Last week was a hard week at the Hackett Law Firm.
First, I had this first offense DUI case wherein my client had a medical condition that made her “blow” over the limit, even though she wasn’t actually over the limit or intoxicated. I did all the research, and Grady Doctor would have been proud of the way I laid out my medical argument. For reals, you woulda thought I was Dr. Bailey. Even the police officer that gave my client the citation testified that, basically, he didn’t think she was intoxicated, but he had to give her the ticket. As I’m standing there waiting on my “not guilty”, the judge says “I’m going to find her guilty of a first offense DUI.” Here’s me, after the verdict:
Fast Forward to Friday, I had a custody case. This lady was counting on me to bring her kids home. Didn’t happen. Here’s me, after the judge said that while my client had been doing very well, she needed more time to get herself together:
But the thing is, these Ls aren’t about me. They’re about two people who’ll live with the results. As much as I like winning (and you all know how I do), I was more disappointed that I didn’t pull it out for them. Today, I still am.
As much as you know that you prepared and you did the best you could with what you had, you’re never the one that has to live with the results. You’re not the one who now has a suspended license and can’t get to work, you’re not the one who went home to an empty house that you expected to be full. And, regardless of how society paints the picture of lawyers, the question that’s most often asked is “What could I have done differently? Should I have made that objection? Should I have used a different strategy? If I had let her say this, would she have her kids now? Did I screw this up for her?” And, most importantly, “Is my client going to be okay? Is there still a way I can fix this?”
Ah well, those are the days of my life now, I guess. There will be days like this and weeks like this, but you push through. Because there will also be days like this:
(Special thanks to the US Gymnasts for their surprisingly accurate range of emotions.)