I cannot even count the number of times I have told clients going into a trial, “Never stop – Be real – Amazing things happen.” Every single one was skeptical.
Something the client perceives as “bad” happens in front of the jury and they want to quit. Maybe testimony does not go as planned. Maybe the judge makes a ruling we disagree with. Maybe a is mistake by a lawyer or witness – all “bad” things.
“Bad” things always happen. So much so that when nothing “bad” happens, I get worried. What did I miss?
I know from experience with juries if we do not stop and if we are real – we have every chance to win.
I recently had the chance to walk in the shoes of a client while competing at the Canada Salsa & Bachata Congress.
My wife and I love latin dance. It is our shared passion away from work. For me a passion equaled only by my passion for advocacy in trials.
We had practiced for months – our teacher/coach/choreographer/friend guided us in every way possible.
But now, it was show time. No more practice. The time had come to act.
We were there. The ballroom was full to its capacity. Our first competition together. Our teacher’s words – be real and never stop.
The lights, the judges and every eye in the room was on us.
Fifteen seconds into a two-minute choreography we completely messed up. We kept going, forgot what we could not fix, stayed real and the most amazing thing happened.
Less than fifteen seconds later the whole room was standing on their feet, clapping and cheering. I had never seen anything like it.
When we finished the room erupted.
We walked from the stage and people reached out to touch us – smiling from ear-to-ear. They said “great job,” “you made us cry.” A truly amazing thing happened – it felt like a miracle.
For the next three days of the Salsa Congress people kept coming up to us to congratulate us and tell us how they were moved.
We attended a workshop – how to be a better performer – the presenter was a judge in our competition. She told the whole room about a couple that she saw perform that were technically awful but still made her cry.
After the room emptied she told me, “That couple I was talking about, it was you.”
What did the scores say at the end of the competition – we finished dead last. Who won? You answer that question. Who experienced amazing? That question answers itself.
Full of energy from that experience I will continue to passionately guide my clients through trials. Never stop – Be real – Amazing things happen.
If your lawyer does not share that passion – Will you ever really win?