“Know Thy Enemy and Yourself:” Knowledge of the Defense

by Aaron Gartlan

April 28, 2015 | Lawsuits

David studied Goliath in excruciatingly close detail. He understood the weaknesses in his armor. He understood his own strengths relative to Goliath’s weaknesses. He no doubt surveyed the giant for a while. Just as important (and curiously enough), Goliath probably had little to no reconnaissance on David before the battle. In fact, he took for granted that he could crush his puny opponent. That is why he mocked David prior to their encounter.

The moral is that you need to understand your enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. Together with an understanding of your strengths, this creates a composite picture that allows you to achieve victory, even in unlikely or difficult settings.

On the surface it might have appeared to simply be a lucky shot. However, let us study David and Goliath a little deeper to illustrate how the defeat meant so much more. David needed to have self-knowledge on what he was good at and where he was weak. He also needed to understand Goliath’s strengths and weaknesses.

David was not a trained military soldier. He was an obedient son and watchful shepherd. His time as a shepherd gave him vast experience with his sling while protecting the flock against lions, bears and other dangers that would threaten the safety of the sheep. This gave him keen instincts and awareness that would ultimately serve him well in the fight against Goliath.

While David was no match for Goliath’s strength and size, David was in excellent physical condition due to the rigor of tending to his duties as a shepherd and as a son. Still, David knew he would not be able to maneuver and function rapidly in the expensive armor provided by the king. Therefore, David chose to simply wear the invisible armor of God, which gave him the wisdom to call on his own strengths rather than to focus on his own weaknesses and what he could not do. The invisible armor of God also gave him the ability to recognize Goliath’s strengths and not play into them. Rather, David was able to use Goliath’s strengths against him. David realized that Goliath was not as fast and agile as the wild lightening-quick animals that had challenged David before. With his armor, David knew he could hit Goliath in a soft spot with one of the five smooth stones he had been guided to select from the brook and carry in his shepherd’s bag. David had earned a living fending off beasts with a focused, aimed shot and had the foresight to know that this shot would be no different. Wearing the invisible armor of God, he saw a target that was so big he couldn’t miss, and had the courage to take the shot at just the right time.

The right personal injury and accident lawyer and law firm also uses a lean, mean and focused approach that

begins with early and thorough trial preparation, and also recognizes Goliath’s strengths, seeking to use them against him whenever possible.

Hungry for justice, the personal injury and accident trial lawyer thwarts the generalized propaganda spewed by Goliath and concentrates on seeking the truth on a case by case basis for good, hard-working people.

Goliath likes to hide behind all of the wealth, power and resources he has amassed, as well as procedural defenses he has created. The personal injury and accident trial lawyer must stay focused on preparing the case for trial to shine a light on the truth – not on a battlefield, but in a court of law through the civil justice system.

David was focused. He aimed at Goliath’s unprotected head realizing that a strike to that area could be lethal. In the same way, personal injury and accident plaintiff lawyers look for areas of vulnerability that will bring down the defense. When the personal injury and accident trial lawyer does this, often the arrogance of Goliath will be exposed.

Goliath must be very cocky and confident to attempt to take control of an automobile accident scene and to think he can get away with hiding and destroying evidence and manipulating investigations. How do you think judges and juries feel when they learn about the steps Goliath takes so boldly and brashly to protect his bottom line? Needless to say, they are offended and sometimes angered. We love to catch Goliath red-handed, and to expose him as a liar and cheat. It helps your personal injury, wrongful death and accident case and provides justice to the community.


Aaron Gartlan is a graduate of Troy University and the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law who focuses his practice exclusively on representing those injured by the wrongdoing of others. He is member of the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. In addition to his legal practice, Aaron teaches Business Law as an adjunct instructor at Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business and serves as a field artillery sergeant in the Alabama National Guard.

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