I feel protective. My friend has embarked on a necessary lawsuit to address wrongs done to her by someone she trusted. Generally I shun litigation as a means of conflict resolution, and I understand that in some cases it is the best path to justice. My friend shares this ethos, and has so chosen a like-minded lawyer. Her opponent has a very different mindset, one of fierce aggression and, sadly, meanness. In talking with Friend, we both feel her vulnerability, the risk of getting steamrolled in her efforts to be fair and equanimatous, even in the face of intense acrimony. She wonders if her lawyer (and she herself, maybe?) can withstand the vitriol flung their way without 1) returning in kind and/or 2) acquiescing simply to get through.
Over breakfast, I tried to articulate what she needed in her lawyer, and wrote it to her later in an email, so she would have it to mull over and expound on. What follows below is a lightly edited version of my message to her, and some reflections of my own after writing it. I love how talking and writing bring me so quickly and effectively to new insights and syntheses of ideas, core values, and resolutions. Onward, my friends!
I get (and validate!) that you sought a lawyer who is “not a fighter”… and you also need an effective advocate. Not adversarial for sure, but assertive and strong.
Like a quiet, confident alpha—tall and straight, with commanding posture–someone who knows they can own the opponent if they want to, but feels secure enough to not need to flaunt it.
So there is a degree of BADASSERY required here too: You need someone SMART, and SHARP.
Looking for a metaphor here… Not sure why I gravitate toward vehicles—Bullet train? Mack truck? Snowplow? Maybe because the process is necessarily movement, transportation is required, and there is a destination, the path to which presents multiple and formidable barriers?
The BEAST: The US presidential Cadillac—that is your ideal ride to the other side of the lawsuit (over the bridge? Through the morass?)!
Big, black, heavy, SOLID. GROUNDED and MOBILE at the same time.
Heavily armored–DEFENDED and SAFE, but not weaponized (I think).
Moves with purpose and agenda, no wasted fuel or frivolous trips.
People see it coming and move out of the way with respect.
And if attacked, the cargo–you and your interests–are protected.
Can plow through traffic if absolutely necessary, but only does so as a last resort:
Move or I will move you, make no mistake.
Strong back, soft front. Steel spine. Claws and horns only when needed.
Strong and effective, non-adversarial, yet energized advocate. I’m thinking parent, friend, sibling, physician, adult child of aging parent, activist.
BEAST. I can be yours if needed, count on it.