Recovering From a Loss, What I Know w/ Johnnie Finch 405
Categories: Podcast

Today we’re excited to share a presentation by Johnnie Finch from MaxLawCon 2021! Tune in to learn about how you can better deal with anxiety, a loss, and to stop putting things on your back.

Born and raised in Northeastern, North Carolina, Johnnie was a juvenile counselor before deciding to go to law school at 29. He has run a solo criminal defense practice for the last 8 years or so, where he handles major crimes to traffic tickets, but in the last year, Johnnie has shifted to a majority indigent defense model. He has learned that when you treat your clients with respect, the court and prosecutors sometimes treat them with respect.

1:26 my friend Rich

4:40 high anxiety high pressure profession

8:28 physical or emotional trauma

11:21 Andrew Brown

14:09 what actually can we control

Watch the podcast here.

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Transcript: Recovering From a Loss, What I Know with Johnnie Finch

Becca Eberhart
In today’s episode, we’re sharing a presentation from Max law con 2021. Keep listening to hear Johnny Finch as we share his talk recovering from loss. What I know, you can also head to the maximum lawyer YouTube channel to watch the full video. Have you grabbed your ticket to this year’s conference? If not, head to max law con 2020 to get yours today. Now to the episode,

Speaker 2
run your law firm the right way. This is the maximum lawyer podcast, podcast your hosts, Jim hacking and Tyson metrics. Let’s partner up and maximize your firm. Welcome to the show.

Johnnie Finch
Guys, this is my friend Rich. Last year I did this anybody here recovering from a loss last year that we did during COVID? If you did, I started with the story of a gentleman that I met at a bar one night he was a lawyer went to the same law school, we bonded at the end of the night, I gave him my number. He said, Hey, man, well, I’ll be here next Thursday. Consequently, I got a call the next morning. And when I did from a mutual friend, the gentleman had committed suicide. So that was my friend that I met last year when I was talking with you guys about pressure dealing with anxiety. So now we fast forward, we’ve come through somewhat the COVID situation, and we’re working through it. And then we’re dealing with we know our triggers now, this is my friend rich, rich is like a lot of you guys that I met last night, not your lawyer lawyer what you would think of the jerks. But a lot more human. He played instruments, which I also went to the same law school together, he had three kids on the weekend, he was always at the local pubs plan. And Rich committed suicide, May of this year. And as you can see, you know, he’s the lawyer that you always wanted to refer cases to the one where you know, do you know anybody whose family Yes, call my friend Rich call my friend Rich. Whenever we saw each other, he was always encouraging. But to see him in the courthouse, he would never know that the pressure that he was dealing with, like we all do, because what do we do, we put it on our backs. And we talked about that last year, there’s a certain amount of pressure that we deal with. And I call them building blocks that we put on our back, and we cheer him around and the issue and I was talking with my friend last night, if we practice law, we continue to do what we’re doing. And we do it well, if we decide to die of natural causes is not the goal, right? We don’t want to be at the brink of how much that we can actually bear or we can take. And we live that type of lifestyle. Obviously, it’s not healthy. Me myself before I was a lawyer, as the gentleman said, Thank you for having me that I was a juvenile counselor, never ever know anyone who committed suicide before it was not something that was common. You know, once I started practicing law, it seems like it’s been about six now. And so I looked at the statistics, and in our profession, you know, it comes common. And so, you know, while we have these conversations, I know, for myself, I have to kind of check in not that I have those thoughts, but there’s a certain amount of pressure that comes with each individual that you have to know. So in my particular personal life, I was the first first lawyer in my family. And so, you know, at this particular point in time, there’s no extra pressure that comes with you know, I could be the worst lawyer in the world. But, you know, John is a lawyer, so there’s not pressure that I feel now, to a lot of you guys, you may come from situations, maybe your dad was a lawyer, maybe your mom was a surgeon, maybe, you know, your dad was, you know, a senator, there’s a little bit more pressure that goes with what could take you or potentially take you to a spot that’s not good. Now that spot before, you know, someone decides to, you know, harm themselves is also a bad spot, because I call it autopilot. Autopilot is when you wake up, you have so many tasks to do this, you’re doing all of them, but not doing none of them well, right? You’re doing none of where you wake up in the morning, you speak wife, you go to court, you do ask for your continuances you make notes for yourself, you collect money, but you know, maybe for a period of three or four months, you’re really not clocking in and how I always know I’m there is because when I go back and look at my notes, they don’t read anything. So like I made a note, you know, 1030 or if I put a phone number down, I go back a week later, I should know my hair, right? Smile, right? But because you know, anxiety has built up because I’m dealing with so many things going so fast. That’s one of my triggers when I know that I’m dealing with a little bit more anxiety than I should. So what it takes us to is alright guys, we realize that we’re in a high anxiety, high pressure profession. So while we’re dealing with all the pressures, come over here and talk to you guys. How do we check in on each other? Because it’s so easy for me to say, Hey, man, how you doing? And what’s the answer? I’m fine. Everybody always says they’re fine. Who says that I’m not doing well? What In case engaging questions that we asked, because when I was going through a period of anxiety, and I needed to talk to someone, unfortunately, my wife could help. You know, that was something I had to talk to another lawyer about someone who could understand it, I’m sure she could, because he has a background in counseling as well. But when you’re always taking care of someone else’s knees, when you are always making sure that people are, and the court finds, being responsible with people, and you’re not actually taking care of yourself, the reason why I know you generally I have to get a new suit sighs right, that 42 is turned into a 44. And we don’t like to have that around here. In the morning time, when you wake up, you set your alarm, you have an interview of a set it for like 545, like I’m gonna get up tomorrow morning, get up at 545, I’m a workout and the alarm cost 545 Hit stews, is 630. And at some point, you just, you know, get your shower, and you just make it to court, maybe you make it on time. If you’re constantly not making your alarm. That means that you are not happy about your day, you’re not happy to get excited, you’re not excited for all the goals that you’re going to accomplish. You’re trying to delay it, you know, maybe you’re staying up extra late at night. These were the things that I constantly have to watch. And, and these are the things that I have to tell my wife, you know, if you see me doing these things, I need you to check in with me. Also, while we’re here, obviously amongst friends, and we’re all normal people. When we look at each other, we can pick them out, you know, is your friend coming to court and to see, especially hungover? Is he especially hungover more so than often? You know, is he missing is your castle that you’re having to exchange? You know, civil litigation, Shane’s discovery? Is it constantly late? Is it a time to really hit the gas on him? Or is it a time to actually look at what you have. So my title is recovering from a loss last generally means a state like a state. And once you go under that, that will be your last period.

Speaker 4
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Johnnie Finch
So we talked about a trauma. And when we talk about people who have been to war before they experience it, I think that regardless of whether it’s physical or emotional trauma, it is something that we all have to deal with. And when people come back from war, when they particularly get back, they say if they don’t talk about what happened, which was the war that they went to the bombs killing if they don’t talk about it, it will kill them from the inside. Again, I asked you Are you okay? You say yes, I am. But if we’re not talking about it, what are we doing? We’re putting in on a back we’re putting on my back? And the question is, what can we do? And what can we prioritize in our life, to make sure that we don’t get to that point where there’s too many blocks because you know, what could happen? Maybe you are you know, if you reach to your level, and maybe you get a letter in the mail, maybe from the IRS, right? And maybe that says you have to pay a certain amount of money and maybe that’s your thing, and I just can’t do it anymore, right? And maybe you don’t necessarily harm yourself, but maybe you are harming yourself and and you’re harming the people around you, whether it’s your wife, your kids, and so we have to prioritize what is important. And what I spoke with everybody or a great deal of people tonight like this is I don’t think probably your priority should be making money because if it is, the money is not the thing that is going to drive you to be better for everyone else. Right. So what did I do? I started my practice. I would definitely want to make as much cash as I could. But I realized when I was doing energy at work, because I have a heart For the people who are going to court and can’t always afford to have the most prominent attorney, because what I found was it was easy for judges, or prosecutors to not give him, you know, the benefit of the doubt. And we’ll also see those statistics, if you’re doing any type of criminal defense work, if you are poor, you going into court, you know, you’re more likely to get the book thrown at us. So what I did was I said, Okay, what can I take away from my practice, that will give me more energy, but at the same time will allow me to be more effective into something that I believe in? And I said, Well, what I’ll do is I’ll take 95% of my practice, and not only do indigent work, you know, and obviously, you guys know, the, you know, the billing or depending on which state you are, is a little less, but what I was not doing it, what I’m not doing at this point is, you know, you know, chasing clients down for, you know, money is a great deal of what we do, you know, and so I took that aspect out of my practice. And then I started along with my friends, just a educational group for the young individuals, or the ones that were in the community, and we just start talking about these things. And while I was doing this, anybody familiar with Elizabeth City, North Carolina? Okay, so we had a tragedy earlier on this year, a gentleman named Andrew Brown, anybody ever heard of Andrew Brown? Andrew Brown, okay. So in light of everything that’s happened with law enforcement and our community, there’s a gentleman named Andrew Brown, Andrew was my neighbor, Andrew, I represented a few times he was a nice guy, but just because the out of court there was a tragedy where he had a law enforcement, he was serving a warrant, and they serve a warrant, Andrew alluded, and the deputies, which I know because I’m going to court with him all the time, they shot him from behind. So light of everything that was going on, we don’t have a tragedy, which is very close to my heart, like, like, people are coming in, we have all of the press, we have the city council, that’s going crazy. We have people who are calling my phone, you know, Johnny, we don’t have a lot of boys in my town. But you know, what are we going to do? Everything is in disarray. The DA is on TV every day. All my friends are Anton, they’re representing the individuals. I’m feeling a tremendous amount of pressure at that time. And you know, one of my good friends, he asked me, he said, How you doing? I realized it was not it was not doing good. When you realize that you’re not doing good. What is it that you particularly do? And what is the things that you particularly asked individuals around you to do for you? Anybody know, you take a break, you take a break, I asked my wife, I said, Hey, this is particularly stressful situation for me, I need about three or four days, and she’ll look at me and she’ll say, Okay, now while you take that break, you need to give yourself and your brain a time to unclog, because when your brain is clogged, y’all know what clogged brain is, is when you have so many things going on at the same time that you actually can’t do anything well, so you have to give yourself the time to unwind. And when you do that, and you get to that space, you can begin to think about what I can do right now, that will take me out of this space. And in three or four months, I can think clearly. So what I would do is sit down, take some time to myself, what is it that put me in this particular space? And what can I do if anything, because we talked about it last year, Kobe Bryant when he tore his Achilles went to basketball, basketball and others. But when he tore the Achilles, when he was 36 years old, he went he did the surgery, he came back. And they asked him well, Kobe, you know, how do you how do you think you’re going to recover? How are you going to get back? He said, Well, I did with a doctor, so me to do. And as I did, the doctors told me to do, I made sure I was working out as hard as I possibly can. So I control what I can control. And the rest will be what it is. As long as don’t we think we can control everything in though, you know, we think we can tell our client to do a specific thing. We think that we can tell the other side to kind of maneuver over here. And then when we can’t, but what actually can’t we control our planning for the next month. So that’s what we’re getting back to. So you unclog your brainwaves to you control what you can control and what you cannot control. You make sure that you watch your triggers for if there’s anything in your life that is causing you extra stress at the time clients maybe whenever I’m going through a particular time where class or just we’ll have one of these particular times I used to take my top five and I was like okay, who am I five worst class that I have right now. And it’s a difficult task A lot of times but you know, you send it you call them you send an email at this particular point in time make it whatever excuse you want to make up. I think that you know me and my family and maybe moving to Zimbabwe right now I cannot represent you anymore. I wish you the best session sessions is a good lawyer and I guarantee those bottom five clients that are taking a lot of your time and probably most of the time are not worth the money will give you a little bit of space. So that’s it.



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