Leading with Empathy - Step #17
When charged with a crime, we must acknowledge that the prosecutor has the power over the charges, and the judge has power over the process, and ultimately will determine your sentence. Most come to court and view this as a battle of us vs them; you lose that battle every time, because you don't have any formal power.
There is a different approach to take; if we are practicing reflection, and finding out true purpose during a case, we can change the music on the case. This applies even a prosecutor and judge appear to be uninterested in getting to know you and treating your case like a transaction. Do not get discouraged.
Do not keep your head down, do not accept your fate; if we believe in our purpose and real growth, our mindful and contagious hard work will pay off during the case. We must push through the default "bad energy" that comes from a criminal case; by continuing to focus on you as a human with needs, goals and motivations, we can slowly flip the script.
Showing vulnerability and demonstrating your sincere motivation to learn and grow from your case can repair this negative energy relationship. If you act like a victim of circumstances, you will hit a wall; if you put up your sword in reaction to the negative energy, you will not be able to break through and create your own path. By embracing a process and journey mindset vs immediate focus on outcome, you will be able to swim with the current and get to your destination safely.
The only way to change the music and flip the script in your case is to demonstrate self-change; we cannot ask a judge and prosecutor to shift their mindset if we haven't done the same. A client should not be treated like an object during a case, but that will be the default outcome if you do not put in the hard work to humanize yourself.
If we choose to demonize a prosecutor and judge, and treat them as an enemy, they will return the favor; you cannot storm the front door and make demands; you must work yourself through a side door and change the dynamics.
Changing the negative energy takes a transformative client to trust themselves, abilities and your purpose. If you really believe in your higher purpose and it aligns with your identity, you will have a major impact on your case.
Real life example of flipping the script
There are some cranky prosecutors out in this world who see themselves as an extension of the police department. They view the police report as gospel and are close minded to other possibilities and usually uninterested in why the incident happened, and how to best address it other than applying a transaction mindset.
Most other attorneys respond to this by putting up their own sword, shutting down conversation and lining up their own troops for a battle. The problem with this approach is 99.9 percent of the time, the police report is accurate enough, meaning while there may be some inaccuracies, the material facts are accurate, and the client indeed committed the crime.
Attorneys believe their job is to change this, but that’s impossible to do; we can't go back in time and change what happened. Attorneys need to be more honest with their clients and stop selling a magic trick to make their case go away. For the most part, you are stuck with what has already happened, and the most fruitful time is the present and the future rather than focusing on the past.
Instead of preparing for battle, it's time to be vulnerable, smile, and have a good conversation with the prosecutor. Share the story of the client and humanize the case; share the client's purpose and vision for how to best approach what happened and take control of the conversation.