If you live in the United States it’s likely you’ll end up in a courtroom at one time or another in your life.
If you own a business or practice professions the statistics are that you’ll have a 1 in 3 chance of being a defendant in a lawsuit in the not too distant future. The odds of being involved in some sort of litigation due to a divorce are also rather high.
The typical courtroom has often been portrayed on film a place of high drama and emotionality but in actuality they more resemble a solemn quiet space. Those that work there are highly trained in courtroom etiquette. These unspoken rules include arriving early, being prepared, being well-groomed, refraining from arguing with another person, addressing attorneys as ma’am or sir, addressing the judge as “your honor”, only speaking when you have been instructed to, and never interrupting. If you are upset, disturbed, or feel wronged by what is occurring you may easily break these rules and find yourself seen as disruptive.
Emotionality is discouraged in the courts in other ways. Juries are instructed to ignore their emotions in their deliberations. Judges reject evidence that can be seen as emotional by the jury. Attorneys are instructed to avoid making emotional appeals on behalf of their clients.
Beyond the rituals of engagement it behooves you as a defendant or a plaintiff to articulate your case clearly which is difficult if not impossible if you are full of anger, sadness, fear, shame, embarrassment, or guilt. My friend and attorney Maria Jose Marty- McAuliff put it this way,”Speaking from a centered place makes it easier to be heard and in so doing, you put forward your interests most effectively”.
Here are the stories of two clients dealing with the stress of the legal system. Terry came to see me because of the anger he was feeling over a business partnership gone bad. His business partner had unfairly claimed to own many of my client’s intellectual property. Things had gotten so out of hand that they had ended up in a lawsuit that had dragged on for 3 years. We tapped on the feelings on betrayal that Terry felt which led to the core issue of “I can’t trust people”. I used Matrix Reimprinting to go back to a critical scene from Terry’s childhood where he had learned that people couldn’t be trusted. Over the course of 3 sessions Terry went from feeling that his attorney was handling the case wrong, and that his ex-partner would crush him financially to hope and optimism that things would turn out fine. A few weeks later the matter was settled and Terry felt happy over the outcome.
Betsy was in the middle of a brutal divorce. She felt cheated, abused, and deeply wounded but her soon to be ex. The most difficult part of the process for Betsy was remaining clear- headed and not overly emotional whenever she sat in the same room with the man whom she felt had destroyed her life. These overwhelming feelings often rendered Betsy unable to speak at all during the courtroom proceedings and the judge often looked exasperated with her obvious pain. Betsy would go home with instructions from her attorney to find financial documents, notes, and legal papers but she’d collapse in despair and incapable of looking through files that contained memorabilia from the over 20 years of her marriage. Twice her attorney had to extend court dates due to her inability to gather the items he needed to plead her case.
Betsy’s sessions focused on both the pain and the fear of beginning her life over again. I am happy to report that after the first session Betsy was able to locate relevent materials but also her crying in front of her ex ended. She went on to make a good case for herself and was able to settle for a divorce agreement that has left her comfortable while she rebuilds a new life for herself and her child.
Don’t let your day in court roll around before you’ve used EFT.