Is it Worth Hiring a Civilian?: Uncommon Mistakes and the Experienced Civilian Military Lawyer

I am often asked one question, above all others, and it typically comes early in a phone conversation. It goes like this: “Should I hire you?” In reply, I typically tell the prospective client and/or his father or mother: “Well, I cannot promise a result, but I can tell you we have a solid track record, exceeding all other civilian military defense lawyers in country, several years going now on AVVO.com.”  I routinely do not end the phone conversation there, however, as these repeating results are not as important as what stands behind them.  I tell my clients two things. First, for me personally, as Teddy R. once put it, “Success is never final, Failure is never fatal, Courage is all that counts.”  I live by these words both professionally and personally. I then reveal the pivotal point: “Young man, I am successful because I have made more mistakes during my decades of trial work that much younger civilian and military lawyers have yet to either imagine, or confront in a military courtroom.” That is why I win, lawyers, in essence, that have failed the most, will succeed the most. I suspect that is why folks in the military always tell me how much they have learned over the years in faithful service, the legal expert is no different.

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