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Naughty and Nice. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Naughty and Nice.
My past couple of days have been defined by some random moments of nicety, surrounding four full hours of Pure Energy Evil.

Suppose I should explain.

This is my Hell Week of court- five in five days, down from six with an MC Escher-ish conundrum from yesterday having been consensually removed from the mix. Monday was quick, dull and stupid: a hearing got adjourned because, we think, a major bank misread my client's papers and input her $10,837 a month business gross as a $1,037 a month business gross. Which, frankly, is gross.

Yesterday began with another Post Office failure: Trustee Y, who my client from that day was scheduled to meet with three days later in the earlier-filed (but later-scheduled) of his two cases, never got the stack of documents I'd mailed him several weeks before. This required an early-morning detour to the Rochester office (way over on the other side of town from Y's office and from my other hearing for the same client with Trustee X at 10 that morning); and where, naturally, the printer needed new cartridges, and alignment, and spinal decompression before I could escape with everything I needed for both X and Y.  And then a strange thing happened:

Trustee X was nice.

To me, and the client, but not just to us. To everyone. In the past, many of these court-appointed officials reduced my clients (and sometimes fellow lawyers) to tears with their threats of objections and revocations and criminal referrals. Today, X never mentioned the C-word even once- and was gentle and apologetic in virtually every examination of the several people who appeared before us, as he was with my guy once our turn came.

Who are you and what have you done to my trustee?

While the merits of the case didn't change at all, the tone was surprisingly kind, and it made it easier to debrief the client thereafter, right before delivering the misdelivered documents to Y's office before heading back to the other side of town for the afternoon.


Further Nice awaited on the way home.

Z, a local business owner, ran up a tab with a client that went unpaid. I demanded payment; the owner denied liability. I thereupon furnished my ::goes, checks:: dozens of pages of documentation to Z, who continued to complain about them and made various threats against my client and me.  Unfettered, I sued.  Z ignored me. I entered judgment. Z ignored me. I then froze Z's bank account....

and N, on Z's behalf. called me sheepishly late yesterday asking how we could resolve the dispute.

Um, by having your bank pay me in full and release the rest of your account?

I don't have the money yet, but I do have Z's signed consent to do exactly that.  I was courteous, and prompt, and expressed no hard feelings in the release process- because payment for a good day's (or several weeks') work forgives a multitude of sins.


That got us to today: an early court appearance resulted in a quick and simple resolution of a case that's been kicking around since the spring, and then it was time to go to the movies.

Every two years, I need to accumulate 24 hours of continuing ed credits, at least four of which have to be certified as covering the fields of Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility.  These are the tough creds to get, since most seminars tend to devote an hour, at most, to the subject- and dedicated seminars to the topic can make your head explode.

This one didn't.  It was a video replay of one done here last August,  by an attorney turned speaker-slash-humorist, who offered the four full biennial ethics credits for his topics:

Lies, Damn Lies & Legal Marketing; and Don't Try this at Home: Why You Should Never Act Like a TV Lawyer.

Part One basically consisted of watching some of the worst examples of lawyer advertising inflicted on the general public over the past 35-ish years since the SCOTUS liberated us from Bar Association restrictions on such ads. We saw Heavy Hitters and Hammers and Horses' Asses- and some production values that Blair Witch Project would have a hard time falling short of.

Then we ate- and headed straight into a second section consisting, almost entirely, of William Shatner's Denny Crane character teaching us how NOT to maintain an ethical practice.  He slept with witnesses. He called a judge a moron just to get a mistrial so he could delay the start of a trial. He even killed a potential client so he wouldn't have to represent him.

Dammit, Denny, you're a lawyer, not a starship captain!

We more-or-less ended with him firing a female associate for being too fat.  Pots and kettles rejoiced at that.

(Yes, we learned, rhymes are very effective in legal ads. Just ask our cats, who tried to protest some indignity the other day when they said, Don't wait! Dial 8!)


Because we skipped the formal break for lunch, we got out closer to 1:30 than to 2.  It helped set the tone for the event that the Erie County Bar Association basically considers its members to be a bunch of CLE cheats: in order to claim those four precious hours of credit toward our biennial registration forms, we had to certify complete attendance- but also prove that attendance by entering, for each of the four hours, the four-figure alphanumeric code displayed on the DVD at random moments of each hour.

In the end, they handed me my certificate without even checking my math on the form. But they could.


Once back in the normal world, the final moment of nice arrived.  Two Wednesdays ago, I'd scheduled an appointment at my local office with a client who'd accumulated a backlog of Stuff I needed to discuss. He didn't show, he didn't call; and, frankly, that was pretty much my expectation at about five minutes past the appointed time.

He emailed me today to apologize. Car problems willing, we will meet at his place at the end of the day tomorrow. It was just, well, nice, for him to own it and take the initiative before the consequences arrived from his earlier inaction.

Two more days of court and commitments to go- and then I'll be in a much nicer mood myself:)

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2 comments or Leave a comment
liddle_oldman From: liddle_oldman Date: August 15th, 2013 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm sure you've had this thought as well, but Z reminds me of the old aphorism, When you have them by the balls...
headbanger118 From: headbanger118 Date: August 16th, 2013 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, must be all that clean living you do. ;)
2 comments or Leave a comment