Tennis legend Andre Agassi once said, “Image is Everything.” While that not so modest statement may hold true in some aspects of life, it certainly doesn’t always apply to the legal world.
When it comes down to a legal dispute between parties, the better mantra to follow would be “Attitude is Everything.” A person’s attitude drastically comes into play when a dispute arises in terms of settlement. More often than not, if a person’s attitude is positive from the onset, most disputes can be settled rather quickly. It is when people attempt to “fight fire with fire” that often causes disputes to escalate. This in turn is when nasty litigation occurs.
Truth be told, if one keeps a positive attitude when a potential legal dispute arises and enters the situation calmly and rationally, a lawyer would not be needed. (I perish the thought!) Simply staying calm in a given situation can do wonders in terms of getting to the bottom of a particular dispute. When one party is combative toward another, a person’s first instinct is usually to fire right back in a hostile like manner. As another old saying goes, “you get more with sugar than with vinegar.” This old saying truly applies when it comes to the onset of a legal dispute.
One should also be acutely aware of their body language when entering into a legal debate or dispute. Like in poker, a person’s body language and facial expressions can tell an adversary everything they need to know without them uttering a word. The key is to not “show your cards” and keep one’s emotions from manifesting on the surface. This is extremely difficult for people who often wear their heart on their sleeve. My advice is to “wear long sleeves” and not let emotions get the better of you when faced with a legal dispute.
Judges and attorneys are especially keen on picking up subtle body language cues, especially when in court. When appearing before a judge, if one’s conduct is very standoffish and aggressive, the judge may formulate certain thoughts and opinions that are not ultimately in their favor. If, however, a person stays on point, addresses the judge in a confident and respectful manner, they more often than not will be given the benefit of the doubt on a lot of issues.
A lot of what I have been saying here is pretty much common sense. However, when faced with an emotional legal situation, people often forget their manners and go for the jugular. By keeping one’s cool, a potentially heated legal debate can be stifled efficiently, effectively, and rationally.
(Check out our speeding ticket blog and DWI lawyer article… Coming soon)