At Parnell, Michels & McKay, PLLC, we are in the business of conflict and conflict resolution. In carrying out our responsibilities, we often see people experiencing great difficulties, stress, and pain in their personal lives. One would think that going through that in the holiday season would take all of the joy and happiness of the season. However, over the years as we have gone through the season with our clients, what we have learned is that the magic of the season finds its way into even the most difficult of circumstances. Clients with serious and painful injuries, a mom or dad with small children experiencing their first holiday season apart after a separation, clients in many other difficult circumstances, they still manage to find the joy and hope that is the foundation of the holidays. Surprising? Not really. Irrespective of all of the differences that are often played on by some trying to promote their own agendas, when all is said and done there is a basis goodness and a basic worth to every human being and that is underscored by the holidays and the spirit of the season.

It is a basic belief in the goodness and worthwhileness of each individual that we look at when we are dealing with a client in crisis. It is a similar approach we also use when dealing with adversaries. That may be difficult at times because of the adversarial nature of our system. However, what makes an adversarial system work is respect for an opponent and an assumption the opponent has gotten to his or her position in a good-faith fashion.  Reasonable persons can disagree and dissenting positions should be addressed with respect and not with opprobrium or belittling. Parnell, Michels, & McKay brings that approach to all of our adversarial dealings. We believe that approach is how the system was originally envisioned and when implemented what make it work

            So, at this time of year, we reaffirm this approach to the practice of law and at the same time we encourage all to treat others with respect, with compassion and understanding, be they friends, adversaries, or somewhere in between. Because deep down all are worthy and deserving of respect and no time like the holiday season to reaffirm that mutual respect.

In closing we would like to share the following quote from Nelson Mandela:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion… People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love… For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Happy Holidays from Parnell, Michels and McKay