I was involved in a very antagonistic court case several years ago. Toward the end of the trial, my attorney stood up and began to give his closing arguments. No more than a minute or two into his presentation, the judge interrupted him in mid-sentence and said in an emphatic tone, “Rule two!” My attorney immediately became quiet and sat down.
I, of course, was quite upset. Why didn’t the judge let my attorney present our closing arguments, I wanted to know. As I bent over angrily to my attorney, he grabbed my arm and “shushed” me forcefully. I bit my lip and contained myself from jumping up and arguing with the judge.
Shortly, thereafter, the judge ruled in our favor.
As we left the courtroom, I asked my lawyer, “What did the judge mean by ‘rule two’?”
He answered, “Rule two is: When you have won, take your seat.”
“So what is rule one?” I asked.
“Rule one is: Get your fee in advance,” he answered.
Too often, people continue to fight even after they have won. This is totally counterproductive. Fighting takes enormous quantities of emotional energy. Why waste so much energy for no reason? Continuing to fight after you have won prevents the situation from returning to normal and prevents the healing process from starting.
There is no need to beat the other guy down once you have won. On the contrary, once you have won, the time to make amends has arrived.