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Bloody Lawyers - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
Bloody Lawyers
Blah blah lots of court blah blah more bankruptcies to keep track of than I can count without a spreadsheet blah blah....

We interrupt this Usual Ray Post for some unusual developments in the world of his law practice.

Today didn't require an alarm, since court wasn't until 1. Yet there I was, up right before 8, and checking the headlines in the local paper:

That phone number's long superseded. When a competing personal injury lawyer started cutting into their negligence empire using a catchy rhyming slogan and a 444-4444 phone number, the boys retaliated a few years back with Don't Wait, Dial 8! as their slogan, and with spending tons to acquire the 888-8888 number in virtually every area code (including 800) and the SMS number "8" for texts.  This firm, other leaked court filings confirm, spends close to 44 percent of their revenue on billboards, tv/radio ads and other marketing (I spend closer to five percent, if that), and the firm expects that any lawyer leaving the firm will reimburse them for a comparable percentage of any recovery they make on their own thereafter. (Incidentally, the judge who ruled in that earlier case has resigned the bench and been disbarred for taking bribes in a political scandal.  I never got along with him, which I am now proud of.)

Well, now, Cellino has sued Barnes, seeking a judicial dissolution of their professional corporation.  Cellino also got the (new) Commercial Division judge to seal the entire record of the proceeding, including even the routine order setting the date (May 19th) and manner of service. But not before I downloaded a copy of it:

(Oops. Even that procedural order has since been sealed, including its rather unusual waivers of publication of notice of the pendency of the dissolution proceeding and even of service on the NYS Tax Department.  State courts are generally, and statutorily, loath to keep the public out of the records of proceedings, but it's not unusual for well-connected parties, either financially or politically, to exercise their muscle and get their case records sealed.  Parties to a controversial case in Rochester, which I had very peripheral connections to, got a record sealed, but reporters and the local paper's lawyers got it unsealed so a very salacious story could be fully known by the public.)

Although the Buffalo daily and the local tv stations have reported on the "business divorce," none has yet come forward to challenge the sealing of the record. It may be relevant that the firm is a heavy advertiser with all of them; some have even wondered whether the local media will suffer budget cuts if their Cellino & Cashcow goes away.

Or, the advertising could double. There's plenty of speculation about THAT, and about who will wind up with the iconic slogan and phone number in the divorce.  I did some checking today, at least locally. 222-2222 had been a personal injury competitor firm, but it broke up and the number, to this day, wound up with a DWI firm. The 444 guy also snagged the 777-7777 number, which once had ties to a legendary (and disbarred) Rochester ambulance chaser. And despite the demonic connotations, it turns out that Cellino & Barnes also locked up 666-6666. Assuming that 555 is out for its 411 ties, and 999 is too close to 911,  that leaves 333-3333 as the only asset that might be allocated in the divorce.

I think I'll trademark Dial 3, You'll See! Or something.


Meanwhile, the ordinary life of this non-personal-injury lawyer (slogan: Call 634-XXXX! Because OUR clients are smart enough to remember a seven-digit phone number!) went on all morning. Blah blah, forward K's initial questions and information from our meeting yesterday, blah blah, update M and A's almost-final drafts, blah blah meet with N and revise stuff for his trustee after meeting with him, SHIT! it's time to leave for my one and only 1 p.m. hearing, ....

which I get to right on time, client there, hearing officer rolling in. We begin the drill. Unlike many, we have this hour all to ourselves. Other than the ordinarily stressful morning, getting here and being here were neither. So imagine my surprise when, 20 minutes in while my client was basically monologuing, I wiped a sudden bit of snot from my nose and discovered it was not snot, but blood.

I caught it quickly and early, excused myself to the gents, and both stopped the bleeding and cleaned up the rather ugly redfacing. Last time this happened was just under six months ago, at our vet, when my schnozz went bloody while taking both of our cats to the vet.  Neither was expected, or consistent with overall levels of activity or stress: I HAD this!, just as I'd taken pairs of cats in for routine checkups many times.  I'd eaten before the meeting; I hadn't worked out or raced three blocks to get there (as I'd done just yesterday with no nosebleed); and when I did do cardio at the end of the day, the nose and the blood each were as they usually are.

If it happens again, or coincides with a change in meds or activity, I will get it checked out, but otherwise I am not going to overly stress about it.  If I really get nervous, after all, I can always Dial 8!

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