I first met my client a few days ago. He is kind of homeless-looking and had a long rap sheet full of long prison bids. He had just been arrested and he was very angry. He didn't want to talk, he wanted to shout at me. Among the things he shouted at me was, "I DON'T TRUST COPS, I DON'T TRUST JUDGES, AND I DON'T TRUST LAWYERS!" It seemed we had a lot in common, if only he'd stop shouting. He banged on the walls, he banged on the desk, and I waited patiently through quite a bit of shouting when finally he cut the interview short, walking out of the booth and insisting the guards come and take him out. That was ok with me, I needed to meet with other clients and this meeting was not productive. I figured I'd see him in a few days (there was no chance of him getting out) and maybe at that time he'd be a little calmer and able to communicate.
I saw my client again today. The first thing he said to me, to his credit, was "Were you the same lawyer I met a few days ago? I really owe you an apology. I was so angry, I just really needed to calm down. I'm really sorry I was so disrespectful. Can you accept my apology?" I told him I accepted his apology, and I was happy to start off with a clean slate and talk about his case. As I was talking about his case, though, he had other things on his mind. "You've got a nice smile. I can't believe I yelled at a nice lady with a beautiful smile like that. Are you married? I could take you to dinner sometime. When I get out." I was able to redirect him and we talked a little about his case and the plea offer the prosecutor was extending.
"I'll take that plea," he told me, "but see if you can get it down a little lower. A little lower would be better." I told him that I'd talk to the prosecutor and see if we could get the offer a little lower. Satisfied, my client went back to asking me if he could take me to dinner.
After a few minutes, I told the client that I would step out to talk to the prosecutor to try to get the sentence he was looking for, and I'd come back to let him know how it went.
The prosecutor was willing to go along with our counteroffer, after just a little persuasion. I went back into the jail pens to give my client the good news. He was happy, and even more eager to take me to dinner.
"Listen," he said, "I was serious about taking you to dinner when I get out. I really am. I know that will be a long time from now, but you never know where life will lead you. You know, we don't always find love where we're looking for it. Sometimes it's right in front of our eyes and we don't even see it."
I tried again to redirect his attention to the case, "Alright, we're going to go see the judge soon, and you can take the deal today if you want to get this over with. Or we can get an adjournment, if you want more time to think about it."
"No, no, I want to get this finished today." Then, finally, my client made his last ditch attempt. "I didn't get a chance to tell you what I do for a living. I know, it's my fault, because I was yelling at you. But I want to tell you. I make pornos. That's what I was actually doing in the city when I got arrested. I make pornos. I was here to make pornos. You might not recognize me, but some people recognize me. Can I take you out to dinner when I get out?"
Oh, well now that you put it that way... why didn't you mention that sooner?