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WHAT ADVICE SHOULD WE GIVE A MEMBER WHO HAS LEGAL PROBLEMS?
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WHAT ADVICE SHOULD WE GIVE A MEMBER WHO HAS LEGAL PROBLEMS?

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  • A. Emphasize biblical teaching about obeying the laws of the land (Rom. 13:1-4)-Breaking secular laws that do not conflict with divine Law shows a lack of respect for God, but Christians don’t always think in these terms.Highlight the corrosive affect of bad company -“Thou shalt not follow a multitude to [do] evil” (Ex. 23:2a)-“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (1 Cor. 15:33 NASB)C. Address the dark dispositions of heart that lead to legal trouble (e.g., greed, anger, selfishness, impatience)D. Present clear, consistent message about what it means to “win” and “succeed”
  • People hurt themselves by discussing their legal troubles far more often than they help themselves. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you. Do not try to talk your way out of it.
  • Legal disputes are contested in settings and under rules that are very unfamiliar to most people. There are firm rules and hard deadlines. By the time you learn that you’ve missed something, it will likely be too late. Do seek legal advice.
  • Without a good recommendation, there’s no guarantee that a retained lawyer is better than one appointed by the court.
  • The Judge in heaven doesn’t like itNeither do the judges on earth
  • Readily admitting guilt early is usually better than grudgingly doing so later or falsely denying unto “the bitter end.”
  • Don’t just say you’re sorry. Show it! Show the judge that the best thing for you and society is to let you keep doing what you’re doing.
  • Don’t just say you’re sorry. Show it! Show the judge that the best thing for you and society is to let you keep doing what you’re doing.
  • -“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Tim. 6:10)-“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mk. 8:36)-Be careful about looking at civil suits like others look at lottery tickets.-Sometimes, it is better to take the financial loss (e.g., Robotham).
  • Balance between being compensated and plundering someone else.“Win” at all cost
  • -“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.” (Prov. 16:8)-“Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich.” (Prov. 28:6)-“A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.” (Ps. 37:16)
  • -“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Prov. 22:1)-“Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.” (Prov. 19:1)
  • “Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison” (Mt. 5:25)
  • Transcript

    • 1. WHAT ADVICE SHOULD
      WE GIVE A MEMBER
      WHO HAS LEGAL
      PROBLEMS?
      Melvin L. Otey
      August 15, 2011
    • 2. Christians don’t
      have legal problems,
      do they?
      domestic abuse? drugs? theft? murder?bankruptcy? DUI? tax problems?
    • 3. Christians shouldn’t
      have legal problems,
      should they?
      auto accidents? L&T? business disputes?
      divorce and custody?
      sexual harassment?
    • 4. Christians with legal
      problems need sage
      counsel, but first a
      little counsel for
      potential advisors:
    • 5. “Remember two principles from
      1 John 2:1”
    • 6. PRINCIPLE #1
      Teach Christians to avoid breaking the law: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”
    • 7. Legal problems arise
      from lack of respect
      for the law, unsavory influences, character
      flaws, and misguided notions of success
    • 8. Each of these hazards are addressed by Christian doctrine and influence
    • 9. PRINCIPLE #2
      Teach Christians they can recover if they do break the law: “It’s not whether you get knocked down. It’s whether you get back up”
    • 10. I.
      GENERAL ADVICE
      WHEN LEGAL
      TROUBLE ARISES
    • 11. “A loose tongue
      can get you into
      a tight place”
    • 12. “The person who represents himself has
      a fool for a client”
    • 13. “Never write or sign anything you don’t
      fully understand (even
      for your lawyer)”
    • 14. II.
      LEGAL ADVICE
      WHEN CRIMINAL
      TROUBLE ARISES
    • 15. “Get a (good)
      lawyer, and be honest
      with him/her”
    • 16. “Make sure your
      lawyer explains EVERYTHING to you.
      It’s your life!”
    • 17. “You can remain
      silent, but
      you cannot lie”
    • 18. “Pretrial diversion programs can protect your criminal record”
    • 19. “Acceptance of responsibility is often rewarded”
      (cf. 1 Jn. 1:9)
    • 20. “Palpable repentance (remorse + restitution + rehabilitation) often merits a lesser penalty”
    • 21. “While honesty and contrition are generally rewarded, dishonesty and pride are typically punished” (cf. Rom. 13:3)
    • 22. III.
      LEGAL ADVICE
      WHEN CIVIL
      TROUBLE ARISES
    • 23. “Civil suits are generally about money, but money isn’t everything; consider spiritual implications”
      (1 Tim. 6:10; MK. 8:36)
    • 24. “Be very careful
      and holistic as you think about what
      it will mean to
      ‘win’ the case”
    • 25. “Right living before God is more important than earthly riches”
      (Prov. 16:8, 28:6)
    • 26. “A good reputation for integrity is far more important as well”
      (Prov. 22:1, 19:1)
    • 27. “Count carefully; the financial, temporal, and emotional costs in civil litigation can be very high”
    • 28. “Pursue ADR options (e.g., negotiation, mediation, arbitration)”
      (Mt. 5:25)
    • 29. WHAT ADVICE SHOULD
      WE GIVE A MEMBER
      WHO HAS LEGAL
      PROBLEMS?
      Melvin L. Otey
      August 15, 2011