In the Law – The Truth, Not “Their Truth” Prevails
Some years back, my wife and I were approached by a lady from abroad while traveling through an airport. The lady mistook my wife for a popular actress. When she approached us and said she was a fan, my wife graciously informed the lady she was mistaken. However, I do not think the lady believed her as she kept glancing over at us during the ride on the airport shuttle. Perhaps the lady traveled back to her home country and relayed her close encounter with an American movie star to her friends!
The episode was a pleasant one and I have had fun asking my wife where she has hidden her Oscar over the years. The takeaway from this example is that just because someone believes something to be true does not mean that it is. In recent years it has become in vogue in certain circles for someone to “speak their truth”. In doing so the word “truth” becomes conflated with words such as “opinion” or “belief”. In the law, what is considered to be true is established by facts and evidence. Oftentimes people who tend to govern their belief system based on feelings rather than logic have problems with this concept.
Indeed, it is not uncommon to relay a legal opinion to a prospective client who will respond by saying “I just don’t feel like that is right”. Such discussions can be difficult when a legal opinion does not align with “their truth”. In some cases, people are convinced that the facts of a matter are different than they objectively appear. In others, people disagree with a lawyer’s assessment of well settled principals of law. There are many cases where both the facts and the applicable law are in dispute and lawyers may differ in their assessment of the same. However, in my opinion in the majority of cases both the facts and law are fairly straight forward. In such cases, the dispute generally revolves around what the appropriate remedy is for the aggrieved party. This is something lawyers argue over.
Those that have a legal claim need to be prepared to prove their case based on evidence that is admissible in a court of law. Lawyers can guide a person through this process. It is unfortunate that in some instances that there is not enough evidence to establish the truth in a case. Thus, those who know they have a potential legal problem would be wise to document and photograph elements relevant to their case early and often. It is also very important to get the names and contact information of potential witnesses.
Those that do not feel that a particular statute or law is fair may be correct. However, the law is not going to change because of the way they feel. Laws are written by a legislative body elected by the people and interpreted by the courts. Courts consider the same based on case law and in some cases also must consider constitutional issues as well. The system, while not always perfect does work exceedingly well. While most legislators, judges and lawyers are not devoid of feelings, the system requires that the rule of law be followed. Doing so is the only way to ensure a stable and functioning society.
If you have a legal need, put your thinking cap on. While feelings, opinions and beliefs are important, in the legal arena it is the facts and evidence that win the day. Hooray for Hollywood! When you need help with legal matters, call the one you can trust. Contact Chris today … click here.