Trying to Be Our Best When We Feel Our Worst

One day, four years ago, I went to a luncheon on mentoring law students at the greatest law school on earth. The setup was fairly simple: there were twenty or so tables; at each table there were around seven first year law students and two or three alums. The idea was to allow the first year students to network with alums. I try to make this February luncheon each year, schedule permitting, because I always tend to learn something from students as well as alums.

On this particular February afternoon, however, I had a brief conversation with an alumnus from the class of '95 who was a criminal defense attorney. When I told him I did not know how he had the stomach to deal with criminal law, he replied that he used to be a family law practitioner and quit because practicing criminal law was "easier." When I inquired how, he said something I will never forget, "The family law clients are flat out crazier than criminals. Go in any criminal court and what do you see? Most likely, you'll see bad guys on their best behavior; go in any family court and you'll see good people at their worst."

Like all stereotypes and generalizations, his words did have a slight ring of truth. After all, consider the depths to which some people will sink regarding love and family. In the past week alone, I read about an angry spouse cutting off her cheating husband's penis twice in the same day. I also read about a spouse so embroiled in divorce proceedings, that she literally returned a proposed settlement check for $975 million dollars because it apparently was "inadequate." I get it: we do crazy things when our relationships fall apart. I was no exception: when I was going through a divorce, I actually bought this.

Of course, in a perfect world, someone's attorney would be the voice of reason. The attorney is supposed to be the objective person who is able to talk a client off the ledge when necessary so that the client will not waste endless time, resources, money, and emotions. All too often, however, some attorneys prey on these very same emotions in order to drag out litigation (and fees) to the client's detriment. As someone who managed to finalize his own divorce in eight months, I keenly understand the benefit of being able to simply move on with one's life.

Because of that, I try to focus on ending cases as expediently as possible so my clients may do the same. After all, I would rather represent good people at their best (or close to it) than the opposite. I would like to think that my strategy for tailoring specific litigation plans for each client helps to achieve this goal. For more information on the personal touch that Cannon Legal Group brings to each and every divorce, please feel free to contact us in order to learn more.

Categories: Family Law