To listen. To hear.

Happy Friday everybody. I say happy Friday, it’s a very sad, somber, almost a scary Friday as we watch the events unfolding in Minnesota. Our hearts go out to anybody that was affected by the events up there. Certainly the family of Mr. Floyd. We want calm to come back to the city. We want peace to come back to the city and at the same time we understand what led to this point. It’s sad and it’s scary.

I want to spend a moment today talking not about the situation specifically, but in abstract, an issue that I see in today’s society far too often. That is, there are far too few people in this world or in this country willing to listen. Even less that are willing to hear. I mean that exactly how I say it. To listen and to hear are two totally different things that they’re used synonymously sometimes, but anyone can listen.

We as lawyers listen to our clients all the time. We listen to opposing counsel. We listen to judges. We listened to jurors. We listen all the time, but Alexa, Siri, Google they listen as well. Anybody. In fact, in 2020, anything can listen, but to hear, to hear what somebody is saying, to hear the message that they’re getting across, I think happens very infrequently in today’s world. It’s something that I think we as a society need to work on.

It’s certainly something that we at Whalen Law Office try our best every single day to remind ourselves not only to listen to our clients, not only to listen to the words that they’re saying, but to hear them. To hear the message that they’re getting across. To hear the story that they’re telling because at the end of the day, when a client comes to me and he tells me the story of getting arrested. He tells me the story of the worst day in that person’s life. I listen, but I can’t relate to it on a personal level because I’ve never been arrested.

I’ve never been to jail. I’ve never been accused of some of the crimes that my clients are being accused of. I can’t relate to that on a personal level. It’s my job, as the lawyer, as the advocate, I can only be effective if I truly hear them and I truly hear what they’re saying and try to convey that message and use that message to better advocate on their behalf.

Again, not a lengthy video today because I don’t necessarily think there is a whole lot to say because I don’t want to sit here and talk. I think there’s too much talking going on. I think that’s the problem. I think that today is a day just like everyday moving forward that we, as lawyers, as people, as humans need to worry about listening and really hearing.

I encourage you as you go on your weekend, as you go into next week and you read stories about what’s going on across the country. As you read accounts and listen to people give statements about what they’re feeling, how they’re reacting, what their emotions are right now. I encourage you not to talk and not to just listen, but to hear them. It’s something that I’ll be working on as well.

Hopefully this is the last video that you’ll see me broadcasting from my house because Whalen Law Office is opening back up next week. We’ll be back in office. If you have anything that you need to come by, swing by, see me, say hi, go to coffee, go grab some lunch. We can social distance. We can wear a mask. We can do all that stuff, but give me a shout because I look forward to be back in the office. I look forward to starting to take baby steps back towards normalcy. I hope everybody out there’s staying safe. I look forward to seeing you all and talking to you all again next week.

Author Bio

James P. Whalen

James P. Whalen is the managing attorney and founder of Whalen Law Office, a Texas criminal defense firm offering personalized legal representation for various federal criminal charges. With a commitment to providing comfort and guidance during challenging times, Mr. Whalen serves as both an attorney and counselor to his clients, helping them navigate their cases while striving to restore normalcy to their lives.

In an inherently unbalanced criminal justice system, Mr. Whalen takes on cases with unwavering dedication. With decades of legal experience, he offers representation across various criminal charges, including white-collar crimes, violent crimes, drug charges, and more. Mr. Whalen’s numerous accolades, including Super Lawyer recognition and board certification in Criminal Appellate Law and Criminal Law, reflect his unwavering commitment to ethical and high-quality legal representation.

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