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Winning is almost everything.

Last week I received word that I won one of my appeals. Funny that I use the word "won" as if the judgment was affirmed solely through my own efforts. To win, a lot of variables need to fall into place. For instance, the facts should be in your client's favor. That helps. And, oh yes, it helps if the law is in your favor. Should I forget the trial court? Sometimes, a lot of times in fact, the Court below does the right thing. So, when all of that is combined, I can claim a personal victory.  

Am I forgetting something? Oh, yes, the client. Right! Sometimes they do the right thing and that helps.
But I am not writing to talk about my win. I want to talk about how it feels to help someone. Many clients come to me after a loss below, and they feel an injustice has been committed. Or their voice has not been heard. It's very hard for them to have some sort of closure and get on with their lives when that happens. They simply want to be heard and then perhaps they can accept what fate has in store for them. At least I can give them a voice before the appellate court.

At times, my job is to preserve a win below, and justice has merely been postponed for a year or two. A reversal quite often means a retrial. For many clients, the first trial may have exhausted their finances and a second trial might be impossible, no matter how much the facts and the law favors them. If they are forced to go for a retrial but don't have the money, they will settle and justice will not be served. The expense of litigation often forces people to settle for far less than they deserve.  

In my recent appeal, we preserved our win and the client will not have to go through a retrial. No, I was not making her rich or putting money in her pocket. But I experienced real satisfaction knowing my client was saved additional expense and could get on with her life. That made it worthwhile for me. I hope I never lose that enthusiasm. Money isn't enough to do it, but helping others is.