Years ago, when I lived out east I was doing a bike race near Boston. It was a weekly club race, went around a roughly mile long circle in an industrial park on a Sunday morning. I was to the right near the front of the pack of about 200 riders. To my left, I heard this exchange, Rider One ‘hey, watch it A—Hole. Rider two, ‘F you’. The two were jockeying for position, fighting over which would be in front of the other in the pack. Right after Rider Two’s comment, I heard a clink of metal (this was back when race bicycles were made out of steel, not carbon) as their bikes banged into each other and they went down. As they had over 150 riders behind them, a huge chain reaction pile up happened, as I looked over my left shoulder the middle of the pack to my left seemed to disappear, a wave of riders and bikes piling up on top of Riders One and Two. I was fortunately just far enough to the side to miss the crash. By the time me and the remaining riders came around the circle again the crash had been cleared, there were a lot of broken bikes and bleeding riders, some blood on the pavement, but luckily no ambulances had to come out.
What, you might ask, does this have to do with the law? The legal system is about conflict, when to fight, when not to fight. Sometimes, even if you are in the right, the consequences of the fight are just not worth it. Rider One may have been right to stand his ground, or, maybe Rider Two was in the right and Rider One was cutting him off, but, the end result was that both of them were at the front of a huge crash that wrecked their bikes, banged both up, and could have sent them and many others to the hospital. There is a time to fight, and a time to compromise. The consequences of a fight in the legal system may not be as immediate, and painful as crashing in a race, but they can be every bit as damaging, months of emotional strain, thousands of dollars spent, in a family case, relations with children and relatives strained, sometimes beyond repair.
When it is time to fight, your lawyer will fight with you, and do their best for you. It is also their job to advise you when the fight is a good idea, and when it is not. If I think a fight will do more harm to my client than good I will urge them to avoid it as that is one of the most important parts of my job.