Why a Lawyer?
I think I became a lawyer because I loved that Perry Mason won each week, defending the underdog. Yet, after being a lawyer for many years, I know this was the wonder of television and fiction. In reality, “Justice” with a capital “J” can be hard to come by.
In many practice areas, such as divorce and litigation, lawyers are drawn into the battle as the litigants act out what’s really hurt them. Lawsuits often speak to me as metaphors for underlying issues such as betrayal, economic inequality or abandonment. Those seeking redress from the law often come away with massive economic and emotional scars. They don’t get the justice they seek and it cuts them to the core. It can take a long time to heal from a lawsuit. Is it worth it?
How to Navigate Legal Issues
It often takes a lot of courage to even call a lawyer; it can be a difficult doorstep for many reasons. Most people come to our firm for planning, information and counsel. Typically the goal is not to do battle. If you’ve found your way to this page, here’s some practical wisdom that may help you navigate legal issues that come your way.
Consider the Spiritual Aspects of Your Situation
- Litigants often get scarred. Often when it comes to estate disputes, there is something deeper and more long term that is playing out. Is there an issue you need to resolve within yourself to avoid this or work toward settlement?
- When it comes to litigation, often the one with the most money to spend can win. It seems unfair, but it is true. Being right or righteous doesn’t mean you will win. It is very difficult for many people to understand this because it is unjust and seems like the type of thing a court could fix. Getting to court can be expensive and exhaust whatever recovery you hope to gain. Is there another way to make peace within yourself, short of a lawsuit?
- There is no such thing as a non-litigious area of the law. Even house closings have the other side. If things are getting out of hand, step back and consider what is going on. In the scheme of things, what is truly worth fighting over?
- Try not to sign something you haven’t read. The fine print is written by lawyers and it can be used against you if a dispute arises. Never be afraid to negotiate on terms or ask for a discount. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
- Always trust your gut reaction. If you don’t feel good about something, don’t do it. If you don’t trust someone, your gut reaction is your true clue to pay attention to your feelings. It may sound corny, but it is true. If a “would-be” partner seems like he may be a bully, maybe he is. Do you want to be in business with a person like that?
Behaving decently is not always an easy path in an era marked by greed and a lack of ethics. But sometimes standing alone isn’t the wrong place to stand. If you need a lawyer, invest the time to find someone you connect with, who is competent and compassionate and ideally has good reviews or has been personally recommended by someone you trust. Then if legal troubles cross your path, you’ll have a trusted ally and advocate.