Misconceptions About the Legal System

Some people have misconceptions about the legal system that can prove harmful if they proceed along that basis.

“I can tell ‘em anything, and I’ll get away with it”

Lying is a terrible litigation strategy. While some people can sometimes get away with a lie, if there is a skilled adversary on the other side of the case, he lie will be revealed. The liar’s credibility will be destroyed, and they will get hurt as a result. Generally speaking, our legal system works well. Judges, like all people, however, are not sympathetic to people who try to take advantage of, or deceive, them. That’s when the system can go “off the rails” and the person suffers a devastating result. (We have gone up against adversaries who tried to lie numerous times and in just about each, we were able to show them up to their great detriment.) A corollary to this rule is that a litigant can’t even “seem to be” deceptive. While some people seem truthful even as they lie, others look shifty and deceptive even when they tell the truth. As the sales-saying goes, “Perception is reality.” We therefore coach our witnesses on how to best present so that their testimony seems as credible as it is truthful.

“All lawyers are the same” and “Any lawyer is as good as any other lawyer”

As with any profession there is wide divergence in the amount of diligence and kill among the members of the profession. Lawyers have different levels of knowledge of the law and of human behavior. They have different levels of performance skills, and are willing to devote different levels of commitment to the clients’ cases. Moreover, a lawyer’s chances of successfully representing the client can depend on the ability of the lawyer to deeply understand the justice of the client’s case. If a client and lawyer have different values and personality types, that might hinder successful representation. It is therefore important to get the measure and flavor of the lawyer and to ensure that the lawyer and client are sympatico. (In one case, we were the fourth lawyers to represent our new client. When we walked into the courtroom seeking an adjournment the presiding justice warned us that, “Counselor, you know your client’s got one foot in Rikers?” Four weeks later we returned to argue our client’s case. The oral argument lasted two hours, and we turned the judge’s head around, to the extent that her view of the case shifted 180 degrees. And we made the same argument each of the four prior attorneys made … but we made it differently!). Call our Manhattan family law attorney if you have more questions.

“Large firms are better than small firms”

“A lawyer is a lawyer and it doesn’t matter which one I get to represent me.”


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Contact A Manhattan Superior Family Law Lawyer Today

Of course, you will need a skilled lawyer to protect and defend you and your rights. Call our offices for a free telephone consultation and to learn how we can help you. A Manhattan Family Law Attorney at Chaim Steinberger, P.C. can give you a solid foundation for meeting your goals during divorce, legal separation, annulment, and more.