“Just Right”: A parable of neckties and communicating with your lawyer


This morning I was putting on a tie.  It’s a court day that means suit and tie.  I was feeling good so I went for the dark gray suit, white shirt (with my initials on the cuff) and the red tie.  My power suit.  I threw the tie around my neck, passed it over itself a couple of times and pulled it tight.  It was a little long and hung down way too low.  So I untied it, made a few adjustments and went back to work tying it again.  This time – too short.  I was frustrated.  Having a tie that is tied too long is okay, especially if you are going to wear a coat to cover it up, but a tie that is too short just looks tacky and odd.  It’s just an inch or two either way but looks bad nonetheless.  But as we work on tying the tie several times we find out where we need to position the tie so that we can get it tied “just right.”  The more information we learn the better off we are (we look).

So what does this have to do with your family law case or litigation in general?  The more information you share with your attorney about yourself and the issues involved in your case the better off you are going to be.  Sometimes clients don’t share some of the bad information with their attorney because they are afraid it will hurt their case.  They “forget” about their criminal background, that they were abusive to the children, that they had addictive tendencies, that they didn’t do what they were previously ordered to do and so on.  They hope everyone else forgets about these things too.  The truth is the opposing side in your litigation does not forget about those things.  They want to use it against you in the litigation.  When you fail to share that information with your lawyer, he has no way to prepare a defense.  Now, your worries have come to reality.  You were scared that this information would hurt your case and it has, two-fold.  Not only has the other side used the information against you, but because you withheld it from your lawyer you have prevented him from being able to mitigate the damage that it causes.

Back to the necktie: the more information your lawyer has about your case the better job he can do in presenting it to the court on your behalf.

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