A Surprising and Satisfying Complement

It's always very nice to have clients tell me how much they appreciate what I do for them. It happens all the time but it always makes me feel good. After all I do what I do for them. Yesterday I got different kind of comliment that was surprising and satisfying in a different kind of way. I handled a case involving a high speed chase that put some police officers in serious risk of injury. I represented my client zealously. I fought for his rights, for his insterests. I argued passionately.

After the hearing I was driving home and to my surprise several of the police officers who'd been involved in the case (the ones who'd been put at the most risk, actually) pulled up next to me at a stop light. They motioned for me to roll down my window. I didn't know what was about to happen. I would've completely understood - given the sheer danger involved in this case - if they would've lectured me about how dangerous my client's behavior had been. I wouldn't have enjoyed it, but I would've even understood if I got the old "how could you represent those people" stuff. But instead they thanked me. They told me what a good job I'd done. They said "often cops and lawyers are on different sides, but your client really needed a lawyer to represent him and you did it well." I thanked them and told them that I believe that we all have a job to do and I strive to do mine well but to remain professional and courteous whenever possible (and thanked them for doing the same). The light turned green and we said goodbye, I jokingly told them to drive careful (they laughed at my corny joke), and we both drove off.

What made this paricularly satisfying is that these police officers really got it. I would've completely understood if they didn't. They quite literally put their lives at risk in this case and, in all honesty, I'd forgive them for taking the whole thing personally. But they got it. To have the respect and friendship of your clients and your colleagues is wonderful; I cherish it. Having the respect of my courtroom adversaries is something I'll also cherish.

Mike HowardComment