By Brenda L. Storey, Esq.
As I mentally review this year, I see a theme – standup for what is right, and do not allow misplaced attacks. I am proud that our firm has done exactly this in 2019.
It has never made sense for a lawyer to tell me their critical opinions of my client. They will obviously not change my mind about what I have formed, myself, about my client. However, when they do share their aspersions, it educates me as to their entire case and we can prepare our counter. I rise above, and initially ignore the lack of professionalism while taking notes of their case plan. This strategy is explained to the client under attack, but it is still difficult for that client to endure.
However, if the criticism continues, I do take a stand and defend my client. I do not use facts of our case, as those are precious to the case as a whole. Instead, I challenge the lawyer doing the attacking and insist they cease. Nine times out of ten, the lawyer questions me and accuses me of lack of professionalism, while defending his or her castigations of my client. I am tough, and can handle it, for the protection and defense of my client.
This same philosophy can be seen in good parenting. The parent who takes the high road, does not seek out the nasty lawyer, and takes positions in the litigation that are child focused is the heavy, but the protector. I will take that client any day. Sometimes, this means digging in, making the hard choices, and going to trial to get the orders that are in the best interest of the children. Other times, this means pursuing less parenting time than the parent wants for him or herself, but which is best for the child emotionally and developmentally.
In 2019 I had many a selfless client who put his and her children first, second to their own needs. One father in particular really stood out to me, as he saw the big picture of his children’s overall success and his future, if not current, relationship with them. He endured the misplaced aspersions against him, and rose above to do right by his children. I am proud to have been his lawyer.
We have had to make some tough decisions in cases, decisions that reflect directly on us as lawyers. We have sought recusal of judges, which is very uncommon. However, for the benefit of our clients, we must make the hard decisions, and were successful in the recusals. These efforts were not without discomfort, as opposing counsel attempted to place the negative spotlight on us, versus the judges who ultimately recused themselves. However, the client’s interests, not our feelings, are paramount.
Is this not why a person retains a lawyer? To defend them? To guide them? To protect them? To help them to get the best outcome even if uncomfortable for the lawyer?
So, as I look back at 2019 and forward to 2020, if I were looking for a law firm to represent me, I would want The Law Offices of Brenda L. Storey on my side!