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Lannom Williams Law Group - Providing criminal defense and civil trial practice for Wilson County, Tennessee

137 Public Square
Lebanon, TN 37087
615.444.2900
FAX (615) 444-6516
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4 A.M. Musings of a Lawyer - Just Do Your Job

 

I am an attorney.

This means I have the legal right to defend my client’s positions in a courtroom. Sometimes that means I undertake a position that the public disapproves of from time to time. In addition to the public, powerful people can and do disapprove of the citizens I represent. Powerful people who, if they choose to do so, had the ability to make my professional life difficult in many ways.

Many years ago, I faced this dilemma. I had to decide if I would accept a case in opposition to powerful people within the court system. It was a serious matter and the repercussions could have been critical enough to alter the course of my career. But I had a family to feed and, more importantly, everyone in our country is entitled to counsel in court. This is a right so fundamental that our Founders made it the 6th Amendment in the United States Constitution.

The decision I made on that day, now about 20 years ago, was that I would never turn down a client because it might displease a person in power if I took the case. I resolved to take those cases that no one else would. I determined to defend my clients with dignity and professionalism. I determined to be a gentleman in all aspects of the defense but to never alter my unwavering defense of my client.

Somedays it was a tough decision. In one instance a young man brought a case to me and told me no one would defend him because the alleged victim was literally in a position of power in the court system in which he would be prosecuted. I stopped and thought about the repercussions and remembered my previous decision. I took the case and defended my client while conducting myself with professionalism and acting as a gentleman. The case ended successfully for my client. The person in power remained in power after the case. However, instead of seeking retribution against me, they have since upon me twice to defend their interests, once in professional defense of their job and once in defense of their own family. I took this case as well, all the while defending them with zeal and conducting myself as a professional. That decision still helps my practice today. Those I have opposed have been my biggest source of referrals for their friends and family. You see, no one respects a coward or someone who will give in to the slightest pressure.

In a world where clothing lines are dropped from stores because someone complains about a political position, when businesses refuse to provide services to those of whom they disapprove, or when people refuse to perform their job in protest, I respectfully have a suggestion.

Do your job.

Do your job well and act professionally to your client or customer, whether you agree with them or not. Treat those who oppose you for doing your job with respect - yet continue to do your job. One day, you may be blessed as I have been and those who once opposed you will respect what you do and how you do it. They will come to you because you do your job and conduct yourself as a professional. They will come to you because you are kind and treated them with respect as much as you did those to whom they were opposed.

People aren't stupid. If you refuse to "go to bat" for someone when public or political pressure is applied, the public or those in political power won't trust you to have their back if they need you. Once you surrender your profession to perceived public opinion then YOU are the slave of public opinion and will have the respect of no one. This is a simple position, but one that has served me well for over 20 years. 

In Defense of the Citizen Accused,

Frank Lannom



 





LANNOM & WILLIAMS
137 Public Square Lebanon, TN 37087
Via Phone: (615) 444-2900 Via Facsimile: (615) 444-6516 Toll Free: (866) 820-4457

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