long version that most people think of), though they may cover detox (a few days) followed by a day program (sometimes with optional self-pay lodging).  Rehabs (like some of the best known and most reliable ones, such as Hazelden and Caron) cost well over $30,000 or $40,000.  I have also cautioned about sorting out fact from hype when reading impressive claims about success rates when you attempt to choose among the many, many rehabs with glossy brochures and web sites (most of them outside Massachusetts).  Continue reading »

Aug 11

This topic has come up a number of times this year.  Some of my clients have left the practice.  Deans of students for local law schools have retired.  Some of my family members have moved to Florida, to escape the New England winters.

I know that closing the door on your practice life is a significant decision — one that is not to be taken lightly.  Lawyers often have only one career path; and, the idea of walking away from it is unsettling, at best.

Retirement means different things to different people, based on their work experience and the meaning that they have attached to it.  Witnessing your own family members transitioning into retirement: what they said about it, how they felt about it — that all has a significant effect on your conception of what your own retirement will be, or should be. Continue reading »

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