Big Gestures = Big Jerk

Yesterday, I was in court representing a client who had his children taken away by CPS. The mother was into drugs and was MIA and dad wanted his children back but due to his circumstances was unable to have them in his care right then.

My client stood in court and throughout the entire proceeding told the judge all he wanted was his babies, he was going to do everything right, he wasn’t going to fail and he was going to be the best dad ever!

The problem with these statements was that my client was in prison. He had been in prison for the last two years and had been with the drug hungry mother for four years. Despite all of the facts, he made a point to stand in court and make big statements about how he was going to care for his children and show everyone. It seems that he forgot that while he was making these statements of greatness, he was standing there in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.

Now don’t get me wrong, I want my client to succeed. I want to see him be released from custody, get his children back and be the best dad he can be. However, when he stands in court and puffs out his chest and makes claims that he cant possibly live up to, at least at this point, he is setting his case up for failure.

The judge will certainly remember my client the next time we are in court. The judge will remember how my client made all of these statements about being a great dad and getting his kids back. If it doesn’t happen, my client looks like a jackass and the judge, the attorneys and the kids will all be extremely disappointed and heartbroken. This one will hurt more than the other CPS cases I worked on because he made promises. He made gestures and if he cant keep them, he looks like a jerk.

The point of this story is that even if you know you can be the best parent, spouse, child, etc. in the world and you are in Court, keep this knowledge to yourself. The actions of being a great parent, spouse, etc., are more important and mean more than saying it. This is especially true if you cant live up to your words.