That’s a tough question to answer. Generally, members of the legal profession are hard-working, honorable and capable individuals who are very dedicated to their clients. But, here are some thoughts that come to mind:
a. Sometimes I have seen other lawyers appear to believe that whatever their clients have told them has to be absolutely accurate, even if the people on the other side of the case vehemently deny such things. My personal feeling is that nobody’s recollection is perfect, and that it is possible for people on all sides of the case to be mistaken about certain factual and other items. I think the most effective lawyers have very open minds, and have to recognize that even their own clients sometimes can be wrong.
b. Sometimes a lawyer cares so much about her or his client that the lawyer has trouble being objective. When an attorney feels that a client has been unjustly wronged, at times there is a tendency to discount everything that comes up that could be viewed as negative about the attorney’s client. It can be almost as if the lawyer can’t hear the negatives! Our profession is a difficult one, and we need to be focused and realistic about the fact that in most cases, neither side is completely wrong nor completely right.
c. From time to time, I have seen lawyers continually disparage and insult people on the other side of the case, apparently in the hope of convincing a Judge or Magistrate that there is absolutely nothing “good” about that person. Particularly in divorce and similar cases, that’s a tough one to swallow, because that lawyer’s client obviously at one point found enough good in the other party to establish a very close relationship with her or him! That fact alone operates in many situations to undermine such a lawyer’s presentation.
d. At times, it has seemed to me that lawyers on the other side of a case have had the attitude that our job is about the fight rather than the result. Let’s face it: our job is to resolve legal disputes, and it is not to act as gladiators just for the purpose of fighting. Unfortunately, on occasion I think I have seen the opposite.
Our American legal system may be the very best one in the world. However, it will never be perfect because it is, in all respects, run by human beings. No human being is perfect, so the system of necessity will occasionally fall short of its goals. Nevertheless, if we lawyers can try to recognize our own shortcomings and avoid some of these kinds of things, the system absolutely will benefit!