On this blog, and on my website, I put up as much explanatory information as I can about criminal, DUI and driver’s license restoration cases. I have tried, within the body of my writings, to pull back the curtain on and explain how Michigan driver’s license restoration and DUI cases are (or should be) handled, as well as the various considerations important to handling a criminal charge in my capacity as a Michigan criminal lawyer. I can say with confidence that if you are looking around for a lawyer for to handle a criminal, driver’s license restoration or DUI case, it is likely that some of those with whom you’ve had contact with have read and learned something from this blog. One lawyer I know admitted to me that when he needs something to write about, he comes here, to my blog, and “cannibalizes” something I’ve put up. I consoled myself with the old adage that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” I’ve even been asked why I am so “generous” with the information I put out.
In this article, I want to point out that for as much information I publish, there are certain essential strategies that, while not “secret,” really defy clear explanation. In addition, there are just certain things I do that are “secret” enough for me to have to hold back and not write about. KFC became famous for its fried chicken with 21 secret ingredients. When curious minds tried to figure out the recipe, some claimed that they couldn’t find 21 ingredients, no matter how hard they looked. KFC was amused by the attempt and essentially said, “Well, that’s part of the secret.” I may be generous with the information I publish, but I don’t give away enough for anyone to copy my recipe, nor do I give away the secrets of the magic trick, either.
Certain legal abilities are simply instinctive. How do I explain this? When I walk into a conference room and find the prosecutor to already be agitated, usually by some other lawyer, I just “know” that it’s probably not the best time to try and negotiate a really sweet deal for my client. Sensing that is instinctive, but I don’t just blurt out something like, “Hey, you look all frazzled, so I think I might do better with you if I come back later.” A graceful exit with a plan to return later requires a keen and rather spontaneous sense of diplomacy.
Other legal skills may spring from within, but they are honed by years of experience. A younger lawyer may make the mistake of defending a client to the point of arguing with the Judge. While the lawyer may not think he or she is arguing with the court, all that matters is that the Judge does. Instead of arguing, I have to persuade. In many cases, I have to educate the Judge, and be able to back up what I say. This is why, for example, as a seasoned lawyer with (at that time), over 20 years of experience, I began the formal study of addiction issues at the post-graduate, University level. Whatever else, a lawyer may succeed in persuading the court about something, but he or she is unlikely to ever win an argument with the Judge (as opposed to an argument with the lawyer on the other side).
Instinct manifests itself in countless ways: I may, for example, “time” a case a certain way, particularly if my client has another pending case somewhere else. There are other timing tactics I use regularly, but the reader will have to understand that I can say no more. There are things I do now that I never even knew existed 10 or 15 years ago. I hate to admit this, but the difference between having 10 versus having 20-plus years’ experience is so profound that it affects how I engage and evaluate the professionals I use in my own life. I’m sure my cardiologist, in having followed patients for nearly 30 years, has seen patterns that play out over decades that he could not have possibly known about before he had the benefit of the experience of those decades. For the most part, if I have the option, I’ll go for the person with 20-plus years of experience with just about everything, except perhaps at the Apple store…
Other things are just my own “secrets” that I don’t want to give away. I truly believe that in a DUI case, or any criminal case, for that matter, success is best judged by what does NOT happen to you. I can honestly say that if I had to walk into court to be sentenced for a DUI, or one of the kind of criminal cases I routinely handle (drug, embezzlement and indecent exposure cases), I would really want a clone of myself to represent me before the Judge. At the risk of sounding conceited, I’d point out that real charisma, and the ability to persuade does not bloom from some shrinking violet that lacks self-confidence. I know that I produce the very best results possible at sentencing; some of the reasons have to do with that instinct refined by thousands and thousands of cases, while others are just proprietary. This is kind of like my version of “patent pending.
The point I’m driving at is that while the sheer volume of information I put out is substantial, and the content substantive, you have to know that there is much more behind it. I am firmly convinced that some people can do the same things over and over again and not really contemplate the nuances of what they’re doing, but I’m certainly not one of them. Beyond thinking about what I do, I know what to hold back. If you’ve ever seen a baseball or football game on TV, you may have noticed that coaches and players will sometimes cover their mouths when they speak so no one can read their lips. What is clear is that they don’t want the other side to know what they’re doing or planning. My blog articles and website sections are like the players on the field; the formation is clear. What I don’t put out is much like the playbook or strategy of a good coach or manager; sometimes, it’s what you don’t know and don’t see that matters, and ultimately produces the results.