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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.

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