The Whole Truth and ……

 In Practicing Law and Life, Repurposing Legal Terms

Recently I met with a client and his wife. I had been putting off the meeting for a week because I didn’t like what I was going to have to tell him.

A few minutes before they arrived I was reviewing his file hoping to find something that I had overlooked- that I was seeing his case wrong. I knew it was an exercise in futility. I meet with the other attorneys in my office the day before in hopes they would come up with a great idea to salvage the case- no such luck.

I heard the office front door open and waited for my receptionist to let me know he arrived, I knew what I had to do. When we met in my conference room I made sure my client sat at the head of the table- because in our relationship my client is always the boss. It’s my job to give legal advice, but not to tell them what to do.

My number one job is to give all the information needed for my clients to make their best decision- not the decision a different client or I would make. He can’t make his best decision if I’m not doing my job.

After talking to them about all the difficulties, I answered their questions. I told him that he should think about it over the weekend and I let me know what they want to do or to let me know if they have more questions.

Alex Wold, who use to be partners with my dad, said to me many years ago that I’m not responsible for my clients problems, but I am for helping them find best resolution possible. His words have long comforted me in times like this.

Without helping our clients deal with the truth, how can they make their best decision? This is equally true in our own lives. The more we sugar coat a situation, ignore facts or the need to change- how are we living our best life?


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