STFU

Everyone always wants to know what the right thing is to say, but too often it is knowing when to say nothing at all that is most important. In other words, STFU! This is usually the best advice for any situation in life, but most especially when going through a divorce, child custody or an order of protection case. We have all heard on TV cop shows, “you have the right to remain silent.” But then the bad guy talks and goes to jail. Moral of the story? STFU!

When you first meet your lawyer, he or she does not know your case, if you talk too much, the lawyer cannot ever get the hang of your situation. Too much too quick. STFU! When you vent the emotion and bitterness beyond the actual facts that the law cares about to your lawyer, you are billed for every second of it and it the easiest money your lawyer makes. STFU!

If you do this at depositions, it tells the other lawyer that you will annoy and lose the judge’s attention giving them incentive to push for more or go to trial. STFU! When you are in court, give the judge too much too fast, you lose the judge. STFU! If you do it at trial, the judge does not get to absorb the essential facts that are buried in your venting. STFU!

Worst yet, the two lawyers are talking with the judge, and you join in without your lawyer asking you to “help out” but actually put your foot in your mouth and cause your own loss. STFU! Yes, I had a client do just that while we were off the record at the end of a day of trial and sink his own case. This, after repeatedly telling him to STFU!

Any questions? I hope not, otherwise: STFU!