Poor mouthing is the act of telling the judge or jury how poor you are or are going to be if you do not win an appeal for benefits.
As difficult as your situation might be, poor mouthing is never the first argument made. Here is why.
Where did Poor Mouthing Come From?
In my practice, hundreds of my Clients have tried to convince me that this was their primary strategy. Recently, this strategy was identified as an issue in the Jesse Ventura defamation case.
Very likely, poor mouthing , goes all the way back to the first moment a tax collector tried to impose their will on the a deprived circumstance.
Regardless, this strategy has been used before.
Poor Mouthing on an Appeal
Nothing crushes me more than hearing people describe their firsthand experiences about stress and anxiety over the need of obtaining their benefits. Personally, I find relief helping a person understand what will help them win their appeal versus the strategy they are trying to convince me of.
I know it is painful. I know garnishments hurt and the situation can feels impossible, which is why I am trying to bring this issue to everybody’s attention.
Focusing on an economic hardship risks taking the claim or appeal down a path that might require focusing on the legal issues that might help win the case. Unless a person knows the issue(s) and the applicable rules, they are destined for failure.
Poor Mouthing – Is it ever a good idea?
Now, here is the crazy thing. Yes, I believe poor mouthing during an appeal offers value and puts into context the impact a decision will have on another person. But, it has to be done at the perfect time.
In my experience, it has to done in a way that is helpful. For example, while objecting to or pleading for an evidentiary issue. In other words, it goes something like this:
Your Honor, if you do not let this evidence in, it has the potential of causing an economic hardship”.
Other times, the idea of injecting an economic burden into a letter directed at the opposing party or used during a closing argument can grab the adversary’s attention.
I desperately need you to see the facts I am identifying because they will impact whether or not my family can stay in our home”.
Of course, this cannot be done willy-nilly or without a grain of truth.
As a result, I encourage everybody to pick their spots wisely and focus most if not all of their attention on the root of their appeal.