My duty is to bust my butt, kick butt, and never kiss butt
A client recently remarked how he was impressed to see me good-naturedly bantering in the hallway with the same police against whom I did not let go of during cross examination at trial an hour later to the point of making one of them squirm, while injecting my in-the-moment good natured humor to make some important points. All of those phases of the day involved my being my completely real and honest self.
Yes, I wanted to be stronger at engaging these police witnesses in the hallway to better know them for our pending courtroom battle, while I was at the same time generally interested in talking to them both to get further insight into and intelligence about my client’s case, and to talking with them as individuals who were born as regular humans before putting on blue uniforms. Yes, when one enters the courtroom battlefield, weapons battlefield, or playing field, the focus must stay on winning, preferring not to unnecessarily harm relationships, but not hesitating for a moment to do so if needed. Yes, I know that well-placed light humor focused on engaging the listener can help persuasion under the right circumstances, to help open the heart, mind and ears of the people I want to persuade, and I am merely sharing part of who I am when injecting humor.
So long as a criminal defense lawyer remains focused on his or her total obligation to his or her client, the lawyer will focus at all times on busting his or her butt for the client, kicking butt, and never kissing butt.