When You’re Right, You’re Right
Respect for the law, the institution and the people working in it is one of the hallmarks of my practice. And while I always respected the law, my time in the courtroom has only made that stronger.
In the last 25 years, I could not tell you how many times I’ve been in a courtroom. It has been, and it remains, my favorite part of being an attorney. It’s an intense moment where you’ve taken every precaution, reviewed every fact, filed every petition and then you have to wait for a decision from the judge. Theatrics and arguments get put aside and the only thing that remains is your case. Did you build it with enough facts? Is the evidence there?
Are you right?
The Power Of Judgement
I have a particular respect for the judges. I work in their court rooms and I present case-after-case-after-case to them and more often than not, the result comes out to be what it should be.
Judges wield power over the law. They decide what is right and what is not. That is their entire reason for being. Whether it is family law, taxes, estate planning or probate, in front of a judge, you will see the law in action at its most live point.
Yet even with all that power in their hands, they all show an immense restraint. They let the lawyers argue their points. They’ll listen to the arguments, they’ll weigh the sides and they’ll find an answer or solution that will work, where before there was only a point of contention.
In Human Hands
In Illinois we elect most judges and because of that system judges can come from all walks of life and bring a wide level of personal experience to every single issue. They’ll work in functional areas, such as in family law or probate or criminal law, and they’ll move around as needed. A given judge in a tax law issue, may have extensive history in criminal law or family law and offer a unique perspective. They also bring with them their instincts and personality and that can lead to some interesting moments.
Attorneys like to argue. When things get close, tensions rise, attorneys have been known to dig in and start making things personal. We’ll let our passions get the better of us and start yelling. We’ll yell at each other. We’ll yell at witnesses. We’ll yell at judges. And I’ve seen judges standing up behind the bench, banging their gavel and exploding right back at attorneys.
It’s even happened to me.
The Facts Are What Matter
Despite anger and passion and arguments and backgrounds, despite everything that could, can and does come up in court, when it all ends up, it is the facts that matter. When you have a working knowledge of the law and a fully accurate view of the facts, no amount of passion or argument can change that. When you’re right, you’re right and that is enough.