TOP 5 THINGS WE TELL OUR CLIENTS
At a certain point, most attorneys probably sound like broken records. We do tell our clients the same thing over and over again. We are not doing it to be annoying-we’re simply trying to drive the point home and make sure that you have a realistic outlook on your situation. What are the top 5 things that we say on repeat? Here they are, and they might surprise you!
- The court is reactive, not proactive. Yes, we know that is annoying. However, think about it logically. A court cannot be proactive. That would require the court to hypothesize various situations, and take action without evidence being heard, which is the antithesis of the concept of the judicial system. Sometimes this does leave clients without an immediate avenue to a resolution. In worst case scenarios, it can create or support dangerous situations. We always tell clients to call the police if they believe they, or their child, are ever in any danger. Otherwise, if there is evidence of danger and something does need to be addressed in court right away, we could potentially move forward with an ex parte (emergency) motion. The court will look to what has already happened (not what may happen, barring some extreme circumstances), and can make a ruling on the facts presented.
- Let the other party prove your case. Not all clients love this concept. That’s okay with us, but it still our job to advise you that if you “stomp and yell” too much, sometimes the court will think that you are crying “Wolf!” However, as time goes on, people generally cannot hold up a charade. Thus, the other party often ends up proving your point for you-simply by being who they are. This weighs far more heavily with the judge because it is not you (as the opposing party) making accusations. Rather, it is the person themselves showing his or her true colors.
- There are three version to every story: What he said, what she said, and the text messages. This is not to say that we do not believe our clients. It is actually the opposite. We do support our clients and believe their version of the facts. In fact, we wholeheartedly understand that the client perceives the entire situation in the way it is relayed to us. Regardless, there are often other facts or versions of the same story, and it is imperative that we see the case from all angles so that our client can as well. That will not only allow us to better advise our client(s), but it affords our client(s) the opportunity to take a step back from the instant matter, reflect on it, and assess the evidence in the same manner that a judge would.
- Help us help you. We cannot help our clients if we do not know the entire story. Sometimes, clients think that it is beneficial to leave out certain facts, or concerns, when they discuss their case with us. That almost always does more harm than good. Sometimes the truth is ugly. But if we know the truth, we can combat the truth. If our clients hide facts from us and then we are blindsided by the other party, it immediately puts us “behind the eight ball” because we were not afforded the opportunity to get in front of the problem and confront it head on.
- I don’t know what evidence I need until I see it; and you certainly don’t know what I need. We tell our clients this all the time when they are asking what “evidence” they should send to us. Ultimately, we do not know how useful (or valid) a piece of evidence is until we have had time to review it. Therefore, if you do not provide it to us, then we cannot review it, and it will not be used in your case. Sometimes clients send us too much evidence, (we do not need your third grade report card, no matter how proud you are of that A+ in Social Studies!). But it is far worse to not send us enough. Once we have the evidence in our possession, we can review it, we can investigate if necessary, and ultimately, we can determine whether or not it should be used. Good, bad, or ugly-evidence is evidence and the truth is that if you have it, the other side may likely have it as well. This means that there are very few “smoking guns” in files, especially in the 60-second news cycle world in which we currently live!
Ever argue with a woman? Let Wolf & Shore Law Group go to work for you and help protect your future. If you like this article, let us know, and be sure to follow us on social media! Click here, call us at 203.745.315, or email us at email@example.com.