A good example of the qualities of a good lawyer may be viewed actually by watching “Making a Murderer,” the Netflix docuseries, and observing the defendant’s attorneys. People are often mislead by the popular misconception that the loudest and most aggressive lawyer wins the case. This could not be further from the truth and it could end up costing you more in the long run.
Amidst all of the controversy in Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” defense attorneys Dean Strang and Jerome Buting are definite examples of the kind of attorney you should be shopping for. While I was fascinated and compelled by many aspects of the entertaining and provocative documentary, the take-away I wish for people to appreciate is the way in which Strang and Buting provide zealous representation for their client without having to resort to the pompous, aggressive and downright rude behavior so many people are unfortunately tricked into thinking is effective and desirable legal representation. Simply stated, what makes for good television on shows like Law & Order, does not make for real-life, cost effective and efficient legal representation.
The most effective and experienced lawyers I have worked with are always civil and courteous. Civility is not limited to “please” and “thank you.” It extends to providing respect, whether or not it is due. Cooler heads always prevail, and professional behavior allows a case to be handled efficiently so the litigation is not prolonged and made more expensive for the parties. This is especially important, perhaps above all, in family law where disputes are very personal and emotionally charged issues.
It is very important to have an experienced family law attorney who will refrain from making crass statements in letters to opposing counsel or in papers filed with the court. First, it often does nothing more than exacerbate contested issues, which ultimately costs you more money in legal fees. Second, in the eyes of the Court, it is largely irrelevant and serves only to annoy the very busy judge who has to read your filings. Thus, rude and inflammatory language and behavior does not help your case; and, frankly, it may even hurt it.
I immediately recall a case in which a judge scolded the other party and the other party’s attorney for using every opportunity in the filings to insult and disparage my client. As a result, the judge concluded that the party doing all of the name-calling and finger-pointing was the problem in the relationship and not my client, whom we had assisted in making a succinct and effective presentation for the court’s review.
At the NJ family law firm of Musulin Law Firm, LLC, we always strive to provide the best representation to our clients which includes being able to present your matter in a forceful but civil way. Our lawyers do not need to rely on the volume of their voices in the courtroom in order to present your case but instead use our knowledge of the law and articulate presentation to effectively state your case.