I know. Pop culture references get old – but this is a good one. Have you ever heard someone (usually a judge) refer to an attorney as “Counselor?” Yeah, me too. Until I got past my early, panicky years as a practicing attorney I didn’t realize how accurate that reference really is.
Attorneys wear many hats
I am an advocate, and I am a counselor. In fact, if I were to assign percentages to these roles within my practice I’d say I’m 75% counselor and 25% advocate overall. Of course, other attorneys and other firms may feel differently about their own practices, but my true desire to help people is what drew me to the practice of law. I was drawn particularly to personal injury, and admit it: you hate PI lawyers until you need us. Then we are absolutely vital to your future well-being.
I get very involved in each of my clients’ cases and lives, and when you hire my firm, you get more than just my non-attorney (completely rockstar) staff. You get an awful lot of ME. But I digress.
One of the most difficult parts of my practice is having to tell my clients, who have suffered very real injuries, and very real financial and interpersonal consequences therefrom, that the “it’s not fair this happened” aspect isn’t worth anyone’s time. That argument isn’t going to get a single extra penny during settlement negotiations, or from a jury at trial.
The only thing that mantra does is hold my clients back from healing, from moving forward. I could get religious and remind you that whatever higher power you pray to has a plan for your life, what is meant to be will be, etc. But that really generally falls on deaf ears, because, again, “it’s just not fair.”
The good, the bad and the unfair: Let it go
I sat down with a client recently to address our best game plan for moving forward with her case in light of some challenges. We spent 90 minutes in my conference room. I tried to make her understand me and see the truth of what the law allows one to collect in the way of damages, the risks versus the benefits of going to trial, etc.
I was telling her the good, but as is my job, I was also telling her the bad, the challenges we will be facing. My explanations landed on deaf ears, and I couldn’t figure out why.
Finally, she became so upset telling me the things she can no longer do she blurted out “I’m just so ANGRY. It’s not fair this happened.”
Aha! There it is. She is waking up every single morning and going to sleep every single night mad that this happened to her. She’s repeating the mantra that this isn’t fair.
I have news for you, folks: that is a grand waste of your time, happiness, and even your health. It does no good for your case at all. You need to let it go.
You will not receive compensation for the fairness of your situation
There are no “It’s not fair” damages. There are no “But why did this happen to me?” damages. There are no “I’m going to be mad for the rest of my life” damages. There just aren’t.
No amount of pouting or negativity will create these damages, and if we are all honest, it wouldn’t matter. When something like this happens to you, you don’t want money. You want to go back and make it so that it never happened.
I wish I were a magic worker. I wish I were a touch healer. But I’m simply not. My job is to help you seek compensation for your losses. Along the way, I try to find the right people and connections to get you feeling more like yourself.
And here’s the thing about me: I will sit with you for as long as you need and let you pout and complain. I really will.
But when you’re done talking, it is MY turn. And I’m going to start singing like Elsa.