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Kelly & West News

Resolve to Be Honest as a Campbell Lawyer – Why Honesty is Crucial in Law

“…resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave.” ~Abraham Lincoln

The practice of law has changed a lot since Abraham Lincoln’s day. We all live the “rat race” and are rushing to meet deadlines, to satisfy clients, and to hurry home to our family, just to get up and do it all again the next day. Quite frankly, it’s easier now than ever before to succumb to the pressure of the practice.

Maybe that’s why the public has the false impression that to be a lawyer means you have to be a liar, or that you must twist words or misstate facts or mislead the judge or jury to win the case. This is simply not true.

Lincoln’s words coined a phrase at Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law: “Honest as a Campbell Lawyer.” Here at Kelly & West, we’ve adhered to that phrase for over 30 years.

Honesty Pays Off
Mr. Kelly’s honest approach pays off in traffic and DWI court. Often he works with the District Attorney and the judge to resolve a claim favorably for a client and often it is the facts that win the case for him. He does not lie, but uses the truth as a persuasive tool to help his client.

In the practice of personal injury law, it’s all about proving the truth of the facts of the case. In fact, Mr. West sometimes evaluates cases differently based on the credibility of the client, especially if the client’s testimony is the only evidence we have to present at court on a particular fact or element of a claim. His honesty has even allowed him to negotiate a higher recovery in some cases because the adjuster, defense attorney or judge know him to be honest and credible.

In workers’ compensation cases, a client’s case is accepted or denied based on the client’s statement and whether the adjuster believes it. Honesty often means Mrs. Murphy’s clients get paid a weekly check at the outset of the case rather than several months later after the case is presented in court. She, too, has earned the respect of the adjusters, defense attorneys, and judges and has been able to negotiate settlements because she has been straightforward and candid about the facts and circumstances.

While an attorney who does lies might win on occasion, often it’s a short-lived and hollow victory, for a victory based on a lie is a moral failure and usually comes back to haunt the attorney in the end — everyone knows he or she cannot be trusted.

Being honest is therefore crucial to any case and the credibility and moral character of the attorney should weigh into a client’s decision about which attorney to hire.

Call us today to talk to an honest and caring attorney about your case. We look forward to helping you.

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    What Our Clients

    Have Said...

    Alexander C. – Harnett County Property Owner

    “Reggie Kelly is a fantastic attorney with fantastic paralegals. My wife and I have been using him and his firm since 1983 when we first purchased property in Harnett County 37 years ago. He offers excellent legal advice and guidance. He never gets in a hurry to get us out the door because of his next appointment. He always takes the time needed to check out all of the issues that might come up. Reggie Kelly is a proud American and he loves our country and he wants everyone to do well. Reggie Kelly is an even finer person than he is a fantastic attorney and we are very fortunate to also be able to call him and his wife Cheryl our friends. We give him a 10 STAR Review!”