Name withheld to protect the innocent
What I need is a good defense
‘Cause I’m feeling like a criminal
By Randall Grantham
While my job is not exactly thankless, it can be tiresome and frustrating. I mean, I represent people accused by the government of committing a crime against the “peace and dignity of the state of Florida.”
All the power and money of the state can be marshaled and used to convict my poor client, who usually has only me and the benefit of the supposed presumption of innocence. That and a dollar might get you a cup of coffee.
Defense attorneys have sometimes been said to be like a crawdaddy on the railroad tracks.Your job is to throw the run-away train off the tracks. Usually you get squashed, but occasionally, that train will roll over.
When I represent people who are wrongfully accused, and that does happen more often than you would like to think, they are righteously indignant and sometimes resent having to even hire an attorney for something they did not do. And when I successfully represent someone who has committed some peccadillo, more often than not they are back to see me in awhile, having failed to learn from the first incident.
If there was a crime on the books called criminal stupidity I could easily resolve a boatload of cases.
But there are bright spots and times of satisfaction that I don’t think any other job can offer. I had one of those the other day.
I had been seeing a group of professionals on an extended piece of business and had dealings with several different members of the office. They were all very talented in their field and good at what they did. However, there was one member of this group who seemed especially well suited for the job.
When setting times to see them, I would try to work my schedule around this person’s in order to deal with them instead of another member of the firm. After finalizing our business recently, I closed out my account and bid everyone their goodbye and thanked them for their help. But as I left the office, the one person who I had thought to be the best there followed me out and approached me as I got to my car.
This person reached out to shake my hand again, but before I could say anything, he/she said, “I want to thank you.” As my brow furrowed in curiosity, this person went on to explain that, although I didn’t remember, I had represented him/her years before.
Where other attorneys had blown off their situation, I had taken the time to listen to them and took their case seriously. Not only that, he/she told me, but I had been victorious in the case and, even though they were innocent, they greatly appreciated what I had done.
In fact, they told me, if it hadn’t been for me and the job I had done for them, they would not be able to be in the position that they now held, doing what they loved and did so well in my opinion.
Goose bumps! That’s what I felt.
Every now and then, if you’re lucky, you get some affirmation that you do make a difference in peoples’ lives. This person had just done that for me.