We’ve all seen or heard it before. That article titled “one thing lawyers don’t want you to know!” or “never get another speeding ticket!” or your uncle tells you he’s been doing some research and a friend of his in a forum told him a trick you won’t believe. In-person or on the internet, someone says that tells you that they know ‘One Weird Trick!!!’ to make sure you win your lawsuit without a lawyer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Today, we will talk a little bit about where this idea comes from and why it doesn’t work.
First, ask yourself a question. If there was a simple life hack that guaranteed you never face liability in a civil trial or could always come out on top in any court case, don’t you think you would have heard about it by now? I don’t think anyone could keep that secret, even if the person who discovered this immortal technique didn’t want to share. Trials are public records and are, in fact, open to the public in most cases. Transparency is a time-honored tradition of our justice system going back to English common law from before America was a country. The law is complicated. There are no two ways about it. The hundreds of years of common law, the thousands of statutes that make up the body of laws we live under, from Federal law to city codes, the millions of cases that comprise the precedents that guide judicial decisions, and the myriad ways all of those interacts are (unsurprisingly) somewhat convoluted. That’s why people go to school to practice the law to be a lawyer. Just getting the foundational concepts takes about a year of pretty intense study. It’s also why lawyers have to participate in so many hours of continuing education every year. The law changes, and lawyers have to keep up with that.
Ask yourself, ‘what do the people we elect every few years (ostensibly) do?’ Those senators, representatives, mayors, governors, presidents, and everything else are at least supposed to make laws. So, if we assume that I get by on looks alone (a mostly true fact) and that the law is far less complex than I made it out to be. Why wouldn’t those legislatures change the law? You know, legislate that loophole away. If there was some secret kung-fu that allowed anyone to simply dance circles around the law, why wouldn’t lawmakers eliminate that loophole? Because there is no loophole. If you ever hear a story about someone getting charged under a new law, then challenging and overturning that law. It isn’t because they know the secret. It’s because they had a very hard-working attorney figure something out that the drafters of that law hadn’t considered, and I guarantee whatever they discovered it had nothing to do with the amount of fringe on the flag in the courtroom.
Sure, in the calm light of day, we can all probably agree that the law is complex and that if there were a mythical way to counter all attempts to hold a person liable, lawmakers would have made a law about it. But where do people get this idea, and why do they latch on to it? Most likely because the law can be really scary. You are rarely in court for a happy reason. The results can be life-affirming and important, literally setting you free or awarding you something for which you spent years fighting. But it is expensive, time-consuming, and can also fundamentally alter the lives of you and your family. So, what do people do when they see something as an insurmountable issue that they can’t overcome? Ignore it. Are you about to go to trial on a case that could cost you thousands of dollars? No worries, you know the secret words that will cause the other side to turn away in fear and the judge unable to look upon you. The legal profession has a bad reputation, but we aren’t actual vampires turned away by special talismans and secret words of power. Trust me; we would be way cooler if that were true.
I digress, but the point I’m making here is that while it is a human and understandable reaction, ignoring something you are scared of isn’t going to win a case. The long and short of it is an attempt to exert control on a situation that feels completely out of the control of the person looking for these tricks. Long story short? If all the insufferable nerds who populate the legal profession and wrack their brains every day to construct new and novel arguments haven’t come up with a reliable trick to win in the legal system every single time. Do you think some bored retiree in a Facebook group did? Bottom line, if you have a legal issue, get legal help.
Whatever the next article is, remember these articles are meant to introduce you to some common legal topics. They are no replacement for a good attorney. So please make sure you consult with an injury and accident attorney before taking legal action and if you’ve been in a car wreck and want to make sure you get a fair deal from an insurance company, Call CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm at (833) 254-2923.