Cognitive Distortions And Litigation

Few legal professionals understand the attraction of those with personality disorders or traits to the legal process. Yet a comparison of characteristics shows a perfect fit, which may explain why they increasingly show up in court as High Conflict Personalities.

Characteristics of HCPs Characteristics of Court Process
Lifetime Preoccupation: Blaming others Purpose: Deciding who is to blame, who’s guilty
Avoid taking responsibility Court will hold someone else responsible
All-or-nothing thinking Guilty or not guilty are usually the choices
Seek attention and sympathy One can be center of much attention
Aggressively seek allies Gather and bring many advocates to court
Speak in dramatic and emotional extremes Argue or testify in dramatic and emotional extremes
Focus intensely on other’s past behaviors Hear or give testimony on other’s past behaviors
Punish those guilty of “harming” you Court is the most powerful place to impose punishment in our society
Try to get others to solve your problems Many professionals will work hard to solve your problems
It’s okay to lie if you feel desperate In reality, the court rarely acknowledges or punishes lying (perjury)