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Don't Judge. At least not him. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Don't Judge. At least not him.
Long day today, my last before the long weekend beginning with tomorrow's graduation and ending with Monday's national holiday. First stop was court, where I got to say hello to one of my longest-standing mentors and friends within the profession.

I wrote about L. before, a month or so ago. He's been practicing law since around the time I was born, and I got to know him on a more professional basis than I deserved, mainly, due to a death (28 years and two days ago) in my original law firm. He's a gentleman, a grandfather, and has the patience befitting a Jewish saint....

as this morning's early proceedings attested to.


L. has largely been conflicted out of the debtor-side bankruptcy work that I mostly knew him from, and for. He's largely had to give it up, because his lifelong firm (which once proudly displayed his name third among four, only to retire it when many marketing gurus insisted that law firms "rebrand" with only their first two names) represents many creditors of those debtors, and both Bankruptcy Court and the clients themselves frown on lawyers working "both sides of the street." So most of his practice these days is appearing in state courts in downtown Rochester, seeking routine defaults and summary judgments and contempt findings on behalf of his firm's creditor clients.

Today's judge was a substitute- nice enough guy- but I grimaced through the grilling he gave L. over the minutiae of his first unopposed application for a judgment. The judge basically cross-examined him, on behalf of the absent defendant, over his client's entitlement to a small portion of additional compensation for having to hire a lawyer to get paid.  It was painstakingly slow as the judge made him point out paragraphs, and verify things that nobody was questioning- and in the end, the judge reduced his firm's fees by a few hundred bucks for no other perceptible reason than "because he could."

Me? If I'd been up there and  L. asked for 15 percent in additional fees? I'd have given him at least 30 percent and told him he could appeal if he didn't like it.

The final irony? When I walked in, L. showed me the calendar for the morning, and noted that my case was 10th out of 10, as if that was a bad thing. No problem, I replied. This way, I get to watch you work.

And I meant that in the best of ways. It wound up sadder once I got to see a political appointee judge make him work so hard for so little at a time in his career when he should be cruising- figuratively if not literally.

At the end of that calendar, I won my own motion without judicial complaint- mainly because I've been beaten around in there just as much if not quite as often, and I've learned from those experiences. But I said some things guided by the BS L. had been put through moments earlier, and it helped me. As he always has.  Maybe, he says, he will get to retiring, and to focus on his photography and his love of travel and his kids and grandkids.  I will miss him when that happens, but I won't begrudge him it for a nanosecond.
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