father's hand on daughter's neck

Sometimes Judges Just Get It Wrong

Sometimes judges just get it wrong. I get easily frustrated by my clients’ common misperception that every judge will always make the perfect decision. You all think absolute fairness will be found in the courtroom. You will be vindicated. Heard. You get angry with me when I tell you the fair is in Sedalia, not the courtroom.

Except here’s the problem: Judges are human too. They have terrible, no good, very bad days. They make mistakes. They don’t feel good. They are upset about things like their missing dog, being late for book club, being unable to work out over the lunch hour, or the way their spouse spoke to them that morning. They have biases which is a nice way of saying they don’t like certain groups of people. They aren’t always listening to you. They don’t have time. The list goes on.

As a client you need to stop pretending that judges are omnipotent. They are not all knowing. The truth is most of them have very little time to hear everything you want them to know. Even if they do it’s unlikely that your lawyer is also perfect and will make sure they know everything you want them to know.

What does this mean? It means you need to be in control of your own case. Do not brag about how you are “just letting your lawyer handle it.” They are not handling it because it is not their life. Read everything your lawyer sends to you. Ask questions. If your lawyer asks for documents needed for your case, then get those documents to your lawyer double quick. Ask your lawyer about settlement. Discuss it. Think about it. Follow up. Communicate. Recognize that sometimes the best outcomes are often those reached outside of court because sometimes Judges just get it wrong.