You’ve heard the old anecdote that the truth is a flower in the eye
of the beholder. For every ‘truth’ there are many other truths
– facts of the matter that give us a full picture of what is happening
and why. Yet, truth is not an Easter egg hunt nor should it be manipulated
and mashed into something to fit a particular viewpoint.
Since we cannot send mental pictures to the people assembled in the court
who will hear our story, we must painstakingly create the story before
their very eyes. Years, perhaps decades, of facts dates, intentions, promises,
and incidents must be reassembled into one concise package. Therefore,
in a court of law, truth becomes a construct of facts behind a story,
the very bones of your case.
Yes. One can tell a story to hide truth, but in the end the story eventually
frays. That’s when persistence and boldness may betray the storyteller,
giving truth a chance to prevail.
I believe that’s a core point to the story of the
Judgment of King Solomon (1 Kings 3:16:28). Two women came to wise Solomon, each claiming to be
the mother of a child. One claimed that the other accidentally smothered
her own son while sleeping and had exchanged the dead child with the living
one to give the appearance that the living child was hers.
When the deliberations were complete, King Solomon drew his sword and declared
that the only fair solution was to split the living baby in half so that
each woman could receive a fair share of the child. The child’s
true mother quickly capitulated and begged Solomon to spare the child’s
life. Solomon saw the truth in her and the child was restored to his true mother.
Albeit brutal, this biblical story offers a glimpse into how the law and
truth work together. First, we must recognize that the baby is the truth
and all actions made by Solomon, symbolizes the court’s intention
to give the truth a chance to speak. Solomon’s desire was to restore
the child to his real mother, but the presentation of both mothers was
compelling. Truth was being silenced.
This baby – like truth – is vulnerable and unknowing and cannot
speak for itself. It must therefore rely completely on the words of competing
sides and the impending judgment from someone who knows neither side,
nor the truth that clings to the edges of justice like a frail flake of snow.
This the very nature of every case. The truth – in all of its glory
and power – is as vulnerable and unknowing as the baby in Solomon’s
court. Fortunately for the baby, Solomon’s gamble on human nature
revealed truth. In modern courts, it is your attorney’s duty speak
for your truth, show its legitimacy, and build your story.
This is the nature of every case we undertake.