Lawyer as Healer
“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser-in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man.” – Abraham Lincoln
There is no end to conflict and more often than not, for lawyers and the legal profession the focus is on winning and not resolution of problems between people. Following Lincoln, we are proponents of resolving problems between those involved in a legal dispute before a costly and time-consuming lawsuit is filed.
This does not mean that a lawsuit should not be filed, or an injustice rectified through legal means. Rather, we prefer to work for reconciliation between parties first before proceeding with costly and time-consuming lawsuits.
This can be accomplished in many ways which include writing letters, mediation, and other methods of conflict resolution that we have worked out over many years of practice.
“My joy was boundless. I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and enter men’s hearts. I realize that the true function of the lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder.***I lost nothing thereby-not even money, certainly not my soul.” – Gandhi
“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do,” Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court (1958-1981).
Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)
Commentary by Dave Whitehead
This is a very difficult commandment to keep in a culture that demands individual rights. To forgive a wrong is to give up our right to justice; to forgive a grudge is to give up our right to be correct. But according to this Scripture, forgiveness is not based upon self-humiliation, but self-love. It seems that offense reveals how well we accept ourselves, and forgiveness is a gift to keep us free from being snared by the actions of others.
Dave Whitehead, Author of Making Sense of the Bible.