Legal Supplier

Strigberger shares insights on the writing process

By Kirsten McMahon, Associate Editor

He has lightened the air in courtrooms, mediations and resolution meetings resulting in many settlements but his sense of humour is only one ingredient, legal humorist and author Marcel Strigberger tells Authority Magazine.

"It has to be used responsibly and coupled with a sense of kindness and some humility. Otherwise, it becomes a weapon rather than a medicine," he says.

In a wide-ranging interview, Strigberger reflects on his 42-year career as a lawyer and humorist and discusses the creative process behind his books, including Birth, Death and Other Trivialities and Poutine on the Orient Express: An Irreverent Look at Travel.

"Strigberger inspires and entertains audiences with his blogs and his presentations on topics such as how anybody can use humour safely and successfully, how to diffuse problems and avoid trouble, and how to keep your sanity in a world where if you are a baby boomer, you have to turn to your eight-year-old granddaughter for assistance three minutes after you log onto your computer," the article states.

He tells the magazine he found comedy at a young age along with a sense of fairness and justice.

“When I learned that there was actually a profession dealing with justice, I decided to become a lawyer to make fairness happen. So, for 40-plus years I lived both passions, being a litigation lawyer, and freelance comedy writer and humorist, publishing both legal and non-legal humour,” Strigberger tells Authority.

Currently, he is working full time “getting the humour out there,” via his website and through speaking engagements.

“I am also working on a new book about the joys of getting older. Did I say joys?” he adds.

Strigberger says he gets his inspiration from a range of different authors.

“If anyone famous or not, fiction or nonfiction, has something inspirational to impart, I’ll bite,” he says in the article. “Of course I am a most susceptible if they deliver their message with some humour. It is a turnoff to me when people take themselves too seriously.”

He tells Authority there is no formula to succeed at being an author and notes many readers who have given him feedback said his books have lifted their spirits when they were down.

In the article, Strigberger also shares some of the things he wishes someone told him when he was starting out, including how lonely a writing profession can be.

“I know there are zillions of writers out there but we are all alone at our desks. It is not a team sport like hockey or baseball. When you are stuck or screwing up, there is no manager coming out of the dugout to relieve you. Even my late mother could not help me,” he says.

Another thing he wishes someone told him was that people decide with their hearts, not their heads.

“Emotions generally trump facts. You will often be disappointed if you think good reasoning will prevail,” Strigberger says.

“I once lost a clear-cut dog bite case, where the judge divulged that he himself owned a Doberman and despite the myths, they were as gentle as lambs.”

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