There are a number of areas in which attorneys and their clients come to disagreements. After all, in most cases, being the party in a criminal or civil law suit, particularly as a defendant, is a high stress endeavor.
Over the years, we have discussed a number of these areas such as lack of communication, the thought that the attorney is not knowledgeable or simply has the bedside manner of a venomous snake.
We have also discussed the fact that some folks have a different view of reality than the rest of us. Sometimes communication can improve this.
Many clients present with challenges which pre-date the issues in an ongoing legal action. Take veterans, for example. Many vets have had to survive living through whist can only be regarded as Hell. How do they do it?
I was discussing’s this with a colleague, Attorney Sarah J. Briones a lawyer whom I greatly respect earlier today. She observed that sometimes, in order to survive, military personnel have to learn to shut out certain aspects of what the rest of us might consider reality. This is not to say they are insane or anything like that, but the perspective they have had to adopt in order to survive might not work during events like lawsuits, prosecutions or divorce.
Unfortunately, this is part of the price they pay in their service to the country and the rest of us. More unfortunate is that, while we pay some lip service of appreciation to them, we fail to understand and take into account this different perspective. We fail to help them truly adjust.
the results re often unfortunate.
Once that happens, they find themselves in an arena in which even people who never had the military experience fail to truly understand. I have said before that, as attorneys, it is part of our job to help the clients through their little path through criminal law odyssey.
I thought that it might help to address what types of expectations folks seem to have of their newly acquired experienced attorney.
When you hire a physician, you expect a certain degree of expertise. However, most folks realize that, good as the doctor might be, he or she is probably not a wizard or witch. There are limits as to what the doctor can do.
The same is true with attorneys, no matter how experienced he or she is. There are various rules, procedures and laws which govern a great deal of what we do. Many of these may be seen as unfair by you. Fair or unfair, however, they must be dealt with as realities.
Because they are realities.
“But, Sam, we hire you to work around those rules. For example, I am sure you have represented clients who were guilty as charged before. They pay you to try to ‘get them off’.
Yes, but the surrounding details of the procedure do not change. In other words, I cannot say, “Judge, my client is not guilty. We don’t need a trial. He told me he is not guilty. That’s good enough. Dismiss the case.”
“No, but you try to suppress evidence and such.”