Objection Overruled!

Objection Overruled!

Do you know when to say “objection” and what good legal answer to give when the judge wants to know your basis for objecting so that it is sustained? If you’re on the other side of the case, do you know how to defend against the objection to get it overruled? Do you know the reasons a piece of evidence should be objected to? Probably not unless you went to law school, passed the bar, and have experience in court as a licensed attorney. This is just one of the reasons why it does not serve you to represent yourself in court. You either need to learn what the procedures and court rules are, or you need to hire an attorney.

If your case means a lot to you it means there is a lot at stake. You will take a loan out to pay your attorney when something is important to you. Put your ego, anxiety, and trust issues aside, manage it with therapy, hand your case over and let an attorney handle it! That’s their job.

I remember a former client who had questions and doubts about the process: Why did you focus on that during trial? Why won’t that witness be able to help us? You said that’s hearsay? Why? I love questions: ask away! But there are questions to understand, then there are questions that are based on fear and doubt. The latter will land you making incorrect decisions based on false information. You think your attorney isn’t strategizing correctly, but you can’t see the logic and how it fits in with the law. You can’t see how the dots connect. Without appropriate legal training it is hard to see that. Just like I wouldn’t trust myself to know how an engineer should build a bridge, neither should a nonattorney think he knows better than his attorney what to do. In the end, it all came together, that client ended up getting from the court the exact kind of custody he wanted: 50/50 physical custody and visitation and joint decision making with the authority for veto (this is actually called tie-breaking authority).

I’ve seen way too many people file a case and represent themselves or halfway through the case stop paying their attorney. It usually has everything to do with the person’s own issues: the ego, anxiety, and trust issues. This often comes from not knowing what to expect during each stage of a case and thinking that nothing is happening. Or it is not happening fast enough. Let go of your control issues!

Or sometimes clients think their attorney isn’t acting at the right time, or fast enough because, like in the story above, there are limits to what can be understood by a lay person. If you want to get back by stiffing your attorney, you’ve basically turned him or her into a slave. No one wants to work for nothing. You don’t. And it will build resentment and mistrust on both sides, which are normal human reactions. So, if you are uncomfortable with your attorney it is your moral obligation to terminate representation or consent for him to withdraw. But remember, by law, you still must pay your balance just like any other bill.

In family law cases many litigants could benefit from therapy while their case is ongoing due to the many emotions the case stirs up in a parent. The anxiety, grief, and other emotions you will experience during your case are almost inevitable, which is another reason not to represent yourself. Ideally, as early in the case as possible, hire an attorney to handle it so they won’t have to redo any errors that you made. Then pay your attorney to do the job you need him or her to do!