We are enjoying an ever increasing number of new cases and wonderful clients to work with. Yet, on occassion, we are terminated from representing a client and the client hires a new lawyer. That happened recently to our firm, and it caused me to write this blog. I know why we were terminated, and thinking about it makes me wonder whether I should lie to you.
That case involved serious injuries to a child in a felony case. We met at length with the client and their family and told them that we believed a prison sentence was likely. Of course, that is not what the client or their family wanted to hear. Yet the evidence was overwhelming, with inconsistent statements to police by our client, photos of multiple injuries to the child, admissions by our client, witnesses who saw our client injuring the child, and a doctor’s statement attesting to “serious bodily injury” to the child. The case solidly qualified for a prison sentence and we knew the DA and jury would agree.
In 22 years of law practice, I have had other clients react similarly when they hear the straight truth about their case. You see, I feel an obligation to tell it straight to someone who comes to see me. Not just because I am a Christian criminal defense lawyer working in Denver, Adams and Arapahoe County, but because I want to sleep at night. I also have ethical obligations to my clients to tell them the truth. I never want to misrepresent the reality of what my client is facing. I frequently tell clients that I don’t ever want them saying, “why didn’t you tell me this could happen to me”. Then, I fight hard to make sure it does not occur.
Some lawyers will tell you what you want to hear in order to get you to hire them. In a prior blog I told you of a lawyer who told the mother of a client in jail that he could get the child off the charges, despite never seeing a police report, never talking to any witness, and never meeting the client! Yet, the woman told me she did not need my services anymore because she fould this new attorney who could get her son off, while I could not give her that promise.
What is the right thing to do? Should lawyers focus on giving clients hope, and then later tell them the truth? Should clients keep looking for an attorney who will tell them what they want to hear? Are people so desperate for hope in the face of overwhelming evidence that a lie comforts them temporarily? Do clients want to hear the truth even when it hurts?
Child Abuse, Sexual Assault on a Child, and Assault are serious charges in Douglas, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld County. Good lawyers like those at our firm cannot change the law in the face of overwhelming evidence. We need to have the freedom to speak honestly with our clients and not worry about them firing us because we did. Clients should do everything they can to get past the emotion of the case, and approach it with eyes wide open. We are not doing the client any favors by telling them it will be ok, when any honest lawyer would disagree.
This feels sort of like the situation where a person goes to a doctor and gets the bad news that they have cancer. The patient, of course, should get a second and third opinion. But should they leave the first physician and hire the one who says they don’t have cancer despite clear medical evidence to the contrary? What would you do?
We promise you that we will treat you like family and tell you the truth – even if we know it hurts. If you want an honest lawyer who will fight for you, give you excellent representation, and put their heart into your case, give us a call at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.