From The Storyteller
July 30, 2018, Unexpected Words
Day three of the trial. The jury is listening, and it appears to be going as planned. The Defense calls their next witness, and my client whispers in my ear, “Oh, by the way”. Please note: At that moment, this is the last thing a lawyer wants to hear from his client.
This is not a surprise witness. My client had described in detail his contact with the man, and I had talked with him myself. I’m expecting no surprises.
Then I hear, “I just remembered a conversation we had that I failed to mention.” At that moment I knew his case was going down in flames. Months of work and thousands of dollars had been wasted.
When I considered my part of this courtroom surprise, ultimately it settled on my failure to ask enough questions early on. My bad. However, this conclusion left me with the feeling something was missing. My client was neither foolish nor a risk taker. He was a really good business man I had worked with for years. The missing part: “Why would a competent business man fail to mention something really important?
Later, as we talked, he said he just didn’t want me to think he had made a really dumb business decision.
We’ve all had adventures flowing out of bad decisions. Learning from them and adapting, to avoid repeating those difficult adventures, is wise. I’ve found, smiling as I freely share my tale of woe with others, helps me deal with life better. There was a time in my life when I attempted to hide those bad choices. It didn’t make them better, and I felt like a fraud.
My advice: face reality now, later will not make it better.
Moral: Win some, lose some. Learn from both and go on.