Friday, March 24, 2006

Been awhile

It's been a while since I posted any thoughts...although from the "comment" listings, nobody has noticed.

Found a great little web application today, one of many "name generators" out there--this one is for a "global village multi-cultural name." This was the result I got back:

My ethnically enhanced global village name is Ameretat Akamu.
Take The Global Village Multi Culti Name Generator today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.



I can almost hear the angels singing...in Esperanto, that is.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

End of an era

I don't know why, but the news made me sad today.

I came across a note online that said, effective January 27, 2006 Western Union would no longer send telegrams or commercial messages.

It's not as if I use the telegram frequently. I think I've only received one or two in my life.

But there's a romance to that yellow envelope. It hearkens back to a "simpler" time--Jimmy Stewart opening the telegram on Christmas Eve promising to advance him $25,000 or Sherlock Holmes receiving a telegram over lunch and quickly scribbling a reply message. It was a challenge to get across an understandable message in as few words as possible.

I suppose that's what today's generation does with text messaging. But it's not just the same, somehow.

They say e-mail killed the telegram.

Let's hope it doesn't kill the fountain pen, too.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

Et tu?

Have you ever discovered that co-workers are talking about you behind your back?

What about co-workers you trusted?

Have they talked about the brand of clothes you wear? the state of your office? how about your work ethic?

Granted, these things happen in any workplace, let alone a good-sized law office.

Nothing like putting in 60- to 70-hour weeks . . . only to have a dozen "nine-to-four-o'-clockers" question your work ethic. Or to have them grouse about the fact that you may have an old orange on your desk amid seemingly-random stacks of papers and files. Hey--it's my desk, my orange, and I know where everything is, so leave it alone.

It's an environmentally-friendly paperweight.

Nothing like slaving away for a pittance to pay back school loans (at the expense of food for your wife and children) . . . only to have your fashion sense questioned or your dietary choices discussed.

Forgive me for not going with the Armani.

Or the fancy take-out/sit-down meals.

I happen to like my wardrobe. And my left-overs.

And so long as the work is done, who are you people to complain or watch my clock?

  • Never mind that these people are FAR from perfection themselves . . . although professing to be "perfect" Christians, they seem to find the motes and miss the beams quite regularly.
  • Never mind that your focus in life is: first, family/God; second, the firm's success.
  • Never mind that they put in their 35 hours and go home whistling, with never a look back or a question about whether their work is completed.
  • Never mind that it is your career, your malpractice insurance, your neck on the line and simply their "job"--one they could (and do) master with only a GED under their belt, and one that could likely be done by a trained monkey.
  • Never mind all that; we just have to point and pick, point and pick . . . with no provocation at all.

The bright side? They have no idea at all that I know about their petty little feelings and conversations.

I don't get mad.

You know the rest. . . .

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Losing Friends, redux

I just realized that from my previous post it almost sounds as if a friend had died. My mistake. I was simply referring to the all-too-oft-occuring alienation and disaffection that happens in friendships. Again: lest I be misunderstood, I was not referring to death, but being "released" from a friendly relationship.

Although death of a friend may sometimes be preferable to the outright disaffection one feels. At least with death (as with alienation of a sibling) it was not a choice of either person's making. (Although, I suppose in some circumstances death may have been a choice of paths away from the friendship, but I digress too much.) OK. usually not a choice of either person's making.

With death, you generally do not have to be worried about "bumping into" your ex-friend. You don't have to worry about them spreading lies and gossip to mutual acquaintances. You certainly don't have to worry about them coming after you for some imagined and misperceived slight. At least with death, you can remember your friend fondly without the memories being clouded by negative feelings of a more recent origin.

I'm just saying . . . it hurts.

And better deceased than released.

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Losing friends

You know, I've been thinking recently, what a horrible ordeal it is to lose a friend.

Imagine, someone you've known for years--someone who was as close as a brother or sister to you.

Then one day . . . something happens. You don't talk quite as often, or as long, or about the same types of things. Your interests diverge. Pretty soon, you're seeing each other only on special occasions: holidays, birthdays, and that sort of thing.

And then . . . not.

It hurts. It's like losing a family member. Between a sibling rejecting you and a friend? I'm not sure which hurts more. In some ways it's harder to lose a friend. A sibling--well, you got stuck with who you got; a friend is a sibling you chose, and who chose you. Losing such a friend is almost a more personal, hurtful rejection than losing a sibling the same way.

But it happens.

And oh . . . it hurts.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Who's responsible?

Today I had what I wish was a unique experience, but is all too common in the practice of law.

My "favorite" member of the federal judiciary decided to deny two of my motions. Now, that's not too surprising, considering I advised both of these clients two months ago that it was a lost cause to bring the motions. They both persisted, however, in wanting their chance to have the judge tell them they were up in the night.

So against my advice, they directed me to file these motions--nearly identical motions that were, coincidentally, heard by the same judge on the same calendar.

Just my luck.

For the past two months, I repeatedly warned them of the very real possibility of failure. They claimed to understand and accept the fact. As we walked into the courtroom this morning, I warned them both AGAIN.

What happened? The judge denied the motions (!!Surprise!!) and I faced two weeping, sobbing, angry clients in the hallway wanting to know what happened, why they lost, what to do next, and "I thought you promised we'd be O.K."

These are the things for which law school WILL NOT prepare you.

Can I at least say, "I told you so"?

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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Justice

I came across a great quote today from the good ol' days of Saturday Night Live. I had almost forgotten just how funny the Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey segments really were.

If I lived back in the wild west days, instead of carrying a six-gun in my holster, I'd carry a soldering iron. That way, if some smart-aleck cowboy said something like ‘Hey, look. He's carrying a soldering iron!’ and started laughing, and everybody else started laughing, I could just say, ‘That's right, it's a soldering iron. The soldering iron of justice.’ Then everybody would get real quiet and ashamed, because they had made fun of the soldering iron of justice, and I could probably hit them up for a free drink.

Just for fun, I may start carrying my own soldering iron in my briefcase.

My own 'soldering iron of justice.'

The marshals at the metal detectors may take issue with it though.

Then I'd just get real quiet.

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Monday, January 30, 2006

Precedent Misrepresented

So I was cleaning out my day planner this morning and came across a newspaper clipping I received from my brother back when I was a first-year law student. I don't know exactly to whom attribution is owing; I believe it was a filler blurb in the Salt Lake Tribune back in the early '90s.

Setting a Precedent: The reason we have so many lawyers in America has nothing to do with young professionals seeking prestige, wealth and influence. It has to do with us Baby Boomers watching all those lawyer shows when we were kids in the '50s--

"Perry Mason," "The Defenders," "Burke's Law."
After an evening of watching Raymond Burr bash the bad guys, we all wanted to study law.


So I started wondering today: If they had Perry Mason, whom do I have to blame? "Law & Order" hadn't yet arrived on the scene (but only barely). The answer is easy: "L.A. Law" and Ben Matlock.

That's right . . . I said Ben Matlock. Rumpled-up baby blue suit and all.

So . . . . How do I go about suing good ol' Jimmy Smits, Corbin Bernsen, or Andy Griffith for Fraudulent Misrepresentation of the Practice of Law? Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress?

Someone's gotta pay for this misery.

And I'm scared to think it may be my fault.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Gentleman's Bar

Not likely. Not anymore, at least.

I received notice today that a client had retained another attorney to vacate an order of dismissal in their bankruptcy case. Their case had been dismissed because they alleged to me that they were current in their Chapter 13 payments, but they could never--or would never--turnover any proof of payments. I, therefore, could not provide proof to the Trustee. We had a hearing date set, but nothing came of it because of lack of proof.

My clients never said a word until their case had been dismissed nearly a month.

Then they pitched a tantrum...and then admitted it was their fault. They said they'd get back to us.

So the Motion to Vacate filed today? The other attorney lays all the blame directly on my shoulders.

It wouldn't bother me, except for the following:

  1. It didn't happen this way. (When it's my fault, I'll admit it to the judge.)
  2. I wouldn't have done it this way, and neither would 90% of the rest of the local bankruptcy bar. (We would have called the prior attorney, or at least taken the clients' story with a grain of salt--we hear "my former attorney did this or that" all the time. ALL THE TIME...and it means nothing at all.)
  3. Now I have my own motion being heard on the same calendar. (Yeah...couldn't bother to help THOSE clients...but I'm willing to help THESE clients. This ought to be fun!)

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Morons are clients too!

Sometimes I think that the practice of law would be truly enjoyable if it wasn't for clients.

I have reached my daily limit: I am fed up with the utter lack of perception, common sense, and personal responsibility I see so often in my practice. How many people can honestly be confused about the idea that you cannot stay in a home when you're behind on mortgage payments? or the idea that their creditors are actually entitled, believe it or not, to receive some renumeration? Or even the idea that MY time and services are actually worth something? Sometimes, it is utterly unbelievable and it is always frustrating.

Maybe I should go sell pencils on the corner. Some days it would be much more fulfilling.

At least I'd be getting some sun....

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Legally Bankrupt

Greetings and welcome to my new blog.

I've resolved that in order to bring some sanity and calm to my otherwise insane and stress-filled life, I need an outlet--a creative outlet--that allows me to rant and vent and otherwise keep me from kicking the dog.

Yeah, that's not a PC thing to say, but I tend not to be too PC. It's not a conscious effort; it just happens that way. Am I overtly offensive? No. But I won't go out of my way to keep your feel-bads from hurting.

It's hoped that this will be a place to get my creative juices flowing...so watch where you step. No one likes to step too much in another's juices.

It may not mean much to others. but I hope occasionally to be able to provide some unique little insights into life as I see it.

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