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On and Off Days - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
On and Off Days

While yesterday was almost entirely a travel day, I did actually practice law, ever so briefly, on Monday afternoon.  There's a court two "towns" over from my home and native land, which entered a judgment against a now-Buffalo resident client in 2011. My mission was to get it vacated.  First, though, I discovered that the court's mission was to make me crazy. As I mentioned the other day, I found out the day before leaving that there were problems with the papers I submitted. (Same papers I've submitted to courts in various corners of Upstate New York, which follows the identical laws, for over 30 years.)  But the best part was this: I found out by email. Because they could not make a long-distance call north of Westchester.

So I told them at the time that I'd be in the area Monday and we'd work it out.  Before I left Baltimore, I got a more specific email: they wanted addresses built into the order I'd proposed to be signed. They also objected to my picking my own date to have the thing heard; the judge does that, I was told on the phone when I'd called the previous day (not collect).  I made the changes, ran off clean copies on Donna's printer, and once over Staten Island and through Brooklyn and Queens (the Belt is actually a more beautiful drive that I ever remember, with lots of parkland right against the shore), I exited at Peninsula Boulevard, passed the horsepital of my birth, and was on Main Street in Hempstead by 3:30.

In shorts and a TARDIS t-shirt. I'd hoped to change in case I needed to see a judge, but traffic prevented that.

Fortunately, I would get nowhere near actual judiciary.  I met my emailer, and handed her the revised order. She handed me back my legally insufficient first try- AND handed me back my stamped return envelope:

We don't mail orders. You have to pick them up.

Um, fax, like they do in Backwardland where I'm from? Nope. I was afraid to use the word "scan." Their idea of judicial efficiency is for me to drive another 800 miles to get this paper so I can mail it to two places and deliver it to a third.

Ultimately, not a problem. There are services for this.  But I next asked if I would be expected to show up for the actual court hearing once this was done:

Oh, yes, the judge requires appearances on all motions.

But could I at least pick the day NOW? In case I was already scheduled, say, 350-400 miles away at the same time?  Of course not.  I got cute and ended by asking if they could at least schedule it on a day when the Mets would be home again,.... and she said,....

I hope they lose. I'm a Yankee fan.

Well. I hate to tell ya, but not only did the Mets win that night, they haven't lost since- and the Yankees are about to find that they just fell out of first place.


More later on the eventual outcome of that motion scheduling, but I do need to share a couple of pictures from the vicinity.

The court building (Long Island's equivalent of our City Courts) is in a section of the Village of Hempstead that was once full of bustling businesses and major stores. I still have a record cleaning brush somewhere from one of several music stores that were once near Main Street; A&S and Arnold Constable and other Manhattan retailers had big branches near there, too. By the time I left for good in the late 70s, most of the stores were gone, the town's major bus depot was the biggest source of business (and crime), and now, almost 40 years later, it's turned another corner into mostly Latino businesses.

Here's the selection literally across Main Street from the court:

Yeah, if I got treated like that by court clerks every day, I'd expand into selling shoes, too.

Once back to my car, I knew I needed to head north to get to the game. Since it was MAIN Street, duh, I figured it'd go someplace- and rather quickly, it did (turning eventually into a major street one village over in Garden City where the fancy department stores and pricey shops never left- redlining and racism suck). First, though, I found myself stuck at a red light on the corner of Main and Bedell Streets- and my brain cells came alive:

Mack Markowitz sold your father his Oldsmobile. It was omnipresent in ads in the papers and, especially, on the radio. All they had to say- and they said it, ad infinitum- was "Mack Markowitz Oldsmobile, Main and Bedell Streets in Hempstead."  It must've worked, because I remembered it all these years later, and my father never even bought one from him.  Amazingly, the corporation still exists, even though Oldsmobiles don't. I'm guessing they are waiting for the renaissances of urban center cities that have come to lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and even Buffalo.  Just don't pimp the address, guys- I remember already.


That was Monday. I got back in round 4:30 yesterday and did nothing other than pick up my mail (not much). Today, there was none, but I did get this email from my favorite Yankee fan:

Your Order to Show Cause has been signed by the Judge.  Please return to make a copy.  Service must be done to Erie Sheriff (ordinary mail), Nassau County Sheriff(personal delivery) and attorneys (overnight or certified return receipt).  All services to be completed by August 18, 2015.

As I said, that's not especially onerous. Client still has rels near there, and if they can't go in, there's a service I can send to do the stupidity.  As for the personal appearance, I actually got my first choice:

 Return date August 28, 2015 and appearance by parties.

That's a Friday, and the Mets are playing the Red Sox at home that night.  Even Yankee fans will want us to beat THEM.

4 comments or Leave a comment
warriorsavant From: warriorsavant Date: August 13th, 2015 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
1. Love the lawyer & shoes & shirts picture. Am sending to my brother.
2. I really don't understand people who won't return SSAE, "we're too busy." Okay, I realize that court processes date from the 19th century (at latest), and fax is apparently too hi tech for people, but really, mailing things does date from the 19th century, so they could bestir themselves to put the envelope in the "out" box where someone else actually mails it.
ellettra From: ellettra Date: August 14th, 2015 12:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I was cheering for you through this entire entry until.... ;)
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: August 14th, 2015 12:28 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh pish. It's not like you're making the playoffs this year anyway. Plus, if you go Full Tank like the Sabres did, you'll get a higher pick in next year's draft and will probably wind up with the next star pitcher.
ellettra From: ellettra Date: August 14th, 2015 01:49 am (UTC) (Link)
We can only hope. We can ooooonly hope.
4 comments or Leave a comment