I read a local media article this week in which a person was quoted as using the term
to describe the act of securing legal representation. It was obvious from the article that “lawyered up” wasn’t used in a complimentary way.
The implication was that retaining counsel was somehow shady; that seeking the protection guaranteed by our Constitution’s Sixth Amendment, the absolute, sacrosanct right to counsel, was playing dirty.
The quote implied that securing a dedicated, experienced advocate was wrong in the way that makes people curl their lip as if something smelled bad.
My lip is curled as I’m writing this. I’m disgusted and offended. But the offending experience is something much, much more profound than a mere unpleasant odor.
It’s the idea that in 2017, after everything that we have learned for as long as human beings have struggled against power and the hideously destructive idea that might makes right, after our still fresh historical experience of rebellion against an unjust government and soldiers living in our homes, that people should simply offer their throats to law enforcement.
Because, after all, everyone knows that police officers don’t make mistakes, right..?
The irony is that it’s the same people who criticize their neighbors for securing counsel, who, when they or their loved ones are being investigated or are arrested, weep with gratitude when their lives, their jobs, their families and futures are protected by an attorney.
The irrefutable reality is that our system of justice, the most extraordinarily fair and reliable in human history, would not stand without the relentless work of attorneys. Our role is no less important that the roles of judges, juries, and law enforcement.
When taken to its ultimate, bizarre conclusion, the insidious, perverse thinking that would belittle, or intimidate someone who avails themselves or their family of their Constitutional right to counsel, leads to trial by inquisition. Anyone remember the Inquisition?
Let’s stop this foolish, destructive talk of people “lawyering up”. We don’t live in some sweetly scented 1950’s musical world where every officer sings and whistles perfectly and escorts our sons and daughters home after 10:00 p.m.
It’s your right to have an attorney
The Maddox Law Firm is proud to absolutely excel in protecting that right and filling the role of zealous, conscientious, relentless advocate at every turn.
And we’re proud that when we protect, advocate and defend, we participate in a magnificent legal system to ensure that justice is done and the Constitution is preserved.