A few weeks ago, I participated in a panel at the California State Bar Convention discussing the “Ethical Duties of Eliminating Bias in the Legal Profession.” While the topic sounds dry, our discussion was not. Even though our presentation was at 8:00 am on a Sunday morning, the audience became more and more lively as we proceeded.

We started the discussion with the notion that when we introduce ourselves to someone else, we unconsciously make assumptions about the other person. According to Nina Meierding, we assume four different things without even knowing it; what we assume about the other person; what we assume the other person is thinking about us; what the other person is assuming about us, and finally, what the other person thinks we are assuming about her. (Confusing, isn’t it?).

To show vividly how assumptions are at work, we showed a short file, entitled “The Lunch Date” (running time 11 minutes) which won the 1990 Cannes Festival Short Film Palme d’Or and won the 1991 Academy Award as Best Short Subject. As you view it, think about what assumptions you are making and then at the end, review your assumptions; were they correct?

Enjoy the movie!

( The link is:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epuTZigxUY8 in case either of the above does not open.)

While it is impossible for us to stop making assumptions as we go through life, it is possible to be aware that we ARE making assumptions and to make the effort to test their accuracy rather than simply assuming them to be true. Unfortunately, more times than not, we are liable to find that our assumptions are simply not accurate.

…. Just something to think about.

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