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First things First

As a younger injury lawyer, I really didn’t care much for my competitors.

I wanted all the injury cases and I was offended if someone chose another lawyer.

I was brash. I was aggressive. I was competitive.

To me it was personal. Good guy vs bad guy. Like being in an athletic event. If I’m pitching, I want to get the batter’s sorry ass out. If I’m hitting, I want to take you deep.

Golf. I don’t care what your handicap is, I’m making the putt— or at least I’m giving it my all.

The world of trial lawyer is not much different.

Too much modesty is not a good thing for a trial lawyer.

Then again we can lose perspective.

And there are events that put things in perspective, smack us between the eyes with a 2×4, and help us realize what’s most important in life.

In Keene, there is a tale of two injury lawyers: one who is in the process of being disbarred for a history of lying to the court and to his client, and the other who recently learned he has terminal cancer.

I know both these fellas– competitors.

It was a business thing.

Injury lawyers fighting for the same clients tend not to like one another.

Yes, business is business and it is easy to get carried away with the competitive spirit, but when reality strikes, we all learn what really matters.

At the core of it all is another human being, not merely a competitor.

To the lawyer with terminal cancer, I offer my thoughts and prayers to he and his family.  Surely we were never close friends, but over the years I think we grew to tolerate each other at least a little bit.

On of the truism in life that strikes me is that it is perfectly ok not to ” like” someone. It’s a fact of life that certain people rub us the wrong way and piss us off. Fair enough. It’s fine to hang out with folks we like.

But it’s never ok not to “love” someone else. I do not say this in a soft, sappy, feel- good, hippie, or squishy way, like how come we all can’t get along non-sense.

Not all all.

I mean that we need to care about the other, respect the other, and not wish ill-will or bad-outcomes on the other.

Looking at the trial lawyer who has cancer as a fellow human being (dare I say brother) and not a competitor, one can  see the importance of First things First.

The man is undergoing the trial of his life, and it is important to pray for he and his family, and those who must be suffering during the ordeal.

Peace be with them.

As for the ethically-challenged fellow, who the judge suggested lacked a moral compass, one hopes he comes to see the light in his new career.

Justice will take its course ( fortunately for the victims!) without wishing ill-will on him or anyone else.

Surely he should not be entrusted with a client’s case, and is in the process of getting what he deserves, but the true hope is not that he continues on this path, but that he has a change of heart.

In the end, what really matters? It is not hatred.

Keep your strength, and thanks for reading my thoughts.

Charlie Donahue

Injury Lawyer

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