WHAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM MY CLIENTS
Some of the most important things a lawyer can learn about how to practice law come not from the Judge nor from those dusty law books, but from every attorney’s most precious asset – his clients. Over hundreds of criminal cases my clients have shown me strength, grit and tenacity. And more than once seeing tears in a client’s eyes after a not guilty verdict, I’ve found renewed faith that American justice prevails. It’s my clients who have taught me that character, competence & complete commitment is the best way to succeed in life as well as in practicing law.
But over the years I’ve learned many other things from my clients. Here are some of the important things my clients have taught me:
- Always Listen. A client charged with a crime may not always know what to say because the client doesn’t know the law. But the client knows what happened. The best lawyers know how when to shut up and just let the client tell everything. Let the client speak and listen to every word, you’ll be surprised as a lawyer how much you actually learn from the client.
- Find some humor. I’ve seen client’s face catastrophic situations with a smile. Humor disarms the prosecutor, makes friends of the judge and wins the jury. Humor also lifts you up, gives you strength and supports those around you by giving spreading confidence and hope.
- Keep upbeat, stay upbeat, live in the moment and win. Martin Luther King comes to mind, “If i knew the world would end tomorrow, I’d still plant my apple tree today.”Clearwater Courtroom Gavel
- Keep control of yourself. Your conduct is the only thing you will have total control over in thecriminal courtoom. To be treated with dignity conduct yourself with dignity. Everything is important, not only what you say but how you say it, what you wear, when you arrive, when you leave, your attitude, your demeanor. If everything you do is on display use everything you do to win the Judge and Jury. A client and I were once talking in an empty courtroom at the Pinellas Criminal Court Complex in Largo when he pointed out that the recording device was still working. Remember that your always being recorded, always assume that everything you say wherever you are in the courthouse is being overheard.
- It’s what you’re really made of that matters most. That’s what the Judge and Jury in a criminal case are looking to find, so that’s what you and your Clearwater Criminal Attorney want to show the jury.
- Keep your class, but keep fighting. Chin up, take the hits, then get off the mat and fight again and again and again. No matter how low the prosecutor gets in a criminal case you can’t let it get to you nor let it deliver a fatal blow.
- Remember that the strength you have is knowing that you are immovably right in what you want to accomplish. Keep moving toward your goal. Keep true to yourself, your beliefs, your values, your knowledge of the facts of your case and never let your lawyer forget that he is fighting for you.
- Keep strong with family and friends. Never forget those who are battling with you and want you to win as they are your future.
- Just be yousrelf. Be what you are not what you’re expected to be, that’s what will most enlighten the Judge, the jury and even the prosecutor.
- Find time to do what you enjoy doing. Go biking. Go Running. Get exercise. Sail that boat. Then you’ll be mentally and physically refreshed to get into the courtroom ready to achieve the best possible result.