"Bad attitudes will ruin your team."
Terry Bradshaw, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers (1970-1983)
The human element of the criminal justice process requires counsel to remain alert to the negative impact of a bad attitude.
It begins with your client and his interactions with the police. If a client exercises his right to counsel at the time of arrest, one clear instruction that counsel invariably gives is for the client to remain calm, polite and respectful when interacting with the police, even in the face of provocation.
A client’s attitude when he deals with the police may have an impact upon many discretionary decisions that the officer is called upon to make at the point of first contact.
A client should also appreciate that a Judge or a jury may ultimately review the videotape of his behaviour at the police station should the matter proceed to trial.
The importance of remaining calm, polite and respectful is not restricted to clients. The inherent pressure and stress of working within the justice system exacts a toll on all of its participants, including counsel. Counsel must remain cognizant of the negative impact of a bad attitude themselves when interacting with other counsel or with the Court.
For counsel, a bad attitude is an obstacle to persuasion.