Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Courage of My Clients

I am sitting on my deck under an umbrella, smelling the trees, grass and flowers and feeling the breeze against my skin. I am tired, but it feels good sitting put here in the 75 degree weather with the sounds of my wind chimes and the breeze flowing through the leaves. The dogs are out here, too, running up and down the steps to the deck, running along the fence to claim their male dominance over the treed plot of land that is our backyard.

Today, I started re-reading the beginning of the novel I had begun before trial prep. Even though it has only been a couple of weeks, those weeks were so packed with my intense concentration and focus on the case, that the memory of the novel seems to have simply fallen out of my brain. I swear my mind has a finite ability to store data, and I keep overloading it's memory. If my brain were a computer, it would be an old model and I would need a new hard drive.

I keep thinking of my client and of how brave she is. When I meet my clients, they have been damaged and it is gratifying to see when their personhood can be restored. When most of my client embark on the path of fighting for their civil rights, I doubt that many really envision how intense the battle will become. Some are simply not up to the task, because the battle for dignity and respect can become vicious.

Money and power can offer great appeal to those who are willing to sell their souls and take
up the banner for the greedy and powerful. And it is against these bastions of power and greed that my clients are forced to battle. I am surprised each time the battle becomes so ugly and so inspired by the client who has the courage to do what is right. I am still disappointed when I see adversaries whom are basically good people but who are overwhelmed by
the material things that the powerful have to offer. There are many lawyers whom I respect who ultimately reject the lure of the powerful. I guess it is not up to me to judge, and I know I am being judgmental. I, too, have represented corporations and insurance companies that I do not now respect. And I represented them with absolutely no qualms. I am glad I have rejected that practice now, but I should not belittle those caught up in making a good life for their children and family.

It is hard, though, to see my decent and kind clients be unfairly attacked. Usually, in the end, justice prevails and my clients are made stronger through the adversity. I am made stronger by representing these noble people. Are the defense attorneys made stronger? Representing the greedy and powerful did not help me. I wonder if it helps others.

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