Original Source: Michael E. Tigar BA JD (Univ. of California, Berkeley), “Defending,” Texas Law Review 74 (1995).
Source: p 196, How Can You Represent Those People? (2013) by Abbe Smith, Monroe Freedman (Editors)
In telling about stepping into the stream between past and future, I make clear why I part company with those who criticize my representation of this or that person. I owe those detractors no duty of explanation. My private reasonings are mine to share or not as I should wish. [1.] By focusing on some purported obligation of personal justification, these misguided souls are missing the entire point of the journey. I am not trying to set an example. [2.] I am trying to understand how to live my life. Je voudrais apprendre à vivre enfin. [I know that this is a quote from Derrida, but whom I have not read.] [End of 2.]
I can say I am not trying to set an example. I realize that by making some public expression—for the lawyer as for the artist—one is condemned to signify. Neither the artist nor the advocate can plausibly claim to be tracing figures on the inside walls of his mind, for his own delectation.
Please correct me if my paraphase is wrong: In 1, the author explains that his detractor err in attacking him based on the (perceived) immorality of his clients and the alleged need for a criminal defense lawyer to justify his reasons for defending controversial clients.
In 2, Tigar then rebuts the detractors by clarifying the reason for his defense of controversial clients: his
trying to understand how to live my life.
But why is attacking 2 erroneous, because trying to understand how to live life does not defend bad behaviour? Tigar may be genuinely trying to understand how to live life, but his trying may cause grave problems?