As a lawyer, do you typically trust what your clients say?
I don’t represent people or causes in whom I don’t believe. That is not true of all attorneys, as many are aware. When it comes to prevailing in the court case, however, it does some, but little, good to trust what a client says because the courts try to base decisions not on matters of trust but on matters of proof. So whether I “trust” or believe my client, as an attorney I know I will almost always need more than my client’s word against the opposing party’s claim to prevail.
Fortunately, our standards of proof require (or are at least intended to require) more than “your word against mine.” That doesn’t always result in justice, however. I’ve represented people I believed were innocent but who looked guilty as sin. I’ve been approached by people who are guilty but whose story of innocence sounds more than plausible. Still standards such as “innocent until proven guilty” are obviously better than and spare more innocent people of false conviction than “guilty until proven innocent” and “preponderance of evidence” is far better than merely “your word against mine”.
Some lawyers don’t care whether their clients are trustworthy. These kinds of lawyers will represent a guilty client or a client who is undeserving of any court-conferred benefit. They justify doing so by making noble, lofty sounding but empty claims like “everyone has a right to legal representation,” as if mere “legal representation” is what’s needed and deserved when these attorneys are simply using and abusing the legal system for their own benefit and without thought of justice or faith in the rule of law.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277