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We're from out of town. A family member needed legal help in Newport News. Not knowing how to pick a lawyer in this situation, I turned to my brother-in-law (a federal marshall). He made some phone calls and came back with the name of a lawyer that was recommended by some of the local police officers, Cathy Krinick.
We started researching her on our own, but there really wasn't much to find. I realize now that the reason for this is probably because she has so much word-of-mouth referral that she just doesn't bother to advertize. We found out that she's been a fixture in the Newport News/Hamptom legal community I think for over 30 years, and two other pieces of information surfaced:
1. She use to be a prosecuting attorney
2. She has a nick name ... 'The Shark'
The fact that she use to be a prosecuting attorney was a big part of our decision to retain her as a defense attorney for our young family member. We felt that it was perhaps a great strength to pick a lawyer that had a vast amount of experience from both sides of the law. Boy if that ain't the understatement of the freakin year!
We couldn't get a free consultation with her though, she just doesn't do that. This bothered me. How do you know if you want to hire someone when you're not even allowed to meet them? I couldn't even find a picture of her online. All the other lawyers did free consults and had pictures. What gives?! To be honest, I called her office three times. I couldn't even get either of her two secretaries to get her to come to the phone.
We retained her anyway, with some trepidation. Ok, so now we finally got to meet the great 'Cathy Krinic' person. I felt that the meeting was shorter than I wanted it to be. You know, I thought she was gonna get into all of our feelings and be super compassionate and stuff. The meeting consisted of her tossing aside all the crap that had nothing to do with the simple facts of the case, period, paragraph! And then she 'advised' us what she thought we should do in preparation for court the following week. "See you then".
As the guy paying for all this, I looked back at her building from the parking lot outside thinking; "But I wanted to talk about my feelings?". We spent a nervous week, worried about court, not sure if her advise was right. But we followed it anyway. Before court we gave her some documentation showing that we had followed all her recommendations.
I guess I just don't know very much stuff. We live a simple countrified life. Big cities have big buildings, and big rules, and big hammers to enforce those big rules. Court was, you know, ... we just don't belong there. But I think Cathy somehow understood that about us. It's freaky to be sitting in court in a panic. You're worried, your hands sweat, your mind races. The anger that you were feeling toward things yesterday gets jumbled up with the nerves of today. But you know, when the smoke cleared, I actually felt sorry for the other side. I think I maybe picked the wrong lawyer after all.
Sometimes you can use a pea-shooter to get a job done. Or you can do like I did and use a cannon instead. It's up to you.
Thanks again for everything Ms. Krinick.