Lyndon Scheveck, a trial and family law attorney, gives free law-related tidbits on Facebook and Instagram. And with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, he’s offered some priceless tips for winning any Turkey Day argument.

That includes asking yes or no questions to control the conversation and always having an escape plan if the discussion becomes too much.

For lawyers specifically, he has more precise advice.

“Leave the lawyer in you at the door,” says Lyndon, 36, who is a partner at Scheveck and Salminen Law Firm in Billings, Montana.

“As lawyers, we always get caught up in trying to win each argument,” he adds. From his experience, “When it comes to politics or other hot-button issues, you are not going to change people’s minds at the dinner table no matter what you say especially with the in-laws .”

Thanksgiving digestion will be a lot more pleasant if everyone at the table is in a comatose state of mind, and that means avoiding topics that could lead to infighting, such as politics.

If the conversation is going to be heated, the first step is not to react at all,” Lyndon says. “it’s better to take the high road that’s seldomly taken especially during the holidays. The second tactic is to deflect. Ask general questions. ‘How was your week? What did you do?’ as an attorney, I have learned that people like to talk about themselves.”

And most importantly, Lyndon says, don’t pick a fight with the cook.

Talking about the food is fine, so long as you aren’t commenting negatively. Don’t comment negatively if the mashed potatoes are terrible and to the point the dog won’t eat it,” says Lyndon, who claims his conflict-avoidance techniques tend to be effective. He plans on having Thanksgiving at Sage Lodge and predicts there won’t be much fighting, if any.

Lyndon, along with his identical twin brother, Layne and longtime friend, Vince Salminen, decided in 2018 to work together, who focus in personal injury work, criminal, and family law. The Scheveck and Salminen Law Firm has been posting videos on social media to “help the general public understand the law.”

“My idea of being a great lawyer used to be that I would be the best trial lawyer,” Lyndon says. “Once I started practicing law, I have had people send us messages saying that I’d saved them from lawsuits or bad experiences with the law enforcement. 

And while he tends to save his tips for the public, Lyndon does have one more thought about lawyers and Thanksgiving.

“As a lawyer, you want to win, but instead of trying to win a fight, think about the bigger picture,” he says. “What does winning look like on Thanksgiving? It’s spending time with family and friends as life is too short. One day they’re there, and the next they may not so make as many good memories as you can.”