By Jedidiah McKeehan

When I am meeting with clients and we are discussing their case, I am often assailed with questions that start with, “well, what if this happens?” and “what if they do this?” and “what do I do if they do XYZ?”

I do my best to answer the clients’ questions and calm their fears but I often have to remind them I do not have a crystal ball. I do not know what the person on the other side of the case will do.

Then I launch into one speech that I have been giving for many years, that goes something like this:

“Look, if we are playing defense against Peyton Manning (I have to use Tom Brady or Patrick Mahomes now) you assume that he will pass the ball, so you put more defenders back deep and in the secondary. But if they come out and run the ball, you move more people up near the line of the scrimmage. It is the same with a case. We can and likely will change our strategy during the case, but we cannot predict every single action that the other side is going to take.”

So if you are involved in a case or are thinking about a case you may have, when you go to speak to an attorney they may predict likely outcomes related to the case, but they cannot and will not know exactly how your case will play out. There is no way to know how the other person involved in a case will react when certain things happen.

I know it would be ideal to know exactly how things will play out, but that is simply not an option. The best an attorney can do is to give you their best guess as to the likely outcome for how things may turn out. Unfortunately no attorney can guarantee you a specific outcome on your case.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including divorce, custody, criminal, and personal injury. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.