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Fear Stops the Mouths of Those Who Need to Speak

Fear Stops the Mouths of Those Who Need to Speak

A law society posed a question about the delays in the criminal justice system to the readers on a platform.

The question was asking people for their feedback and to comment on how they’ve been effected by the delays in the criminal justice system.

There were a lot of likes on this post.

That’s good.

But zero comments.

On this particular platform, you have to use your real name. People screen your comments and posts when checking you out for any reason.

There’s a few reasons why there’s no responses to this question:

  1. Nobody wants to dredge up their past if it can effect their future, especially if any co-workers are on the same platform.
  2. A lot of people don’t want to relive the experience by telling the whole story again.
  3. Some people are afraid of backlash that could happen many months later for simply posting their stories.

And I get it.

I wasn’t involved in the criminal justice system personally. But I’ve been involved in other parts of the system. I know that if I speak openly about it — the wrong way — that yes, it could set off a chain of unintended consequences for me.

All things of which can be avoided by simply keeping my mouth shut.

And I’m not alone.

It’s taken me a lot of years to figure how to speak about different things “safely”. For example, simply by telling some of the facts of how my older cases were handled, could set off an attorney into thinking I was “damaging their reputation…” and other such stuff.

Or, I could be seen as someone with “baggage” by co-workers, or worse, someone with “problems” to prospective new employers.

This is why even though people need to talk about it, they’re afraid to.

Since then I’ve equipped myself with knowledge found in a self-help legal course that has proven to be an effective thing. That knowledge has essentially set me free from a lot of that. I know that is not the case for everyone.

Do you find you still have trouble talking about your experiences with the legal system? If so, why?

My Boss Made Me Do It

My Boss Made Me Do It

The new forms came across your desk.

Keep in mind, you’ve been working for your employer for some time.

One of them is new non-compete agreement. It’s either brand new, since the place you’re working with is so small, they never made you sign one when you started, or it’s an updated version to the one you’ve already signed. At the bottom of your paperwork instructions, it notes you have three business days to complete the form, sign it, and return it to your employer – or they terminate your employment.

Three business days is roughly a “reasonable” amount of time in the legal industry, for someone to have documents reviewed by an attorney of their choice.

But what if you can’t afford to have an attorney look it over, let alone find one and have them review it before that three business days is up?

It’s a great question and one that many employees end up not having an answer for. Instead, they sign it, even if they don’t agree with the terms, even if the terms limit them in their profession and ability to make more money down the road.

Why? Like most of us, we need to keep our jobs.

So we sign it. We don’t feel like we have the power to actually “ask questions” or “discuss with our supervisors” without some form of repercussions either now or when it comes time do a round of layoffs later on.

In this respect, some people feel they are forced to sign the document out of “threat, duress, or coercion.”

And I get it.

I’ve been there and felt that way myself.

It took me many years to realize that some of these forms are just simply put together by someone else and that many employers are at least happy to have an open conversation about this — modifying the document that is.

And I’ve also realized that if an employer is not flexible or understanding on this, it’s a huge red flag and an indication that our working relationship will not necessarily last.

It’s painful and irritating to put it mildly.

After the second time of this happening in my own career, I started looking into the legal definitions of “duress, threat, and coercion” and what I found did not match our normal, lay-person understanding of the word.

What we felt is a subtle threat, subtle but effective arm-twisting (coercion), and that in turn, causes us to feel duress.

But it’s not what is defined legally. What’s defined legally goes into things a bit deeper with circumstances and situations and threat levels.

I was pleased that the legal course actually goes over all three in an easy to understand way.The more you learn about these things, the easier it becomes to see the difference between what may be morally happening, what we’re feeling as a result of it, and what the law will actually do about it based what is on the books.

Learning the legal system for yourself reduces confusion, lowers frustration levels, and gives actionable steps on how to manage these things.

Although we advocate our clients being involved as much as possible with their own defense, we understand if you don’t want to take it on alone. Call <<insert law firm name and contact info here>> for a free consultation.

The Evolution of the Hidden Law Library in Santa’s Workshop

The Evolution of the Hidden Law Library in Santa’s Workshop

There’s only a few elves that know about it.

The older, wiser ones.

The Law Library

It’s the law library hidden in an alcove in the back of Santa’s workshop.

The top elves go into the meeting chamber and conduct daily meetings. Along the back wall is a line of tightly wound scrolls. These are the names of all the people currently on the earth for the previous year.

Sometimes, after the meetings end, a few of the elves stay behind and wait until the door to the meeting chamber is closed.

Then carefully, one will make his way over to the planter box with a bushel of holly that sits directly to the left of the scroll shelf. He looks at the others who remained behind and they nod once.

The elf sticks his hand ever so slowly and carefully into the holly bush and turns a knob behind the scroll shelf and between the wall. The scroll shelf moves and reveals the library hidden inside.

Once inside, the elves close the secret door and they are left alone to read and ponder.

These books are the books that Santa uses to determine who has been naughty, who has been nice, and what rewards or not-rewards every person will get this year.

There’s books on ethics with questions like:

  • Did the child share his/her toys with their sibling(s)?
  • Was mom and dad nice to each other for more at least 11 out of 12 cumulative months out of the year?
  • Did the employer pay his all of his/her employees fairly?

There’s one great big book in the center of the room, a large dictionary that holds definitions of things like:

  • good
  • bad
  • fairly
  • good-enough
  • wrong
  • wrong-wrong
  • really bad

and more.

There are other books too, that govern things like:

  • forgiveness
  • circumstantial situations
  • hard-times

and bad governments.

The top elves make it their business to study these books and bring various items to Santa’s attention throughout the year.

In the Past it was Simpler

Most of the elves, like most people, want to just simply believe that if you do the right thing, you’re considered “good” and you’ll get your rewards at the end of the year.

They want to believe that Santa “just knows” who’s been naughty or nice and believe everything really is just that simple.

And back in the day, it was.

People inherently knew right from wrong. Crime was easily defined and simple understanding reigned in the realm of law and justice.

But over time, different cultures developed, and different people had different definitions of right and wrong. And some people even starting to twist and use bad things for their own personal gain, while trying to use the definitions on the books to convince those around them that they were right.

This didn’t sit well with Santa.

So he gathered some of his smartest elves when it came to writing, story-telling, and teaching. They all agreed that right and wrong, good and bad, and all of the rest needed to be defined. They also needed exceptions built-in for situations that forced a good person to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do. They needed provisions surrounding when bad was turned into good or when people genuinely forgave each other.

Thus, the law library hidden in Santa’s workshop was born.

They all agreed this was fair for the whole world.

Life was Changing

Ever since then, only the smartest and elves best in their various talents had access to these books. They didn’t want to overwhelm the rest of the elves who were just happy tinkering away building toys throughout the year.

But as time grew on, so did the amount of people in the earth and the various cultures and nationalities. People had harder times than in the past, things were moving much much faster than normal, and suddenly the rulers could not keep up with the people who insisted on taking unfair advantage of the rules or of each other.

This grieved Santa and his elves.

One elf suggested the possibility of sharing the law library with others to help them be taken advantage of less and to help the rulers of the day make the naughty people stop their general naughtiness faster.

Another elf expressed concern over the complicated nature of the rules and definitions, especially for those who have never seen it before.

Another elf, the teaching elf, suggested putting together a class that would help people learn step-by-step, layer-by-layer, so it was simple and not complicated. Kind of like how they teach new elves to build toys. They start with simple stuff and then move onto the more complicated stuff, but do it in a way where it “clicks” the first or second time they do it.

If it was done right, it couldn’t hurt. Santa wholeheartedly agreed and provided a full “Ho-Ho-Ho-Ho” as his affirmative vote on the plan.

This Plan would Work

The teaching elf went to work deconstructing all the concepts and principles of how things were decided to be good, bad, and all of the exceptions go with it. He included procedures on what to do to help the local rulers help stop naughty people from being so naughty. He used pictures, drawings, video, and audio files, along with text, and lots of examples to help the others learn.

Eventually, this class was announced and released to all the elves, to eventually then be distributed to all the people.

And it was a success.

Now, while not in the North Pole, <<Legal firm inserted here>> does a very similar thing.

With over 30+ years combined experience, the associates at <<Legal firm inserted here>> have been helping the communities of <<insert community list here>> with legal issues in the <<insert areas of expertise here>>. Call <<insert phone number here>> for a free consultation.