Clearly, the world in which attorneys operate — a world where the attorney is usually the point person assisting other people or entities in addressing legal disputes, individuals’ rights, personal/property/financial losses, and a wide variety of adversarial matters — is one in which conflict is inherent and prominent. Consequently, it is a world that typically elicits the “difficult nature” within an opposing party. As a coping and management tool, consider the expression “It Takes All Kinds”, or “It Takes All Sorts”.

The expression apparently originated in the 1600s as “It takes all sorts to make a world.” It recognizes that humanity is made up of many kinds of individuals and personalities which may be markedly different. The phrase is often used as a remark noting one’s own difference from others, or maybe as a remark tolerating someone else’s peculiarity or unconventional behavior. For example, many would not walk bare-footed across red-hot coals, but “it takes all sorts I suppose.” Finally, a religious person might recite a common prayer stating, “we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men.”

Legal matters tend to be conflicts that evoke an opposing party’s irrational, unreasonable, absurd, or factually and legally unsupported response or position.  Some opposing parties might take such untenable positions intentionally as a strategic tactic. In the context of litigation, a party might unconventionally push the parameters of what reasonable minds view as matters that are “not being presented for any improper purpose,” are “warranted by existing law”, or “have evidentiary support” as proscribed by Rule 11. Alternatively, for reasons known or unknown, an opposing party might unintentionally advance unreasonable, illogical, irrational, unsupported or “unhinged” positions. In these regards, an opposing party can make an attorney’s legal work difficult, frustrating, and aggravating. It can cause an escalation to the tension of a situation.

To survive, consider “It Takes All Kinds.” Recognize that unreasonable opposing positions may exist just by virtue of the opposing party’s own peculiarity or unconventional behavior. Don’t let an opposing party’s personal nature or stance dictate your reaction. Be confident in your own factual investigation, legal research, preparation, and resulting reasonable position. Maintain your professionalism and reasonableness, recognize an opposing party may just deserve the remark “It Takes All Kinds”, and let it be “water off a duck’s back.”

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