I was watching the U.S. Open this weekend. Dustin Johnson did very well. Commentators said he had one big advantage: a local caddy who knew the course and could advise him whether to hit the ball to the right, the left or straight down the middle. That caddy is at that course every day. All of that got me thinking about hiring local counsel and explaining to a corporate client in New York why it needs another lawyer in Harlingen, Marshall and places in between. First, the how of picking local counsel. Try a simple request for proposal, asking potential lawyers: How well do you know the judge? Did you or your firm support the judge in the election? How much did you contribute? What litigation experience do you have in that court? If we do not hire you, who should we hire? Second, the explanation to a far-away client. I like to use the story of the woman with a squeaky floor. She hired carpenter after carpenter, but no one could fix it. it was driving her crazy. One day, she hired a guy who came in, looked around carefully and pounded a nail into a section of the floor. It took 10 minutes. She asked how much, and he said, "$100." She retorted that he was only there 10 minutes and demanded a breakdown of the bill. He took out his pencil and wrote the following: Pounding in nail: $1; knowing where to pound nail: $99. It is all about knowing where to pound the nail.