You may not know this about me, but I used to be a lawyer. Well, I’m still a lawyer, but I don’t practice anymore. But there was a time when all I wanted to do was defend criminals. Not because I had a warm and fuzzy feeling towards lawlessness. Actually, it was the opposite: I had a fierce love for the Constitution and what it guaranteed to every single one of us.
The first jury trial I ever tried (by my young and inexperienced self) was defending a nineteen-year-old guy who was caught drinking underage in a bar with his parents during a police raid. The officer charged him with downing a few beers underage (a misdemeanor) and allegedly punching him, which was a felony. Gasp.
Then the case really got interesting…
Five witnesses in the bar said my guy never hit the officer and that the officer hogtied my client for no reason (wrists and ankles restrained with zip ties and then bound together behind his back) and then he maced my client repeatedly in the eyes.
The morning of the trial, I paced in the bathroom on the third floor of the courthouse my stomach swimming with anxiety. What if I forgot my opening argument? What are the rules on hearsay? OMG. What if I lose?
Then, I puked.
I walked out of the bathroom and saw my mentor standing outside the courtroom.
“You’re lookin’ a little green in the gills, young lady,” he said in between drags on his cigarette. (You could smoke inside then. What?!)
I nodded ever so slowly as to not further agitate the storm brewing inside me.
And then he gave me the BEST advice.
He said … well, you’ll have to click below and watch the video where I’ll tell you what he said. (Cue the cliffhanger music…)
This is the story of when and how I found my inner warrior. We all have an inner warrior. And (s)he is hanging strong in your solar plexus waiting for you to call on it when you need it most. Over the years, I’ve learned that I need her a lot and that listening to my gut is the only way to go whether I’m defending someone who was in a bar room brawl or not.