The Blessing of Owning our Errors 11.10.2016

The Blessing of Owning our Errors 11.10.2016. Today’s entry comes from a recent review by a client on Avvo. It consists of the client’s review and my reply.

I found Richard back in March 2016, having been cited for dui, dwi, negligent driving, & failure to obey a traffic device (skipped a red light). Several years back I’d been charged with my first dui, and even though that judge downgraded it to negligent driving, I knew the stakes were higher with a second charge. So I spent a couple of days shopping around for good representation, and this time had to be different. I was seriously looking to change my lifestyle/behavior, not just for a favorable legal outcome. All the attorneys I found were only concerned with the latter, until I met Richard.

Richard took the time to listen to my concerns. He inquired into details that other attorneys didn’t bother. He was concerned not only about what happened but how I felt about it, and any personal changes I wanted to make in the interest of preventing similar outcomes in the future. From our first conversation it was clear that he understood me and was looking out for my legal and other personal interests. I know he was genuinely looking out for me since he offered a wealth of guidance and legal advice prior retaining him.

After consulting with my wife, we decided to retain Richard, looking back, it was the right call. I’ve dealt with other professionals and attorneys and Richard simply operates at a higher level. Some people give you the run around, especially when they know you have no recourse. But Richard is warm, professional, reliable, very friendly, candid, genuinely a good person. When he talks, you can tell he has taken the time to formulate clear, coherent thoughts. He’s not looking to dazzle with jargon, he wants you to be as clear as possible regarding the matter.

I’m not going to review everything Richard did to prepare me for my court date, suffice to say it was a well thought out plan and I’m glad he guided me through it. Some of the activities required more time and effort on my part, but again, Richard was there to encourage and remind me why it was important.

A week before my court date, we met to review our strategy and court procedures. Here’s another area where Richard shined. Not only did he verbally review everything with me, he also documented it so I could review after our meeting. He even took the time to provide some court documents so I could pre-fill them ahead of time and focus on the case.

On my court date (Nov), he arrived head of time to welcome my wife and I. Little things such as this make a difference to me. As we walked in to the building and court room, he was there to put us at ease, reminding us that we were ready and everything would be ok. And that’s exactly how it turned out. In the end I received a favorable outcome—unsupervised pbj for a month! And the judge even commended me in my attempts to make amends prior to my court date, all thanks to Richard.

There’re several ways my situation could have going south, but thanks to Richard it didn’t. I can’t guarantee you’ll receive a similar outcome, but I’m tell you Richard is trustworthy. He will help you with our legal woes as best he can, and help you consider lifestyle changes for the better. I can honestly say I’m a better person having known him. Thank you Richard 🙂

My Response: “You’re very welcome and I thank you, as well. When we met you made it clear that you wanted to make sure, going forward, that your life would be a blessing, and not a danger, to people who met you on the road. I went over everything we could do to that end. It was a long and time consuming list and you jumped into it as a positive life changing list.

It was clear that you followed our plan with an open heart and not for appearances. The documentation of your post arrest education, which also included community service, showed that your heart and mind were involved every step of the way. By the end, as we neared our court date, I could tell you had become an advocate and model for more responsible choices by others in your circles. You now exemplified the wisdom in the saying that “a lesson is fully learned only when we can teach it to another person.”

And that is the marvel of how any person facing a challenge can change course and touch many lives for the better. Playing your lessons forward it is likely that you have saved others from harm and heartache, and it is also likely that some of those persons will do the same. I am so grateful to be a link in your chain of positive change.

You earned the sentence: you demonstrated the desire to change by owning the problem that brought you to court, committing to change, and then executing your plan for change. I was privileged to stand beside you in Court. Please let me know, from time to time, about the good things that happen going forward in your life. It will make my heart soar that you become all you are capable of being.”

Posted in Change, DUI, Journey, Law, Learning, Ownership, Teaching | 1 Comment

Grace 11.4.16. 

Grace 11.4.16. Life is a journey that I need to navigate with grace. An item before me need not be an obstacle or a danger just because someone else says that it is. This is true no matter how big the label and how loud the voice. Grace is the lesson, the tool, and the object of my journey. 

Posted in Grace, Journey | Leave a comment

Dancing with Music 10.27.2016.

Dancing with Music 10.27.2016. Today’s entry is taken from my reply to a kind client’s review on Avvo. The client was charged with Driving Impaired while Transporting a Minor, because he had his two young children in the car with him. If you wish, you can read the review, together with my reply, on Avvo.  I post my reply here in the hope that it is helpful to others.

Thank you for your generous review, but I have something to thank you for, as well. Most of us have families. Often, we separate from them during the day to do our jobs and watch them go off to do theirs. We send them off to school or go to school ourselves. We go to work, we work out, we shop, we cook, we clean. Our families are the background music against which we perform the dance that is our lives. We think about our families, but we think about them intermittently and keep dancing until we return home. We learn to dance mostly without hearing the music. You, however, always hear the music. Whenever I am in the company of such a person, I rejoice. Thank you for reminding me to rejoice every day for the possibility that I will keep meeting people like you.

At first, it appeared that this was a very strange situation. A client, whose love for his wife and children illuminates his every moment, is charged with driving impaired with his children in the car. How could such a thing happen? Part of the answer is, of course, that alcohol impairs our ability to make good decisions. The rest of the answer is hidden in the complex choreography of the dance. Here, it was an unplanned drink during casual conversation at a not unusual, but not part of the daily routine, networking event — and then off to pick the children up from day care.

As it is so often in DUI cases, the unplanned drink mutes the background music and we do something we would never do, could never do, without the drink — we follow the routine and keep dancing oblivious to why we are dancing in the first place — to take care of those we love. Suddenly, we are putting those we love, and those who other people love, at risk. You did everything I asked of you, even to attend a residential weekend program that briefly separated you from your family, so that you could continue to take care of your family. You followed my recommendations wholeheartedly and promptly and more than earned the court’s respect as shown by the kind outcome of your case. You got to go home and continue to dance with your family. Always remember that, just as they are the music in your life, you are the music in theirs. Now, you are also an instrument in the symphony that is the music of mine. Thank you.




Posted in DUI, Family, Law | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Separation 10.15.2016.

Separation 10.15.2016. I pray for consolation. I am about to unfriend people whom I ought to love but cannot. They are professionals. They are educated. They post hateful and intentionally damaging untruths they know or ought to know are untruths. They republish venomous statements with no source other than unverified uncorroborated statements by persons who are not eye or ear witnesses. They republish selections from tabloid “books” whose authors have been disavowed by actual eye witnesses, ear witnesses and the members in good standing of the professional associations that an “author” claims to have been associated with. They do not fact check before reposting or they deny the results of fact checking.

I am not going to out them. I am simply going to unfriend them. They are too far gone for me to reason with. This greatly distresses me. I cannot condone or sit silently by while they spew lies that promote bigotry. They have convinced themselves that they are better and more entitled than others to the Bill of Rights, constitutional protections, and the compact we all have to extend the benefits of human decency to each other. Ironically, they are blind to the fact they, too, are at the bottom of the food chain of bigotry they support.

They include family and I have been at war with myself too long to fail to choose separation. They must save themselves — someone more removed from them than I will have to convince them to redeem themselves. They are dangerous to decent people everywhere — including other family members and friends that I love. My conscience tells me to do more than walk away from them. For the time being, I cannot do more than separate from them. With intelligent discourse among friends, with reflection and with prayer — that may change.

Posted in Abandonment, Anti-Semitism, Blindness, Family, Law, Loss, Morality, Provocation, Rhetoric, Self Defense, Silence | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Hurricane. A Prayer. 10.7.2016.

Wind and water, you humble us. Elements of our existence, you sustain and surround us. You are in our every breath. Common to all life, you make us common. Tranquil, you lift and transport us. Now a tempest, we cannot contain you. Subside so we may sail again. Common wherever we may be, we will use your wind to sing that we are one and we are home. 

Posted in Hurricane, Shared Destiny | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Recall this Reckless Provocateur Now

Recall this Reckless Provocateur Now 08.09.16. Trump now provokes “Second Amendment people” to act against Ms. Clinton. Trump, focusing on gun issues and the Supreme Court during a speech today, issued what appears to be a threat against Mrs. Clinton. This is consistent with earlier provocations of violence against his opponents. Is this latest provocation not enough for the Republican leadership to remove him as their candidate? Is it necessary to wait for one of Trump’s violent provocations to strike a chord with someone angry or unbalanced enough to act on it? Republican leadership, is it not clear that Trump’s intent is to intimidate and bully to win AND to provoke violent pushback against a “fixed election” to avoid humiliation if he loses?

Posted in Bullying, Fear, Leadership, Provocation, Recklessness, Rhetoric, Trump, Violence | Leave a comment

Self Defense & Moral Blindness

Self Defense & Moral Blindness 8-2-16. Trump justified his attacks on Gold Star Muslim parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan as self-defense against Khizr’s “vicious attack” on Trump during the Democratic Convention. In reality, it is quite the opposite. Trump built his campaign platform of fear and intolerance by promising to bar all Muslims from admission as immigrants and tracking those already here. He has denigrated all Muslims by effectively labeling them as terrorist co-conspirators who must know who and where the actual perpetrators are and what they are planning yet refuse to come forward and report them. He has not been following in the footsteps of Joseph McCarthy. He is treading the path of Adolf Hitler, whose fanatical anti-semitism led to the Holocaust. Trump is to Muslims what Hitler was to Jews. Trump has carved himself a campaign cornerstone of fear and racism by attacking the Khans and all Muslims. Khizr Khan’s address was self-defense against Trump’s assault and the existential threat that Trump presents. Trump’s subsequent attacks on the Khans show Trump’s moral blindness to his demonization of all Muslims and his belief that the rest of us are blind as well. The Khans, like their son, are heroes — with voices that need to be heard and heeded. By standing up they put targets on their backs for Trump. Thank god that the Khans have the courage to speak. We need to have the courage to listen.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, Assault, Blindness, Bullying, Courage, Democracy, Fear, Hitler, Holocaust, Jews, Khan, Listening, Manipulation, McCarthy, Morality, Muslims, Self Defense, Trump | Leave a comment