A former client’s mother assured me of that in February as we started her son’s murder trial. Her actual statement was “you are wrong! But you know that…people reap what they sow.”
I can disclose that because I don’t have an attorney/client relationship with my client’s mother. Technically, I don’t owe her any duty.
Practically speaking, though, it is nearly impossible to manage a relationship with a client without interacting with an engaged family, especially when the family is funding the defense.
As you can tell, my client’s mother was not predicting that I would reap great rewards in heaven. But more about that later.
I remembered her prediction when I called a physician friend for advice recently. My friend has had a long career as a researcher and practitioner and is one of the smartest people I know. I asked her advice about a dilemma I have involving a doctor who treats me and my son for allergies.
My physician prescribed me a medication several years ago that changed my life. For years I struggled with allergies, but this medication changed that. I don’t wake up everyday feeling like my head will explode or carry a box of tissues with me everywhere I go.
My dilemma: so far, this doctor has refused to prescribe the medication for my son, who suffers the same symptoms I had for so many years. I assumed his reluctance had to do with my teenage son’s age. My friend says that should not matter. It’s a great medication and should help, with the qualification that her opinions depended on the accuracy of my description to her.
I asked her if she would want me to speak up. Of course, she said, “we can learn a lot from our patients and their families.”
And, so it is with my clients and their families. I want them to speak up, fill in the gaps, and make suggestions.
You can’t expect a mother to be at her best as her son’s murder trial begins, but “people reap what they sow” does not help anyone.
It’s all forgiven now.
A jury found her son not guilty of first degree murder. After the verdict, she waited outside the jail until her son was released, hugged him for the first time in over two years, and took him home. When I texted her later that evening to ask how he was doing, she responded, “Awesome.”
Life right now feels like we are closer to the “reap what they sow” part of that relationship than the “Awesome.” It’s going to take a while, but we will back to the “Awesome.”
In the meantime, we continue to represent people accused of criminal offenses and professional misconduct who risk losing everything. We work to get them their best possible results and back to leading productive lives.
Call if you need us, or if you just want to say hello.