This blog is not intended to provide legal advice, legal services or legal anything else. Don't sue me. All I have is debt anyway.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Of drugs and other ethics violations

Looking back on this year, I feel like I've done nothing but CLE's. I think I would have enough CLE's to carry over for like 3 years if we could do so. Most of it has been pointless, but oh well. For instance, I heard the KYLAP presentation for (seriously) the sixth time today, over the past 4 years. Yes, lawyers are a bunch of seriously depressed drunkards who are unhinged enough to steal all of their clients' money out of escrow and spend it by snorting coke off some whore's ass at an illegal poker game. Or maybe we're just a largely unhappy bunch because our clients drive us crazy, our colleagues drive us crazy, and our bar is so saturated with lawyers we can't earn a decent living and pay off the absurd amount of student loans we took out in order to enter this absurd profession. Oh well. I'd have to actually have money in escrow before I could spend it on hookers and blow, so I'm pretty sure I won't be committing any ethics violations (at least not of that sort... I'm certain if I ever commit an ethics violation it will be because I fail epically at math).

Anyway, some stuff about today was interesting. Surprisingly enough the court of appeals judges were the most entertaining panelists, and reviewed some really interesting cases. The supreme court stuff gets everyone's attention, so the ones that apply to my area of practice are publicized and I've already read them. For instance, stepparents and gay partners can now be considered de facto custodians of children, which gives them standing for custody. And finally spouses can make a loss of consortium claim for death of spouse (not just incapacitation), which was pretty much stupid that they couldn't before, but whatever. Even so, tomorrow should be more interesting. I'm manning the table for the MLP, and my cohorts are presenting.

Still very busy in family court, and taking on a few personal injury cases, folks with some minimal injuries. My friend's mom works for a chiropractor, so she keeps telling people to call me. Cases with clear liability, and limited damages. Not a lot of money involved, but probably not a lot of time and investment of money involved either.

Speaking of insurance though, it reminds me I need to up my PIP coverage and also my underinsured motorist coverage. I got a random quote in the mail from a car insurance company today, and was impressed with the price until I realized: the quote was for $25,000 policy limits. I forget people carry so little coverage in our state, it's ridiculous. And underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory, so it often gets left out of policies. Not cool.

Oh well. I found out today one of my friends from law school is working on his masters in education and is planning to quit practicing law and start teaching high school. Remember that show Boston Public, where the chick from Voyager goes from being a Big Law attorney to teaching high school? I was like, pshaw, whatever, like you'd quit a job making tons of money and being important and doing important things to go talk at a group of juvenile miscreants. Oh naivety. If I didn't hate other people's children almost as much as I hate other lawyers and clients, and well, the general population of unwashed masses, I might do the same. Yeah, I really need a better attitude about practicing law. I'm not sure when I turned into such a curmudgeon, but it happened. I'm now one of those attorneys I always rolled my eyes at, who would tell other people "Don't go to law school! Do something meaningful with your life!" Yeah... curmudgeonly. I think if the job at the MLP doesn't turn into a permanent full-time gig, I might need to seriously re-evaluate my career path so I stop being such a curmudgeon.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

MILP Roundup #179

Is at PT-Lawmom. Here next week.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I seriously think yesterday and today were the first two actual days off I've had since I lost my job in June, where I did not do a single moment's work. I did absolutely no work whatsoever, and it was fabulous.

I love for Thanksgiving to be inclusive, and we've always loved opening it up for anyone who needed a place to be. Over the years this has included friends and classmates who couldn't go home to their families. As I was always the person who didn't have a place to go on Thanksgiving (before having a home with Husband), that's always been important to me, and something I want Cora to share.

So, we had a huge dinner yesterday and, as usual, an extraordinary amount of wine. Amazingly did not have a hangover today, although I did sleep until noon. That's always nice. The in-laws took Cora to Target for some clothes/shoe shopping, which she was very excited about. She was very opinionated and told Grandma exactly which clothes she did and did not like, especially the shoes.

Later in the day, we decided to take her to the movies to go see Tangled. Cora had never been to the movies before, but she will sit still and watch an entire movie at home, so I didn't expect she'd have any issues at the theater. The only issue we had was Cora being too small to sit in the chair herself, because it kept folding up on her. Whoops! So, she sat in Grandma's lap the whole time. She absolutely loved the whole experience, from the popcorn to the really big TV, and especially the princess. The princess had yellow hair, just like Cora, and when she got a haircut, it turned brown. (Little does Cora know that will happen to her in a few years.) Very cute movie, although like with Princess and the Frog, I don't think it's quite up to par with Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid as far as musical score. However, I like the modernization of the fairy tale, and I totally crush on Zachary Levi, so I could listen to him all day.

I'm taking one more day off on Saturday, then I have a ton of work to do on Sunday. We have a two-day Law Update this week I'll be attending on behalf of the MLP. Also present will be our school's mascot. At least I'm far enough up the totem pole that I won't be wearing a costume.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MILP Roundup #178

Is there. At PT-Lawmom next week. Then at my place.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Catching Up

I can't really explain why I haven't been blogging, other than the fact that I've been delinquent on the Ms. JD columns and I've felt guilty about blogging here when I should be blogging there. I actually managed to get this month's column up. I don't know what the problem is, but likely it's a lot of not wanting to deal with the loss of job thing that still is a sore spot, and writing a column on small town legal practice when I'm back in the city presses on that sore spot.

I'm much better when I don't think about things and just keep working. And working, I am.

I'm in my second month of work at the Medical-Legal Partnership. It was slow at first, but definitely picking up now. I like it a lot. It's rewarding helping people with sick kids, because not too long ago I was the person with a sick kid, and I definitely could have used the help. Not because I'm not competent enough to deal with it, but because I had better things to do than argue with insurance companies, etc., like take care of my sick kid. I made that argument just this week with an insurance company who didn't want to talk to me; they couldn't understand why Mom couldn't just give them a call. Uh, because Mom's currently taking a nap in the PICU next to her sick kid, that's why. She's got better things to do.

I'm currently working on the nastiest housing case, where the slumlord's slumttorney has threatened the family with eviction, criminal prosecution of grandma whose rent check just bounced, and even made a backhanded threat of calling child services on them, all because they made a complaint of insect infestation in their shitty apartment. (Yeah, we have a cause of action for retaliation in our statute. Bring it, Bitch.) I'm mortified that a member of our bar would act that way. I've worked for/with/against some truly awful human beings who happened to be licensed attorneys, but never have I had someone sink so low. It's beyond unprofessional. It's bugs, for fuck sake; get someone to spray, or deny they exist, or acknowledge they exist and blame it on my clients. Whatever. But the retaliation is uncalled for and completely psycho. (Apparently the slumlord is kin to the slumttorney, so slumttorney's judgment is clearly impaired.)

My officemate finds it funny that I can fight against slumlords at the same time as representing homeowners' associations that are accused of discrimination and represent banks in foreclosure actions. I did foreclosure before I went to law school and now I'm taking work from foreclosure firms who need someone to fill in at local motion hours; it has never bothered me. I mean, sure, it sucks for people to lose their homes. No one feels good about that. The situations were often sad, like someone lost their job and can't find gainful employment (I know how that feels), or someone got sick and can't work at all. That doesn't mean the foreclosure doesn't still need to happen. I mean, you can't pay your bills, you can't keep your house. But I always found that the process still allowed people plenty of time to strike deals with the bank, find a way to catch up, or sell before auction. Also, the courts have been pretty lenient lately about giving people extra time to make good, considering the economy. But I always viewed it as still being able to help people, because if someone called me and gave their sob story, I always directed them to the resources that can help them and the folks at the bank that would work out a deal. The people who really tried to help themselves most often could.

Anyway, I'm all over the place right now. I'm working 20 hours a week for the MLP, doing some contract work for my friend, working one afternoon a week for my officemate, and of course, there's my own stuff. I'm taking court appointments in three surrounding counties as a GAL and parents' attorney. I was also supposed to have a criminal defense trial last week, but it resolved before trial, a very good result for my client, but a really big bummer for me and my friend who I brought on as second chair (since I just didn't have the time to fully prep for trial on my own). It's been crazy. Not much money, but crazy.

I can't figure out how to make money at this stuff. I guess it comes with building a reputation and having the experience to say, "Yeah, I want a $5,000 retainer and I charge $250 an hour." I'm more at the point where it's like, yeah, I'll take payment in chickens...

Even still, I just had to fire my first client. I feel bad for the guy, but at the same time, I can't help him because he won't help himself. And even though I was willing to continue putting off the payment of my attorney fees, I told him any costs he had to pay immediately. Which he hasn't done, and I'm out $50, and he will never pay me. That and he won't return my messages. So, no more free lawyer. It's annoying, because I worked really hard on his case, and if he'd gotten his shit together, he would have been in good shape.

The bottom line is I really don't like working for myself. I don't even want to run the company. I don't want the responsibility, and I don't want the hassle. I hate dealing with money, which I'm really bad at, and if I don't manage to fuck up my escrow account and get disbarred it will be a miracle. I've already overdrawn my operating account once, because I fail at math. (I guess I must be guilty of a crime, according to slumttorney. Stupid cow.) So, I don't know what the future will hold. I didn't go to law school wanting to practice on my own. I wanted to work for a multinational corporation. I wanted to have a steady paycheck, and a time clock to punch. I wanted to have one office, and not four. (Seriously, I have four offices. One at the clinic, one at my friend's firm, one where I meet with clients but my officemate's name is the one on the door, and one in my house where I do most of my actual work but don't meet with clients because I don't want crazy people to know where I live. Half the time I don't know where the hell I am.)

Some days I'm really satisfied in what I've accomplished. Other days I want to quit and work in a library where my only interaction with people will be to SHUSH them grumpily when they talk. Maybe I need to go pick some fruit with Stephen Colbert to get a better attitude about practicing law. Hell, as long as no one talks to me, I might actually like it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Attorney and Preschool History Teacher

Heard in the car yesterday:

Me: "Cora, do you know what next week is?"

Cora: "No."

Me: "It's Thanksgiving."

Cora: "Okay."

Me: "What do we eat on Thanksgiving?"

Cora: "Um... Mac N Cheese!"

Me: "Yes, Daddy will make mac 'n cheese. We also have turkey, and stuffing, and mashed potatoes, and green beans..."

Cora: "Oh, that's yummy!"

Me: "That's right! And do you know who will be there for Thanksgiving?"

Cora: "Cora!"

Me: "Yes, Cora will be at Thanksgiving. So will Mommy and Daddy. Uncle Steven will be there, and [our two friends]. Grandpa and both Grandmas, and Grandma's little doggies, and Bernie."

Cora: "Hurray!"

Me: "And do you know the purpose of Thanksgiving?"

Cora: "No."

Me: "It's to have a nice dinner with our friends and family and be thankful for all the good things we have."

Cora: "We have to say 'Thank you!'"

Me: "Yep. And do you know why we celebrate Thanksgiving?"

Cora: "No, I don't know."

Me: "It's because a long time ago, some native Americans made the mistake of being nice to some white European trespassers instead of letting them starve to death in the woods. They brought them food and they had a big meal."

Cora: "Awww."

Me: "And the Europeans thanked them by giving them small pox and stealing their land. So, what's the lesson here, Cora?"

Cora: "Don't get small pox."

Me: "Exactly. Happy Thanksgiving."

Monday, November 15, 2010

MILP Roundup #177

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup** is hosted on a rotating basis at the PT-LawMom, Attorney Work Product and Butterflyfish blogs and is usually posted no later than Monday. Next week, Butterflyfish will have it.

PT-Lawmom is in a whirlwind.

Dakota has captured some tranquility.

Shan is at the end of Fall 1L, and all around should beware (especially Justices who've been dead for a century -- those guys can suck it).

CM is partying.

RG is mourning the breakup of a potential sister-in-law, and needs some redecorating.

Cowgirl in the City is back in the saddle.

The Erbgarden is in search of the time.

Cristy is vacationing.

LEO is full of win!

Googiebaba is selling her wares to make ends meet (because being a lawyer sure doesn't do it these days!)

Butterflyfish is making me crave mashed potatoes, and I'm not even preggers.

-R- is having bearded office fun. (Just keep the beard out of Kentucky, you wouldn't want someone to cut it off and make you eat it. Keep it Klassy, Kentucky!)

LL is losing weight the hard way.

Izzie is getting close to trying to get that baby out herself with a plunger.

Jenny is half-empty.

If you would like to have your blog added to the MILP blogroll for weekly review or would like us to consider a specific post, drop the hostess(es) an email or leave a comment at their respective sites.

**Hat tip to the “original” Roundup Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground and Thanks, But No Thanks