Fear Of The Unknown: What Is The Outcome Going To Be?

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  • July 3, 2013

Fear Of The Unknown: What Is The Outcome Going To Be?

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Fear associated with criminal charges can be overwhelming.  We humans innately fear the unknown, especially when the unknown carries with it a possible loss of liberty, or jail time.  Desperate for enlightenment, people search for some hint of good news, the promise of a brighter day, from anyone who will offer hope.  Ultimately, everyone wants to know the answer to one “simple” question, “what is the outcome going to be?”

To illustrate the problem, and to explain why neither I nor anyone else can answer this question, I use the following analogy to explain why it is impossible to predict an outcome in any given case.  Pretend that, instead of a legal problem, you have a health problem like a serious illness or disease.  During the first visit with the doctor, you tell the doctor what happened, when you first began having symptoms, what your symptoms are, and other facts about your medical history.  The doctor asks you some questions like “have you had any fever,” or “have you experienced any dizziness or nausea?”  You answer truthfully.  Before the doctor orders any diagnostic procedures, before any lab work has been completed, before any results have been returned, before any prescriptions have been written, and before any therapy, drugs, surgery, or other treatment has been prescribed, pretend that you ask the doctor, “what is the outcome going to be?”

The doctor’s answer will probably be something like this:

I don’t know.  No one can predict what the outcome will be at this stage because treating a health problem is a process of diagnosis, treatment plan, and recovery.  If everything goes perfectly, and I make the correct diagnosis, refer you to the appropriate specialists, you comply with the treatment plan, and you recover without any complications, then you will be cured. But, if things do not go perfectly, if you have an allergic reaction to a medication, or if you do not follow the treatment plan, or if you develop unforeseen complications, you may not recover.  You may be left with a permanent scar or other impairment or disability.

Now, back to the legal problem, here is MY answer to the question “what is the outcome going to be?”

I don’t know.  Not only do I not know, but no one else knows either.  If anyone claims to be able to guarantee any outcome, do not trust that person.  If she/he will make such a bogus claim about an outcome, she/he will make bogus claims about other matters.  All that any lawyer can do is use his/her best professional skill, and that’s what I will do.

imagesDespite my inability to predict an outcome, what I can do, and what I will do, is predict a range of possible outcomes based on my experience in similar cases, together with my knowledge of similar cases handled by other lawyers.  My nature is to make every effort to exceed my clients’ expectations.  My goal is to “under-promise and over-deliver.”  I go to great lengths to avoid disappointing a client by over-promising and under-delivering. Based on the feedback I receive and the reviews posted on various sites, my clients seem to appreciate this approach.