Inaction does not make an emergency

Hi folks. Jef Goldtrap here. Today’s blog is not a legal idea but is just a life lesson, tip for the day. This life lesson has lots of impact in the courtroom and you will see it every day in the court rooms in Nashville, Springfield, Gallatin, Lebanon, Franklin, Ashland City, Murfreesboro or Dickson.

Your inaction does not equal an emergency for the Judge. Jef, what in the world do you mean? Just because you did not take care of business for the last several days, or weeks, or months or even years, does not make your situation an EMERGENCY to the judge. All the time that you failed to take care of your business the Judge still had dockets, the courthouse was still open and many other citizens took care of their responsibilities. The lesson; your inaction does not make an emergency for the Judge.

Let me make up a story and we will use it as an example. Suppose Jef was ordered to pay child support. Jef has a job and can pay child support. Something happens to the job and Jef no longer can pay his child support. Maybe instead of a job problem Jef just has a big falling out with the mother of his children. He decides “I aint paying her nothing” and he stops paying his child support. All of the sudden he has extra money at the end of the month. Maybe he is still getting the kids every other weekend and he feels pretty good about this whole thing. Life is good for Jef. Fast forward six months, a year, a couple years. Life is still good. One day Jef gets pulled over for rolling through a stop sign. No big deal. When he hands his license to the police man the officer says “this license was suspended a year ago.” What? How can this be? Jef needs his license. Without his license he could lose his job. No job no apartment. No job no truck payment. He could lose his bass boat. We have to fix this NOW! The officer says everything will be OK when you go to court in a couple months. No way! You have to get this fixed ASAP. Where can I find a judge “today” to fix this? I will just walk to the courthouse and walk in a courtroom. That’s it. This will fix everything. Right? No! This situation is now an emergency and must be fixed now because it is an emergency.

Lets take a minute. How did this “emergency” happen? When you stopped paying your child support you began the process of losing your license. Maybe your license was not lost right then and there but you began the process. You slowly, steadily inched into the crisis that you are now stuck in. The crisis was not created quickly and it will not be fixed quickly. But lawyer, what will happen to my license? You can fix the legal problem, one step at a time. You created the legal problem one step at a time. You will correct it one step at a time.

But Judge I have to get this fixed now, right now, today! The Judge may say, “Jef where were you six months ago, a year ago, three years ago? You were enjoying life, working, playing, never thinking about the Judge or your responsibilities. Now there is a crisis. Now YOU have a crisis, not the Judge. Your inaction does not create a crisis for the court.

The lesson? The crisis was created by a slow methodical process. The solution will happen with a slow methodical process. The ultimate lesson is Your Inaction does not create an Emergency of the Court.

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