Being a “Badass”

August 19, 2015

It’s not one of those things you discuss often in polite society. As a matter of fact, most attorneys stay away from ‘vulgarities’ for reasons of professionalism and appearances.

But when you operate in the world of Criminal Defense, sometimes people say stuff about you that you just don’t think would be great at a snotty dinner party at the country club. Then again, if you operate in the world of Criminal Defense, you probably couldn’t care less about the country club.

Today, I got a message from one of my clients’ mothers. It states: “I know you said nothing would happen yesterday, but so much did happen. You are always in command of a room, Adrian, but the courtroom is your Carnagie Hall…..Just the little things you did in court yesterday, gave me so much confidence that if there is a way for M to beat this one, you will do it. You were on top of it to say the least. The other day when you called I had you on speaker phone in the car. S was there, as well as M’s [brother] and two of M’s closest friends. G [one of the friends] has been very upset by M’s incarceration. He just doesn’t know how to deal with it. After we hung up from our conversation, G’s comment was,”M’s lawyer is badass.”
“We are all happy to have you as our lawyer and pleased as punch that you are badass.”


The idea of being in control of a room and being a badass has a lot to do with experience and bearing. Not too many folks get the opportunity to “perform” the role of trial lawyer on a day to day basis, so the confidence that comes from walking into a room and doing a job is not easily translated to most folks. Particularly in a very formalized and ritualized setting like a Courtroom.

I take the compliment as it is meant, an appreciation for making the family and the client feel at ease in a tense moment. It is, of course, welcome to have nice things said about you. It is also nice when someone calls you a Badass.

So to my client’s mom, I say thank you. I’ve worked in these arenas for many years to get to the place I am in my career. I’ve had plenty of sand kicked in my face. To be called a Badass is nice. Thanks.