On the way to a little county jail near the Oregon and Idaho state line one morning last fall I was listening to Collin Cowherd on ESPN radio. He made the point that he loves teams that "know who they are." Example – Boise State Broncos – he says that Chris Peterson and the boys know they are a team of average players who play hard every down. They know they are not USC. They know they are not Texas. They are blue-collar players who know who they are AND where they are going. They are going to win games because they want respect and they work hard, and perhaps another BCS bowl appearance. Not like the Dallas Cowboys, he says. The Cowboys are not sure where they are going or how they will get there. The Cowboys don’t know who they are as a team and they have no idea where they are going.
So who are you and where are you going? Ah – we can get all philosophical now, exploring the "here and the now." But really, do we "get it" as Cowherd says? Are we moving in our direction or are we just spinning our wheels?
If you have hired a lawyer, you should consider this.
With every case I review, these are important questions for the lawyer and the client. That’s right – the CLIENT. You see, no matter how hard we try, no lawyer can change the facts of the case. We sometimes shade them, but facts are still facts when the jury retires to decide the case. And the facts do not always set you free, so you have to know who your are and where you are going.
If I am your lawyer, I know that is my position. I speak for you. I advise you. I may want to direct you in a way that you do not want to travel, but the direction – where you are going – is really up to you. In a criminal case, you must decide whether the evidence makes a compelling argument for a plea agreement. In a wrongful death case, you must decide whether the money they have offered is enough for you to settle. Where we are going is up to you. I can give you advice, but in the end you must decide whether to follow.
So who are you? Where are you going? Lawyers are advisors, but in the end, you – CLIENT – will decide the direction of your case. My bride says that a moving wheel turns easier than one that is stationary. In other words – make a decision and move in the direction of that decision.
Not guilty? Stand up and fight! Screwed by some big corporation? Shout it from the rooftops! Follow your gut. Choose a direction and be true to you.