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9/29/2006
Some Days My Life is Like a Bad Lawyer Joke
How can a pregnant woman tell that she's carrying a future lawyer?

She has an uncontrollable craving for baloney.

Now normally I avoid discussing work on my blog. I don't know who's reading and I would prefer to keep my job, thank you very much. But sometimes I am frustrated beyond belief with my colleagues. And no, I'm not talking about my co-workers, I'm talking about my opponents - opposing counsel. I'm a litigator so, yeah, some hostility goes along with the job but some attorneys seem to have raised "scorch and burn" litigation to an art form. (And in case you're wondering, I do not do personal injury law or medical malpractice. You couldn't pay me enough. I specialize in complex contract and commercial disputes.)

Now I'm very tempted to give you several personal examples. Unfortunately, that would probably come back and bite me in the ass. I'd prefer not to have to disguise details on the off chance that a lawyer I know In Real Life wanders in here!

On a good day I love my job. It's challenging and intellectually stimulating. And, very occasionally, I feel like I have made a difference for someone. By far the worst part of my job is dealing with other lawyers. So when I saw that a site I enjoy, JD Bliss, has started a new blog specifically dedicated to civility among lawyer, I was thrilled! I'll be checking it every now and then to see what people post. And maybe I'll share some of my stories there....

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8 Comments:

Blogger PunditMom said...

Lawyer Mama, that's why I gave up the law and went back to journalism. All those opposing counsel out there who have decided there's no need to have a copy of the Rules of Procedure, because they're not going to follow them anyway!

My worst 'lack of civility' moment -- opposing counsel didn't like the questions I was asking of his client in a deposition, so after we closed the record, he started throwing things at me (really -- his jacket, his copy of the Maryland Rules). So I re-opened the record to put on the record what had just happened, and he just about had apoplexy!

Ah, those were the days. Hang in there ... there are a few who can still be civil. Maybe it will be fodder for a book someday!

Blogger jen said...

love it. i also am hesitant to share my work life here for the same reasons...yet the forum is nice. good that you found one.

Anonymous CrankMama said...

I thought my line of work was bad... women crying in my office... but perhaps that's better than scorch and burn...

Blogger Lawyer Mama said...

PM - That's just lovely. I've definitely encountered lawyers who have made me want to hurl, but not literally hurl something at them. I was, however, once the recipient of a stapler toss. Luckily he had bad aim.

As a teacher, I can't imagine what it's like in law but I do know that in every profession, education included, there are always those nasty coworkers that just plain suck. That new blog is a good idea. Civility among lawyers? Might be more difficult than cilivity among early childhood teachers/professors, but you never know!

Blogger ExPatSW said...

As one whose profession makes me a target in the court arena, I can cheerfully say that I would gladly do the hurling.....but it would be something damned heavier than a stapler! [Yeah, got ripped by my first UK solicitor in court the other day and, let's just say, it was NOT pleasant!]

It seems like in every profession people go at it with each other. Although I could see where lawyers might be particularly difficult - given their penchant for arguing and all!

Loved that joke at the beginning :)

Anonymous R*belle said...

My state actually just added an oath of civility that all lawyers had to take before the end of the year. Sadly they had to extend the deadline about three times. I actually think I am good opposing counsel, I work hard to do my best and be firm, but to be fair if I can.
And no, I don't talk about my work on my blog at all either. Like you say, just not a good idea.

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