However, while some of those behaviors, such as dedication to the cause, thorough study of the evidence, and convincing speech, are wonderful attributes for an attorney to showcase, an overly confrontational attitude is not.
As an example, consider a case that appeared before a judge in Cook County, Illinois in 2010. This was a criminal case and the attorney for the accused, Public Defender Henry Hams ,was very invested. Fortunately, it was during a closed consultation with the judge that Ham’s passion took hold of him. The prosecutor and he didn’t agree on the scheduling of the court date and when Ham didn’t get what was best for him and his client, he was enraged.
He pushed the prosecutor against a wall and held him by the throat until he was removed by two sheriff’s officers. Ham wound up attending a court date not long after, but he was not acting as a defender. Instead he was the one being defended as the assaulted prosecutor testified to the events of that day.
He risked a 20-year career in law in a moment of rage. While this is certainly an extreme, there have been many instances of attorneys losing their cool in judges’ chambers and even in the courtroom.
Those heated outbursts can do irreparable damage to your case whether it is personal injury or criminal; it is crucial to choose your attorney wisely. Look for telltale signs of bad temper, arrogance, or unprofessionalism as red flags and stay away if you have any reason to suspect that he or she might react badly if provoked. Do not mistake passion for your cause with excessive emotion.