Even in big cities, the “commercial bar” — the group of lawyers who regularly do transactional work in a particular field, such as real estate — often know each other pretty well, by reputation and experience. After you’ve been negotiating loan agreements or writing leases for a decade or two, you get to know a bit about the other regular players in your region.   You hear that Larry or Curly is going to be opposite you, in a lease negotiation, and you already know, more or less, that you’re going to have a long negotiation — or a short one; that counsel knows their stuff and can argue efficiently –– or not; and so on.

Lawyers may not always be able to convey the full story to their clients about these things.  For one thing, obviously, there’s some degree of professional competition, so clients sometimes may need to discount what lawyers say about each other.  Even our self-consciously stately profession occasionally sees a little “trash talk,” like you hear between football teams sometimes.  

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