If Nobody LIkes It, It Is Good

I remember a story told by a controversial judge.  He said that when he rendered a decision that neither plaintiff nor defendant liked, he knew he had done the right thing and had provided a just verdict.

Life sometimes seems like a taffy pull with everybody wanting things to go their way, so that they get most of the taffy.  In my law practice, especially in divorce trials, both parties lied or embellished their stories in order to get a better judgment.  When a witness was sworn in, the bailiff asked them to tell “…the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help you God.”  In all my years of working with clients, I never ran into an honest person who told the whole truth and nothing but the truth.  In fact, most of my clients didn’t believe in God.  Perhaps that was a big part of the problem.

When that controversial judge, mentioned above, discounted both accounts provided by the parties and rendered a judgment that neither party liked, he rendered the best possible judgment in a world full of dishonest litigants.

I suppose that since lying has few bad consequences, many people do it.  Nonbelievers have no fear of consequences during life or afterlife.  Police and detectives must be the most negative people in the world since they are lied to around the clock.  These officers, based on their experiences, would have a tendency to believe nobody.  Even when suspects or people of interest provided information about a crime, they would probably not trust it.  This is not a good comment about our society.

One of the rules of evidence that permits hearsay is a dying declaration, which gives more credibility to a comment made just before death.  However, I am not certain that this should be an exception to hearsay anymore.  I think even when they are dying they are lying most of the time.  The old rule was appropriate when the majority of people was religious and would be less likely to lie right before meeting their maker.  However, this is not the case today.  Most people will lie anytime during their life.

I go back to what that judge said, and I use that in any decision process involving analyzing statements of witnesses.  If nobody likes my decision, then it is a good one, probably very fair and impartial.

This also can be applied to speeches, articles, books, or any other form of communication.  If my comments are not well received by anybody, then I know that I am headed down the right path.  In fact when people congratulate me for my reasoned opinion, I go back and look at that decision again.  I reevaluate it because it was probably wrong.