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Criminal Defense and Fighting for Social Justice Unfold from Similar Basics

Virginia criminal attorney on the basics of fighting any courthouse battle, no matter how monumental

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Donald Trump is facing so much dissent on the streets and in airports, in the courts, and beyond that one wonders whether he will get any rest from dissidents until he reverses course from his xenophobic approach to non-United States citizens and his ill-fated insular, groupthink approach to critical and sensitive decision making.

Many other writers are filling editorial pages and blogs with viewpoints about Donald Trump, and I am not going to turn my blog into daily diatribes about Trump, rather than occasional relevant postings about him.

I do say that the movement against Trump brings to mind some of the very basics of strong criminal defense, including:

  • Effective fighting unfolds from the taijiquan basics of maintaining one’s health, calmness, balance and strength.
  • Tenacity is critical. One side likes nothing better than to wear down the other side, rather than being worn down itself.
  • Do not get distracted by even the most despicable and outrageous-seeming actions of the opponent. Keep your eyes on the prize of victory.
  • The opposition is not our enemy. This is not about opponent against opponent, but about doing whatever is necessary within the bounds of law to harmonize an imbalanced situation.
  • Points of commonality can be found with the opposition. Explore and benefit from those points of commonality without being distracted from the overall path to victory.
  • Summon and maintain your powerful humanity, powerful peacefulness and powerful compassion for yourselves, your allies, and your opponents. That provides clarity for the battle and helps disinfect the negative energy that will be encountered along the battle path.
  • Victory does not come merely from wishing for and visualizing victory, but from smart and hard work and excellent preparation coupled with internalizing a personality of victory, not through overconfidence but through a dogged insistence on winning.
  • The other side will not always play fair. Rather than getting upset by any dirty tricks by the opponent, instead be ready to unsheathe more weapons as necessary in the battle. I take to heart what Master Kan told Grasshopper in Kung Fu, even though the program was a fictional show: “Perceive the way of nature and no force of man can harm you. Do not meet a wave head on: avoid it. You do not have to stop force: it is easier to redirect it. Learn more ways to preserve rather than destroy. Avoid rather than check. Check rather than hurt. Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. For all life is precious nor can any be replaced.”

Similarly, Reuters recently advised its reporters to approach Trump and his hurdles to reporters the way it treats hurdles in other nations, by proceeding doggedly, independently, courageously, and independently every step of the way.

Winning is an essential goal in criminal defense and fighting for social justice. As much as compassion is critical during the battle, this is no lovefest with the opposition. This is full combat.