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California Appellate Law Podcast - Leslie Porter

Sleep Well, Crush Your Enemies, with Leslie Porter

Tim Kowal     February 20, 2024

You thought health and wellness was just for hippies, losers and weirdos. But you were wrong. Leslie Porter explains that if you are waiting for your health issues to become acute enough for a prescription, you are not at your best. Not only are you laying the groundwork for possible big problems down the road, you have lower energy, weakened drive, and diminished alertness.

If you won’t do it for yourself, get healthy to crush your enemies better.

Leslie Porter’s biography and LinkedIn profile.

Appellate Specialist Jeff Lewis' biography, LinkedIn profile, and Twitter feed.

Appellate Specialist Tim Kowal's biography, LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, and YouTube page.

Sign up for Not To Be Published, Tim Kowal’s weekly legal update, or view his blog of recent cases.

The California Appellate Law Podcast thanks Casetext for sponsoring the podcast. Listeners receive a discount on Casetext Basic Research at casetext.com/CALP. The co-hosts, Jeff and Tim, were also invited to try Casetext’s newest technology, CoCounsel, the world’s first AI legal assistant. You can discover CoCounsel for yourself with a demo and free trial at casetext.com/CoCounsel.

Other items discussed in the episode:

Transcript:

Announcer  0:03  
Welcome to the California appellate podcast, a discussion of timely trial tips and the latest cases and news coming from the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. And now your hosts, Tim Kowal and Jeff Lewis. Welcome, everyone.

Jeff Lewis  0:17 
I am Jeff Lewis.

Tim Kowal  0:18 
And I'm Tim Kowal. Both Jeff and I are certified appellate specialist. And as uncertified podcast hosts we try to bring our audience with trial and appellate attorneys some legal news and perspectives they can use in their practice. As always, if you like this podcast, please recommend it to a colleague.

Jeff Lewis  0:33 
And if you don't like it, recommend it to your opposing counsel. Before we jump into this week's discussion, we're going to thank our sponsor casetext. Casetext is a legal technology company that's developed AI back tools to help lawyers practice more efficiently since 2013. Casetext wider bar on by 10,000 firms nationwide from solo practitioners to amla 200 firms and in house legal departments. In March 2023 casetext's launched co counsel, the world's first AI legal assistant, co counsel produces results lawyers can rely on for professional use all while maintaining security and privacy and our listeners can enjoy a special discount on casetext's basic research at casetext.com/calp Let's casetext.com/calp. Tim. I used to think that topics like wellness and meditation and nutrition were for hippies, losers and weirdos. That was before COVID Not anymore. COVID was a real teachable moment and every lawyer in my opinion should find the opportunity to incorporate some of these topics into their lives. Today I'm excited to welcome Lesley Porter to the show to talk about these topics. Lesley has been teaching and practicing your ADA, various styles of yoga, breathwork, Pilates and meditation and has been a somatic practitioner for over 26 years. Her superpowers are her empathy, humor and intuition. She's led retreats and workshops all over California has been featured in BBC News and USA Today for topics like stress and sleep. She speaks French and loves the people in her life travel red wine and all forms of dark chocolate and didn't know there were multiple forms of dark chocolate. She's not only a fantastic teacher, but she's a good friend. I'm thrilled to have her on the podcast Lesley welcome. Hi,

Leslie Porter  2:10  
I think percentages right 90% Dark 75% Oh,

Jeff Lewis  2:13 
me percentage.

Tim Kowal  2:16  
Yeah, can you go up? I think past 80 is beyond my threshold.

Leslie Porter  2:20 
I'm with you. I like 75% Usually, yeah.

Jeff Lewis  2:25 
So let me tell us, tell us a bit about more about you and what you do and why lawyers should care about what to do.

Leslie Porter  2:31 
First of all, I love being here. So Thanks for Thanks for having me. I, I do a few things. But I'm going to focus a little bit more on what I hear from lawyers who are my clients, which are, you know, I help busy business professionals sleep better or who need to sleep better, and stop being spread too thin, they want to feel more rested, which as you know, as a lawyer, that's like what, how

Tim Kowal  2:55  
would know that by looking? What

Leslie Porter  2:56  
do you do that? Because I'm the I think one of the reasons I mean, I think if you think about the brilliance of of law, in terms of how how important the mind is right? The mind is so busy, the mind needs to be kind of on it right? Like all the time that I think a lot of times they hire me or lawyers have hired me to help them connect to their bodies feel more present and feel healthier, because in essence, when they feel that way, they're more productive, their mind is clearer, and they can they can do their job better and also have better relationships because it's not a lot, right. I mean, you guys have families its relationship with

Jeff Lewis  3:39 
colleagues opposing counsel. So I hear you saying if you help people sleep better so they can crush their enemies in court more efficiently. So when I hear

Leslie Porter  3:47 
I think you know what, I think I would say yes, actually, because if you're clear minded, right, you're gonna your words, you're gonna get much cleaner and clear right there. I think before we get into the nuts of brush the enemy. That's a spiritual dude.

Tim Kowal  4:00  
My Zen master taught me how to better crush my enemies.

Leslie Porter  4:05 
I feel like such a good guru now. Thanks. Yeah,

Jeff Lewis  4:08 
no charge, he could put that on your website. Before we get into the nuts and bolts of what you do, how did you get into this work? Why aren't you a lawyer or a doctor or something else? How did you get into this?

Leslie Porter  4:21  
You know, sometimes I wonder the same thing. Getting I would say that this work chose me. And there was a time where I thought I would do something like graphic design or fashion design or photography. I used to be in shows art shows around Los Angeles for years, like many many, many, many, many years, and I have a bachelor's degree actually in fine arts and English literature. So a lot of you know, I know a lot of lawyers actually go through English literature first and then suddenly they go they go to law next so I'm familiar with that. And I think that's actually one of the reasons my life lawyer clients like me is I am a little bit intellect. I'm not a little bit I am intellectual. So I think that when I describe things, they're a little more intellectual versus just spiritual and woowoo. Like you would say, Oh, I thought it was for hippies, right. Like, no I can I can scientifically break things down for you of why. And I think a lot of my legal clients, like my law clients are like, oh, yeah, thank you, I need that for my brain to understand the why in it. I had insomnia, I had a lot of anxiety when I was younger. And I kept thinking there has to be a different way. And I didn't want to go. I don't have a mental illness or anything. I just had a lot of stress going on in my life in my late teens, early 20s. And so I did a lot of searching and a lot of trainings to find out what the other way was. And I found it. And it's, I haven't had sleep issues since I was probably 22. And I'm 46. Now I don't mind same age. I'm 46. Now, so I haven't had issues with sleep since and anxiety issues. I mean, I told you, I mean, Jeff and I spoke this week I had, I'm in Paris right now, and someone stole my iPhone. And it was interesting, like the stress that came off of that, right? Like how stressful someone like literally unzips my purse takes my cell phone and like goes away. And yes, that really stressed me out. But I felt so grateful to know how to navigate my stress in my body so that I can make good decisions and take, you know, good action steps to function and manage, right. And I think that when you think of problem solving as a lawyer, that's really important. Because you know, things happen, life is going to life, and how are you going to navigate that in the midst of crisis? And I feel like thank God, I have tools to handle those things. Or I could have to call.

Jeff Lewis  6:44  
That's a great point, you know, much of what Tim and I do is navigating the unexpected turns of litigation or appeals turn. So yeah, you absolutely have to think on your think on your feet. Let me ask you this. You know, some people think this stuff is for, you know, hippies, losers and weirdos. How do you reach the skeptics and convince them that this is something they need to know?

Leslie Porter  7:04 
Well, first, to be fair, some skeptics won't hear. Right, some of them will not get it. So I'm aware of that. I mean, they've definitely even taught I mean, I'm related to some of those people. Right? You're probably related to them, too. Right? They probably don't even understand what an apple lawyer is. I do. But some of them are like, what do you do? You know, I mean, you don't have that. I mean, I'm actually related. All my family are lawyers, doctors. I'm the only one that's sort of in this other field.

Tim Kowal  7:33 
Sure, it starts with with finding someone who's willing to take advice. I think

Leslie Porter  7:37  
that's absolutely true. They have to be willing to take advice. But I think sometimes I hate to say this, but sometimes because it happened to one of my clients. She's a lawyer. She is a business attorney. And she actually does Pilates with me. Normally, that's what she normally does I bring her up because something really crappy, am I allowed to cuss on this, I don't if I'm not a customer, okay? should hit the fan, right? Something crappy happened. And she decided to hire me for coaching. Because she said, I My anxiety is too high, I'm so angry, I have no idea how to navigate this. And I realized that something had to sometimes, you know, something had to shake her up a little bit, for her to recognize that maybe this coaching would be helpful for her. And sometimes people have had to have a crisis to be able to listen to something else, especially if they don't want to go, if they don't have a mental illness, they don't want to go on just like, here's the sleeping pill, right? Here's a anti anxiety pill, like some people don't want to do that. And I give them other options, or I get them I help them get off of that. I can help people get

Jeff Lewis  8:41 
a pill as a band aid a temporary solution, but doesn't get to the root cause maybe you help folks with the root cause, correct?

Leslie Porter  8:48 
The origin for sure. Yes. And I can I can, I can attempt to help them with different angles of it. So it's not just like yoga, meditation, blah, blah, blah. I mean, it's, it's a holistic approach where I can I can address it from different places, depending on what the issue is. So with her, it was more of like she needed more somatic work because someone had passed away. So she had a lot of grief she needed to work on. I mean, that's very different than someone else who's having like hot flashes in the middle of the night and can't sleep because of them. Right. Those are two different problems. Leslie,

Jeff Lewis  9:22  
I've known you for five years, I think five years. I have no idea what somatic means. What is that? What are you talking about?

Leslie Porter  9:29  
It's such a good question. Somatic healing is a way of it's it's a it's actually a very deep, if you went to a psychotherapist, you'd cognitively work that right, you'd talk about it. And I think that's important, right? That's important for certain situations. With somatic healing. I might need water here in a second with somatic healing. It actually will address the nervous system from a kinesthetic level. So if I can help people literally go in and complete and help them regulate and learn How to regulate their own nervous system. So they feel calmer from the inside. So I can help them complete traumas I can, you know, it's basically a deep way of working with the nervous system. And kennis kinesthetic has to do with the nervous system. cellular level, okay? Okay, nervous system has to do with it, it's a way of like, you know, cause anxiety, if you think of it like a timeline, it does kind of like this, right? Like, it feels kind of like that. And then I help them, you know, it starts here, but then I slowly help them, you know, learn to regulate and find this,

Tim Kowal  10:32  
when you talked about root causes. A minute ago, my mind would went to three possibilities and tell me if I'm, if I'm right on all these possibilities, one possibility could be diet. Another possibility could be exercise, or lack of exercise. And a third possibility more problematic is maybe you're just in the wrong profession, if you're an attorney, it is, by nature a high stress job, I don't know that there is there, you know, I doubt that there's a way to eliminate all stress from it. So we're just talking about beyond diet, and exercise is there just going to be a default medium to high level of stress that your clients just have to learn to deal with?

Leslie Porter  11:08  
I would say that what what you're talking about is situational stress, when it comes to work, I actually had that when I was a college professor for 20 years, where I felt like I was having this situational stress of that job. And it took me actually eight years to leave. So I understand that that's more situational stress, I actually would not consider that the root cause. No, I would go, I would think root cause would be much, much younger, like, baby child, depending sometimes even into the womb. I mean, like root cause can be like, what was your mom? Like, when you were born? Or before you were born? Even? Like, was she anxious? Was she you know, so the root cause can be younger, way, way older than that? In your what you brought up, though, nutrition and sleep? And was it nutrition, sleep, nutrition

Tim Kowal  12:00  
and exercise? But sleep is a good one? Yeah, yeah,

Leslie Porter  12:03 
yeah, I would say those wouldn't be root causes, those are going to be basically, they're going to actually make or break the situation. So let's say that I'm an anxious person, those are great things to bring up. Because let's say I'm anxious, right? Like, let's say I have an anxious personality type. I in my world, we would call that an anxious attachment style. Um, it could be connected to other things. But that's when it gets a little scientific and psychological, but you know, anxious attachment, let's just say anxious

Tim Kowal  12:31 
attachment means what is attachment mean? means

Leslie Porter  12:36 
two hours or something. So let me let me keep it simple. Let's just call it anxiety, anxiety. Okay. So let's say I have anxiety. And let's say I'm eating foods that are making me more anxious, which can happen. So instead of eating foods that are going to support me, to make me less anxious, I'm actually eating foods that are making me orange or more anxious. So that could happen. It depends on the person's body type. It depends actually on where they live. It depends on the season, it depends on what the situational anxiety is and stress. What

Tim Kowal  13:12 
are anxious moods can affect different things. What are anxious foods, foods that make someone feel more anxious? Again, situational?

Leslie Porter  13:19 
So depends on the season depends on their in Ayurveda, we call it their constitution, right? It depends on all that, here's, I'll give you two perfect examples of this. So you kind of understand this better. I'm an I like, I like imagery. So think of two people right now. Okay. One is someone, let's say it could be man or woman in their 20s, early 30s or something. Let's say they live in Los Angeles, which tends to be a warmer climate, right? Even though you guys are freezing right now. And in a flood, flash flooding thing. But it tends to be a warmer climate, right? It's it's warmer tone. But, but in 50 to 60 degree weather, that person is freezing, you know, this person, right? This person is cold and 50 to 60 degree weather. They. Right, versus and that's right, it depends on the season. It depends on the whatever. But the think of another person who's in their 40s 50s, maybe a female, and they're actually always hot. They're always hot, okay? Doesn't matter where they are. They could be in 20 degree weather, 40 degrees, it doesn't matter, but they're always hot. So you can't diagnose these people with the same thing. You can't prescribe the same foods for them. There's no way right, like even breathwork and meditation, you know, Jeff and I were talking about, you know, calm and headspace and how would they know which meditation and breath work to do when some breath work and meditation making colder, and some make you hotter. So how would you know what to do in those? Right? So it really is all encompassing was specifically who the person is. Yeah. Does that make more sense, Tom? Tim? Yeah,

Tim Kowal  15:13  
it does, I can. And I could, I can imagine those, those two types of people there. And they're both in both of my family, for that matter, my, my daughter are like, are always cold. And my wife and my son are always hot.

Leslie Porter  15:26  
Right? So you wouldn't like there wouldn't be an anxious food type, like, you'd have to look at the season, you'd have to look at, you know, what's happening? Are they too hot? Do they tend to be you know what I mean? Like, you wouldn't want to push a certain lifestyle on the other one that doesn't accommodate who they actually are and what they function with. So it wouldn't make any sense. Okay, but exercise also, by the way to answer your other question with exercise, I think everyone, especially lawyers need to be moving in some way. Get up every 20 minutes, like too much sitting is not good for anyone. Yeah.

Tim Kowal  16:02  
So theoretically, there is some kind of meal that I could that I could eat on mornings that I'm that I'm really stressed, or that I've really stressful day ahead, that will reduce my anxiety. There's

Leslie Porter  16:12  
a way of incorporating certain specific foods, spices, certain drinks and meal plans that are specifically designed for your constitution. Yes, that will help you become more imbalanced with your anxiety if that's what's happening. Correct? Yeah. Just breakfast, I would say the whole day that there would be a way of incorporating different things into your day that would help you decrease stress in your nutrition. Absolutely. Yeah. 100% I have no doubt in that.

Jeff Lewis  16:41  
I'm feeling judged about my pop tarts I have this morning. But let me ask you, I'm guessing it's more

Leslie Porter  16:46  
about her. So good for you, Jeff.

Jeff Lewis  16:50  
I'm not feeling anxious. Because it's also avoiding certain foods, as opposed to picking certain foods to maximize. You want to avoid certain foods to minimize certain feelings, right? I

Leslie Porter  17:03 
mean, it's funny I did, I did an interview recently, it was someone who she does. She's a different kind of practitioner. She's She considers herself a health coach. She helps people with weight loss. And, and she was her whole thing was, you know, avoid drinking coffee after 12 or something, you know, avoid alcohol at 90 to you know, avoid all those things. I mean, sure, like avoiding coffee after 12 is a good idea. Right? Not drinking. But here's the thing that I like to think about everything in moderation, including moderation, right? So I mean, I'm in Paris, I am going to drink wine past six, I'm probably going to have a coffee two or three. So does that affect my sleep? No, it doesn't. Because I don't have sleep problems anymore. But here's the thing, there has to be a balance between like, pleasure, like enjoying what you eat, right, enjoying your life work, which is lawyers need to still find this balance. And eating like eating. I think sometimes in the States, we get a little too, like, rigid with food. So I wanted to mention that because I didn't I mean, I feel like I'm not a calorie counter. I'm not really into that. I don't I don't feel like I don't feel like that's helpful, I think that can create disordered eating. So I'm not really into all that. So I don't want to say like, Well, don't eat chocolate, right? Like, I'm gonna probably have chocolate later. So you know, I don't want to, I don't want to say that. So I would say, be aware of how those things actually affect you. They don't affect me poorly. So if they affect you poorly, though, then you have to reconsider what you're doing. That's what I would say. I mean, if you're if you're trying to lose weight, I probably wouldn't have that pop tart in the morning.

Jeff Lewis  18:56  
Right. Okay. Well, let me let me ask you this. As a few minutes ago, you mentioned the comm app. I have actually a big fan of the calm app I use. I listen to Jeff Warren's daily meditations. Fantastic, but I understand how it's a one size doesn't fit all kind of approach. Yeah. What could somebody get out of hiring a person like you a holistic approach that they can't get out of? Smart App like calm? Well,

Leslie Porter  19:21 
I will address different parts of their lifestyle. So I will I will look at where they're out of balance and help them go into balance. I will literally diagnose and prescribe specific things for what's happening. So I will I will, in my holistic lifestyle program, specifically, I go into we go into nutrition and an iron Vedic way where I can address what Tim was bringing up earlier. Like that's where I go into Okay, are you are you anxious? Are you stressed? What is your constitution like? Where are you? Where are you living right now? Like, what is the situation and then I actually create a meal plan for them. I create a whole meal plan I actually create rest of He's for them that support that. That's why I knew how to answer that question because I do that all the time. And, and that I actually base it off the season they're in. So I've worked with people and even Australia right there in the opposite season that we're in. So it really did like my plant right now. She's, it's so hot there. She's like, overheated, it's like miserable for her. And so she's so hot, that I can't give her like it's freezing here, I can't give her the same thing. It's not doesn't mean, we need, you know, you're not going to need like ice cold drinks right now in the middle of winter. It just doesn't make any sense. So but then I address, you know, customized meditation practices and breathing practices, depending on what's happening. So if someone is having sleep issues, they're actually very specific things to do to address those with meditation and diet and all of that, and the somatic stuff and the origins of that. So I address that in a holistic way. Depending if they need to move, then I would might send them to a different program that I do. But if they need, you know, like a yoga program or Pilates program, but if they need that kind of holistic approach, then that's, that's different than headspace. You don't actually talk to anyone in headspace, right? You're I mean, that would be weird. You're just like listening. Yeah, they haven't. They haven't directed you. Right.

Jeff Lewis  21:12 
Right, right. Absolutely. Guessing not a shot in the dark.

Leslie Porter  21:16  
Exactly. So that's, you know, this way I tell them, I'm like, This is what you actually need to do. And I've gotten people off of sleeping pills, usually within a few weeks.

Jeff Lewis  21:25 
Wow. Wow. Have you ever heard a lawyer tell you, Lesley, I don't have time for nutrition? Wellness, I got a trial to prepare for what do you what do you tell a lawyer like that?

Leslie Porter  21:37 
I never hear I have a trial to prepare for I hear I don't have time, from the lawyers all the time. But from what it is, sometimes the crisis is so bad, they have to make that they have no choice anymore, like they have. Because if you don't, I think the one thing we forget is if we don't address certain issues, they work, they're gonna get worse, right? So you can actually create health problems, you can create illnesses you can create, actually, if sleep issues aren't addressed, you can even create dementia down the line. I mean, like there are things that if not addressed, can be very problematic. And those sleeping pills can cause dementia down the line to which you know, you don't want to stay on them forever. Right. But I would, but I would say that when I hear that, which is usually someone's at the point when they get to me that they're like, I can't do this anymore, I have to do something else. I talk to them about buying back their time a little bit. So either wake up earlier, or stay up a little later and create, because the work I give them is sometimes five to 10 minutes, like, you know, it's not that long. So it makes it a little easier. But usually, I would they usually do that I actually had one person she she woke up and I told her 1020 minutes earlier, she woke up an hour earlier.

Tim Kowal  22:54  
Just so you notice some of the warning signs. What are some of the warning signs of of not sleeping? Well, I mean, you can imagine that, you know, there's some people who just have insomnia, they have very, very pronounced symptoms. But you know, most, most people will say, Well, you know, not been sleeping that well, but they don't think that much of it unless, unless they were going to go see, you know, what are what are some early warning signs that you would ask people to look out for? Oh,

Leslie Porter  23:23 
I love that question so much time. And I would say that actually those people are the ones I try to reach first. Because if they wait too long, and I told I told someone this recently, I told him if he if he waited too long, it's actually going to become medical. It's I can't help anymore. So it's going to become you need to go to the doctor. Actually, he ended up having a few months later, he ended up having a heart attack at 42. Oh my god. Yeah. Yeah. So I tried to get to them before. Like, let's let's change these things like your lifestyle a little bit before. They're very simple things to do. Right? Exactly.

Tim Kowal  23:59 
I think a lot of us just think, Oh, well, you know, not sleeping well. But that's just part of being an adult. That's just part of having a stressful job. That's just part of having kids and kids.

Leslie Porter  24:08 
Yeah, I would say look out for if you're having brain fog, often, if you're waking up tired, if you're having a hard time falling asleep, regular, I'm talking about some a pattern, right? I'm not talking about once I'm talking about there's a pattern now of waking up tired. There's a pattern now of not being able to fall asleep or waking up between this is the big time to in the morning and four in the morning or 230 and 430 that time period. If you're waking up between that which is happening a lot to people I know over 40 that period is actually it's your hormones talking to so I go into that a little bit with the nutritional part of like support you're talking to him about like supporting with nutrition, the nutrition will help balance some of the, you know cortisol and all of that stuff, too. It's not just so I would say that um Those are some things if digestion is bad, I would say that's something to look out for like to constipated or to opposite like diarrhea even like that can be actually signs of anxiety that's not being addressed and stress, pain, physical pain, like tension in the shoulders that are not going away migraines. These are symptoms. Stomach prob like, not just stomach digestion but like stomach ache, you know that that pit in your stomach that can come up, something's upsetting you and you're ignoring it, you've overridden it. It's like over here, but you can feel it, you know what I'm talking about? Or you've heard like, butterflies in the stomach. But this is more than butterflies, right? This is this is like something's not right. Or you end up with like low back pain or something, or there's tension, those kinds of things are symptoms that I would look out for for sure. Jaw tight tension. That's another one that comes up a lot. Do

Tim Kowal  25:53 
you see a lot of people who notice these symptoms, but then just assume that? Well, it's just a medical issue, I'm just gonna go see a doctor and get a pill for it. Or maybe let's go to the Get a massage or go to the chiropractor, work this one thing out, and then kind of slap that bandaid on it. Oh, that one acute symptom is gone. Now. I can forget about everything else. Yeah,

Leslie Porter  26:13 
actually, that's, you know, I have friends who do similar work that I do. And one of the Yeah, 100%. And one of the things that sometimes comes up is, and this comes up in psychotherapy, I, again, I'm pro these things, I think they're great if you can do them, they're, they're great. But sometimes I think you know, especially not all of them. So I'm kindly saying this, like, it's not all of them. But some psychotherapist, some chiropractors, some of those people, like they need a paycheck, if you go to a chiropractor, you're probably going to have to go back. So because you know what I mean? Like you have to go back. So sometimes the chiropractor doesn't like to refer to me, because they won't need either of us at some point. I try to get them to not need me anymore, but they will have to go back to the chiropractor. So yes, the band aid is there. And I think sometimes it's you know, it's it's kind of cyclical with those certain jobs, they kind of keep you in this loop. And I think I tried to educate people, but you know, some people want that. They're, they're not so you know, sometimes people aren't ready to heal, or sometimes they need to be educated. It's, you know, it's hard to educate. This isn't like normal, I had to learn about it. I mean, it wasn't something I learned in college,

Tim Kowal  27:25 
what are some of the questions you would ask a patient to diagnose whether they just have one kind of one acute symptom that just needs to be, you know, just needs to be addressed by a pill or a visit to a chiropractor, or whether it is there's a deeper issue that you need to help them address with, with diet and exercise and another regimen?

Leslie Porter  27:46 
Yeah, you know, it's Can you can you ask that one more time? And I just need to hear that one more time.

Tim Kowal  27:51 
Yeah. How do you know? Is there a set of questions that you will ask a patient so that you can determine whether they just have one one off issue? Like you mentioned back pain or you mentioned you know, maybe they have some some acid reflux or something, maybe they just need to, you know, lay off of the, you know, the spicy foods or something, or whether it is a symptom of a bigger problem, you know, too much stress, too much anxiety, poor sleep or, or extra poor diet? How do you diagnose whether it's a one off issue or a bigger nest of problems?

Leslie Porter  28:24 
So let's let's use the back pain as an example. Okay, back tension, back pain. When did this start? How long has this been going on? When is it worse? When is it better? Is it ever better? Do you have pain running down your leg? Is anything else hurting? Have you gone to the doctor? Have you been checked? Have you had an MRI? Those are things I probably would ask if someone came to me with back pain, if I know them already, and they suddenly I know a little bit about their back. I'm thinking of a client right now, who just literally told me about back pain today, like an hour ago. And she said, she just had someone very important to her passed away. She is very strong. She works out five times a week. She's actually 70 going to be 78 Tomorrow, and she is better than some of my 20 year old clients. She's just very fit very good posture. Just she dances all the times like she she does a lot and her back's hurting right now. It's not because of a medical issue. It's because she's in grief. And that's where she's holding the stress from it. So I know her well enough to know that she the ground that she walks is walking on this was someone who was like a childhood person to her like someone very important from her childhood. You know that the low back and the energies of low back in the legs have to do with a survival safety and the ground like your family and your you know, the childhood stuff that's sort of your grounding, and it's definitely that kind of energy with her right now. Because she's in grief.

Tim Kowal  30:00 
And when you say that people are storing grief or anxiety in different in certain parts of their body. What does that mean? I've heard I've had people close to me say that, and, and I take it at face value, but I don't understand it. Well,

Leslie Porter  30:14 
that description of different kinds of pain, like one is probably a herniated disk where they probably need an MRI or something, if something is shooting down their leg, they probably need to go to the doctor, that doesn't mean Pilates wouldn't help them yoga would not be good, but Pilates would probably be really good for them. But they probably need to make sure if there's a pain running down someone's leg, I would have an MRI, because that usually means they've bulged a disc or herniated that that's not unnecessary. I mean, they might have an emotional thing going on. But that needs to be addressed first. Wait,

Tim Kowal  30:47 
you described your, your 78 year old friend who has who suddenly has pain in her back? very sudden pain. And that's you say? It's because she's holding on to some grief, it's stored in her back? How does how does that happen? How do you get grief for pain stored in a place in your body? And and how do you deal with that?

Leslie Porter  31:09 
I could answer that I'd be a millionaire. You know, I you know, I think you know, we're human beings who live in a body. And it's really complicated. And like, if you think about it, like What the f are we doing here? Like it's super weird, right? Like, we're like, we have all these percentages. Like we walk around like some of us are lawyers, some of us are in whoo land, like, what are we doing here? This is super like, I'm getting philosophical on us. But like, who knows? Yeah. So, you know, in essence, I don't know how to answer that. Because I think that like each of us are so different. And I just I know her well enough to know that suddenly, it's not actually pain. She's just feeling stressed and her back like, she just told me after we work together, she's fine. Now. That's because I did stuff with her. Or

Tim Kowal  31:54 
is it a is it a hormone? I mean, I mean, that's not a harmless thing and fear, you know, produce, you know, cause your body to produce hormones and things is it does it does that get stored the excess of hormones and things in your body get gets stored and trapped in muscle tissue? And is that

Leslie Porter  32:12 
I think that can happen to absolutely, I think all of it can happen. But if you think of like fight or flight or freeze, right, fight flight freeze, when someone is in freeze, they're like, like your body does that. Right? What does that do? It tenses you up? You're in, you're in freeze. And so what happens when you start to thaw it out? You start to feel things

Tim Kowal  32:34 
Yeah, I wonder about you know, after after I've been in trial, and you go through the stress of trial and then and then you're through with it and then suddenly you've been high energy, low sleep high energy for you know, however long it takes couple of weeks and and then afterwards, your body kind of just crashes, you know, that your body has just been kind of given you energy on on loan, and now now it's come to collect payback time.

Leslie Porter  33:02 
I think that's absolutely why is because your adrenaline is like, you have to be your adrenaline has to be that way sometimes. And then when you come down the body's like, I'm done. You can't anymore. Yeah, the body's telling you I need rest. I've had it.

Tim Kowal  33:17 
Is there anything anything beyond rest? At that time? Is it just just rest and recharge? Or is there another added regimen that you would

Leslie Porter  33:27 
before that? The before that I would address like right like are you supporting your diet? Are you eating three meals a day? Are you drinking enough? What you don't mean? Like I would literally go into the support of all the stuff I'd already mentioned like Are you doing anything for self care? Are you showering even like, Are you like, what are you doing? I mean, I had one one lawyer she I don't remember what I think she might be an immigration lawyer if I recall. I'm pretty sure she's immigration are also business attorney. I'm not really sure there's so many there's so many lawyers, I lose track of you know, I know them as people like I don't really work with any of them professionally as their you know, but they work with me professionally.

Tim Kowal  34:06 
I always apologize when I explain have to explain that I'm an appellate lawyer and that means yes, there is one more lawyer that you're gonna have to learn about.

Leslie Porter  34:15  
I love it. I love it. So like the what I would say is that with with the business attorney slash immigration lawyer, she we had to literally take her system and create a lifestyle shift that's supported all the stress. So because she actually did like her job she did so that that wasn't a situational stress situation. She does like it when she gets to do it. She loves it. It's just the way she was approached to get the the the way she was navigating the work itself what she was bringing to it needed to shift a bit so she needed to take you mean you've been on an aeroplane they say take you know air to you first Before you give it to your kid, it's the same thing. You've got to give yourself air first, address all this stuff first. Because my guess is you would probably have more energy at the end of that trial. Because you've addressed certain things, that doesn't mean you won't be tired. But my guess is that you would have some support enough that you wouldn't you know what I mean? You'd be able to handle the aftermath of that. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I just told you about a very stressful situation here. mean, that was really, really stressful. It took me 30 hours to like, find a resolution of some sort, but I knew what to do for myself, like, I knew I could feel okay, this is I'm really upset. Like, I need to figure it, you know, I need to work with myself and do what I would do with clients, basically. And I did I made sure what I was eating, I made sure you know, I supported all that and I'm sleeping. Usually, that would probably upset someone and I'm, it's, I'm okay. I mean, it's I'm upset, but I'm not like gonna die. Yeah.

Jeff Lewis  35:57 
Leslie, we're recording this in early February. At the start of the year in January, lots of people make New Year's resolution schools this year, I'm gonna eat more brussel sprouts. By February. They've all gone out the window. Do you have any tips for the people you see about how to make and stick with goals or New Year's resolutions?

Leslie Porter  36:19 
A few things? Yeah, I think I love that question, too. I mean, I would, I am one, both sides of my brain work. But I need you guys. People need to figure out like what works for them, what will make them do something for me, it's on my if it's on my to do list, I will do it. So I make sure whatever I need to do is on my to do list. I put it on my schedule, if it's necessary. I make sure it's a priority, depending on what it is. But I also if there's something where I need extra help, I might get an accountability partner, right? Like a friend or you hire an expert, or, you know, that's what I do with my clients. I'm that accountability partner, I'm not support. But sometimes people don't have me. So then they have friends or they have their wife or partner or whoever it is, I think that's important. It gets people to the gym, or you know, hire an expert. But I mean, if if those are out of reach, I would I would have an alarm set. Like there's actually an app for I think I forgot what it's called to get you out of the chair. It

Jeff Lewis  37:19  
was the watch tells me every once an hour to see Yeah, that's

Leslie Porter  37:23  
an accountability thing. Right? It's you didn't have that at some point. So I mean, something like that is really nice, because it gets you up. But I always think that an accountability partner, put it on the schedule. If it's important to you, you will do it. You just have to make sure you recognize your why why are you doing this for yourself? What do you mean? What I mean? Like I think we forget, why are we doing it? Why are why do you want to do this? Why do you need to do this? Is this? Is this connecting to who you are? Are you making choices with who you want to be right now? Are you not making choices that align with who you are and who you want to be? I asked myself these questions all the time. Am I making you know, it doesn't mean I'm not going to eat the chocolate? It just means, you know, am I am I doing what I need to do right now. And sometimes that means staying home and veggie and watching TV, right? Like it doesn't mean you always have to do something, I think in the states where they take breaks here for like two to three hours in France. Well, people don't do that in the States.

Tim Kowal  38:23  
Well, speaking of accountability, is it important to have buy in from from your family, for example, when you're going to or you're going to embark on a new regimen and make sure that you're you're keeping yourself healthy. And for that matter, buy in from if you're if you're working at a firm, especially a big firm that expects you to produce a lot of billable hours. Is it important to have a firm culture that where people are not going to look at you funny if you're getting up from your desk? Like what what are you doing? You're not on the clock.

Leslie Porter  38:59  
I used to work for a legal office called Brian cave, I think they're actually a really big well known office right there. So I worked there for many, many, many, many years. I think it may have been 12 years, if not longer, where I used to go to their offices twice a week for yoga, and pilates and meditation. And some of those people actually followed me privately and some followed me to retreats, I used to lead and so I got very used to that culture. I saw them. I worked with some of the partners there. You know, it helps. I think if a firm supports that, I mean, they obviously supported it at the time. I don't think they have that that anymore for them, you know, for their staff. But at the time, you know, I think that was really nice for them to have it. But I was just thinking that one of my clients who's an injury attorney, he did not need to consult anyone. He did not need that Tim and he really thrived in my program. He didn't need that. He just said this is what I want. This is what I want to do. I mean he was definitely like he's he's kind of one of those rebel against the system people. So being an expert, like I had to kind of convince him every second of like, why I want him to do X. But I said, Let's just experiment like, you could hate it. But let's try it and see what happens. There's a skeptic for you. He was skeptical the entire time we worked together. But he said to me, even recently, he's like, I am the healthiest I've ever been in my entire life.

Tim Kowal  40:27  
Well, he said, he's he's a rebel against the system guy. Isn't that your profession? Aren't you kind of

Leslie Porter  40:33 
that is basically it's like, why you liked me? There's probably something subconscious. He was like, well, she's not like totally normal in the Yeah,

Tim Kowal  40:43 
yeah. Because I think the I think the traditional way of going about it is though, is what we talked about, let's let me just go find the bandaid. Let me go find the pill. Let me go find the prescription, and then put this behind me so I can get back to work. But you're you're a little bit. You're an alternative to that for people who want to find the root cause and find a long term solution, rather than just going from one band aid to the next to the next.

Leslie Porter  41:08  
I should mention that I'm actually a pharmacists daughter and granddaughter. Interesting. So I feel like that's, you know, that might, you know, I grew up in a pharmacy actually in Westwood. So, my my father started the UCLA Medical Plaza pharmacy, the original one and he started Westwood Plaza pharmacy in Westwood. And I grew

Tim Kowal  41:29  
up How do your views go over Thanksgiving dinner?

Leslie Porter  41:35 
You know, my father always told me that. He always like he got I actually when I was a teenager, I said, Dad, why don't you have like essential oils? I feel like he should have essential oils. And he got them actually started selling them. Yeah, I was showing him some of the products I sometimes recommend to people and he looked at the back. He's like, this looks actually very interesting and good. And I went, okay. Yeah, I don't I don't. I don't I mean, we have actually very different we don't need to go into this right now. Cuz I see our time. But like, we have very different political views. So I don't actually ever bring anything up like that said what an argument but yeah, usually he'll just say, I know you're he's actually sent people to me before. Oh, that's great. He has he knows it's my field. So yeah, I think you know, I mean, my dad's pretty open minded. He's pretty I'm lucky in that way. He's very open minded. He's never actually put down my work ever. Well,

Tim Kowal  42:32 
that's important, as he said earlier, you know, everything in moderation, including moderation. You know, there are there's, there's truth in all, I think there's, there's probably truth in all corners, even in all extremes, you know, if you just avoid going, going to the extremes.

Leslie Porter  42:47 
Well, yeah, I mean, I think that, you know, it's, there's a time and place for medicine, right? Like, if you have an illness and you need medical care, there's a time and place for it. But what about the people who actually are being overmedicated? Who really don't need it? Right. You're you just have us some stress and you're not sleeping? Well. That doesn't mean you need to be on meds.

Tim Kowal  43:08  
Yeah. Yeah. And I think I think what you're speaking to are the are the people who, who are who are in that phase before their problems become acute, and where they exactly right. Yes. Like the guy who had I was speaking to them. Yeah, no one else was speaking to them. It's just Well, no.

Leslie Porter  43:25 
And, and like, even the like, the the, the therapists and the psychiatrists there. I mean, they're promoting that they're trying to, you know, it keeps them in the in the cycle that keeps them in the system of I think of it as the guinea pig, sort of, like, what is that the hamster wheel that? Yeah, you know, it's the system, but I'd rather I'd rather someone learn to how do we, you know, we have to learn how to navigate this crazy world. It's insane. Sometimes it's not an easy place to be. And big. Guys are fighting your people are fighting all the time as a lawyer.

Jeff Lewis  44:02 
Yeah. Well, to be clear, Tim and I have found the niche practice that is the zen of practicing law doing appeals, you do it at the beach, you do it on a slow schedule. It is the least stressful of all the legal fields. So

Leslie Porter  44:17 
you have no stress check ever I've never known.

Jeff Lewis  44:23 
Well, there's a little more to me than just appellate law. Let's just say that. That's for another podcast. When I come on your podcast, we can talk about that. Hey, do you have a favorite or dramatic like war story or success story that you want to talk about? Someone you helped or touched? That you want to share with our audience? So

Leslie Porter  44:40 
one who I've talked about her a little bit? She was the immigration lawyer slash business attorney. She was open to trying something different. She wasn't sleeping well at all. She was on a lot of meds. She was actually not eating well, either. She actually wasn't eating very much at all, to be honest, and I think she wanted to Lose weight and you know, there's this thing called intermittent fasting that people are doing that again. And that can turn into disordered eating too, if done really incorrectly. So she wasn't doing it correctly. If anything, it was causing more harm and causing her to gain weight. And her anxiety was through the roof. She's about to be an empty nester. You know, all this stuff was going on. We work together after a month, one month, nomads she was done, didn't need him. Her anxiety completely dissipated. We I created a whole program for her I created a food system for her I created where how she could easily meal prep because she had a family right. So it was like How Does She easily meal prep? And and so we did that I gave her some practices to do especially when she wasn't sleeping in the middle of the night, what she could do in the middle of the night. And also what she could do to fall asleep. So we did we I changed everything for her in at the end she she really didn't need me anymore.

Jeff Lewis  45:57 
She was fine. Well, well, that's great. She graduated writing.

Leslie Porter  46:01  
Yeah, she was fine. And she actually made me a little video testimonial. It was very sweet. But yeah, it was she she was fine. Actually, after some people work with me three months or six months, she was pretty good after six weeks? Well.

Jeff Lewis  46:17  
This is the point of the interview where you know, we're normally interviewing judges and lawyers. And this is the point where we usually ask them about font choice, whether they do one space or two after periods, we're going to skip that part of the interview and just asked, Is there anything else you want to share with our audience of appellate and trial lawyers about how the holistic approach could benefit them?

Leslie Porter  46:37 
But I do I do. I don't have a space between my word, my letter and my period.

Tim Kowal  46:41 
Okay. You get maximum use in your, in your Twitter posts, your tweets?

Leslie Porter  46:51 
Absolutely, I like I like things condensed, organized. And you only allowed a certain amount of space and Twitter and like Instagram, right, can only you're only allowed a certain amount of letters or characters, which I'm always thinking about. So I would say that not all yoga and meditation are the same. It's great to do something. But if you can, if you can, which most learners can, if you can afford it, and you feel willing to try something different, where it's actually more specific to you and where you are, I would go explore other ways. There's not just there's 1000s and millions of times types of yoga meditation and breathing techniques out there. It's it's not just one, it's not just like focus on your breath and your good. It's, it's, it's a whole thing. And I think it's important to do some some self actualization, like some self realization, and I think it helps. When we really look at our health and we prioritize our health and wellness, your work gets better, your mind gets clearer. And everything just functions better. It just does you just feel better. So when your body is functioning well, you can rock your your job, you can really, you know, kill it with clients, and suddenly you feel like it's in flow

Tim Kowal  48:10  
and bury your enemies as we enemy.

Leslie Porter  48:13  
Crush your enemies. It's so spiritual of you. Yeah.

Jeff Lewis  48:19  
Hey, as we wrap up, I want to throw you one curveball question. You're in a different country right now temporarily still seeing your client? Computer I talk a lot about legal tech on this podcast. Our favorite software app or piece of hardware is are there any software applications or hardware that have helped you see clients from afar that you rely on?

Leslie Porter  48:44 
I love zoom so much. Oh, Zoom has been really great. Wix has been really great. What a great start. com. I host my website there and all my programs, I get paid through there. There's an invoice system. All my business legal documents are in there. I would say scheduled once because that's like a good place to you know, have people get on my calendar. I would say others more Venmo is really great. Sometimes if someone wants to send me money. I would say there's more because I use Oh, right signature if I need someone to sign a document is really nice, because that's really, you know, it gets the legal stuff to someone really easily and they can sign it. And it's been you know, it's filed. But those things have been fantastic. I love all of that. Yeah. I mean, I would say that email in general and texting is also just really nice, especially if someone has an iPhone. It's just easier to connect with them.

Jeff Lewis  49:48  
Yeah, and starting with the next iOS, you know, iPhone people able to speak to Android people without the shame of the green bubbles, no apples changing their software. So, blue bubbles they're on You won't be able to shame your Android friends.

Leslie Porter  50:03 

Oh, what a bummer. I enjoy doing that. I made fun of them all the time. That's such a bummer. But the thing with the Android is they don't have the e sim. So you know they can they can we can still laugh at them because the sim really makes a difference. It does. It's it's

Jeff Lewis  50:19  
your travelers. Yeah.

Leslie Porter  50:22 
Yeah, I would say that Apple is amazing.

Tim Kowal  50:24  
Yeah. All right. Don't even know what that is. So laugh away.

Jeff Lewis  50:30 
Well, Leslie, you've been generous with your time, I want to thank you for coming on and giving us a break from our stuff in conversations about law and legal cases. That wraps up our episode. We want to thank case techs for sponsoring our podcast each week. We include links to the cases, we discussed from casetext's daily updated database of case law statutes, regulation, codes, and more and listen to our podcasts enjoyed special discount, please casetext basic research at casetext.com/calp. That's casetext.com/CALP. And if

Tim Kowal  50:59 
you have suggestions for future episodes or more tips like Lesley's, on how to vanquish your enemies, please email us at info at cow podcast.com. In our upcoming episodes, look for more tips on how to lay the groundwork for an appeal when preparing for trial.

Jeff Lewis  51:13  
All right, see you next time.

Announcer  51:14  
You have just listened to the California appellate podcast, a discussion of timely trial tips and the latest cases a news coming from the California Court of Appeal and the California Supreme Court. For more information about the cases discussed in today's episode, our hosts and other episodes, visit the California appellate law podcast website at ca to podcast.com. That's c a l podcast.com. Thanks to Jonathan Cara for our intro music. Thank you for listening and please join us again

Tim Kowal is an appellate specialist certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Tim helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at CALpodcast.com, and publishes summaries of cases and appellate tips for trial attorneys. Contact Tim at [email protected] or (949) 676-9989.
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“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?”

— James Madison, Federalist 62

"Counsel on the firing line in an actual trial must be prepared for surprises, including requests for amendments of pleading. They cannot ask that a judgment afterwards obtained be set aside merely because their equilibrium was slightly disturbed by an unexpected motion."

Posz v. Burchell (1962) 209 Cal.App.2d 324, 334

Show neither partiality to the weak nor deference to the mighty, but judge your fellow men justly.

Leviticus

"Moot points have to be settled somehow, once they get thrust upon us. If an assertion cannot be proved, then it must be settled some other way, and nearly all of these ways are unfair to somebody."

—T.H. White, The Once and Future King

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."

— Plato (427-347 B.C.)

"Upon putting laws into writing, they became even harder to change than before, and a hundred legal fictions rose to reconcile them with reality."

— Will Durant

"It may be that the court is thought to be excessively legalistic. I should be sorry to think that it is anything else."

— Hon. Sir Owen Dixon, Chief Justice of Australia

"A judge is a law student who grades his own papers."

— H.L. Mencken

"At common law, barratry was 'the offense of frequently exciting and stirring up suits and quarrels' (4 Blackstone, Commentaries 134) and was punished as a misdemeanor."

Rubin v. Green (1993) 4 Cal.4th 1187

"God made the angels to show Him splendor, … Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."

— Sir Thomas More in Robert Bolt's A Man for All Seasons

"So far as the beginnings of law had theories, the first theory of liability was in terms of a duty to buy off the vengeance of him to whom an injury had been done whether by oneself or by something in one's power. The idea is put strikingly in the Anglo-Saxon legal proverb, 'Buy spear from side or bear it,' that is, buy off the feud or fight it out."

— Roscoe Pound, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Law

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