Minimize The Impact
A quick way to run a case off into the ditch is to let your lawyer learn some damaging information for the first time while standing in court. I know you are thinking: who would do that? Believe me when I say it happens.
You must tell your lawyer everything. Especially the stuff you wish you did not have to tell anyone. I understand that this is not comfortable for anyone. However, failing to tell your divorce lawyer everything is one of the quickest ways to damage a case. Sometimes, this can damage a case beyond repair.
Suppose your lawyer knows about something and has an opportunity to brainstorm. In that case, the lawyer knows what’s coming and they will already have a plan for the best way to minimize the potential damage and not be caught off guard. It’s kind of like a pig wearing lipstick. It’s still a pig, it’s still ugly, but sometimes the lipstick can make that ugly pig look a whole lot better.
Yes, this even happens to me every so often. Most of the time, I think it is inadvertent. Family cases take an emotional toll and are stressful. I think that people sometimes get so wrapped up in the drama that they plain forget to tell me. Other times, I think it is deliberate because someone might think I might not take the case if I knew. They then pray that it does not come up in court.
Ask Yourself: What’s The Worst Thing The Other Party Can Say About me?
I often ask people: “What is the worst possible thing the other party can say about you?” When I ask this, I am more concerned about how someone answers than I am what they tell me. Most people give me an honest answer. In fact, most people are so worried they might leave something out, they give me a laundry list of things. Typically, once I hear the list, it turns out that most of the stuff is not as bad as they may have thought. But, at least I know everything.
The problem is the guy who, when asked this same question, immediately deflects and starts taking inventory of all the things wrong with the other party. They may not be trying to hide anything, but they lack the insight to identify the fault in themselves.
I have learned many things for the first time while standing in front of the judge at hearings. You name it, I have seen it. The ironic part is that, had I known these things from the start, I might have been able to defuse the situation. At a minimum, knowing in advance could have eliminated the look of surprise when hearing this for the first time.
A lawyer is a lawyer, not a magician. Don’t leave your lawyer in the dark and expect them to pull a rabbit out of a hat. This is simply not going to happen. Tell your lawyer everything!
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