Tonight’s post on a very apt way of looking at what Family Law Attorneys do, was written by our Lawrenceville Family Law Attorney, Brandy Alexander.
Have you ever been accused of doing something you did not do? It could be anything at all, like taking a cookie out of the cookie jar. Did you defend yourself against it?
I asked this question to more jury panels than I can recall in my days as a Criminal Defense attorney. I asked the question, because in Criminal Law, you want your jury to vigorously advocate for your client’s defense against the crimes for which he/she has been accused. You want the jury to be proud of your client– glad for him even, that he is defending himself against something for which he was wrongfully accused. You want the jury to give your client every benefit of every doubt.
I guess, I thought that those questions were only necessary for jury panels, in criminal cases. I have come to find though, that those questions are equally beneficial in Family Law cases as well; only now, I’m not asking a panel of potential jurors, but my Family Law clients. Have you ever been accused of doing something you didn’t do?Did you defend yourself against it?
And now, I find myself cautioning them that while I will defend their position with every ounce of vigor that I have, we have to be strategic about what we defend and when because as it is often said in sports: offense sells tickets defense wins games.
In Family Law the small things can quickly become very big things, if you let them. It is perhaps second nature to defend against false accusations, insults, name calling and the like. So, when those accusations are hurled from the tongue of the opposing party as she walks past you in the halls of the courthouse, it is very easy to forget the strategy and sling even more hurtful insults and accusations back at her, tit for tat.
It is important to remember though, that not responding IS a defensive tactic. It’s neither cowardice nor docile, it is smart. It is strategic.The opposing party will often send texts or e-mails or say ridiculous things, even in a place of decorum like a courthouse, where there are lots of witnesses, simply to goad you into a crass or hostile response. It’s okay to walk away. It’s okay to not verbalize your disagreement with what’s being said. It’s okay not to respond to the text message.
You want your defense to shine where it counts, in the courtroom or the mediation room. Your attorney is your defensive line. Your attorney’s job is to protect you and your interests.
Do not allow your ultimate goals to be thwarted by your innate desire to defend yourself at all times. Some things simply do not need to be defended against in Family Law. And some things do but sometimes, it’s just the wrong place and the wrong time.
We want to win the game not just sell the tickets.