Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Don't Mess with My Daughter

Meet Dick. Meet Jane.

See Dick and Jane love each other.

See Dick and Jane break up and get restraining orders. Written on nice paper!

See Dick ignore restraining order and go to Jane's house.

See Dick drag Jane to a barn and pistol whip her.

See Jane's Roomate and Dad come to the scene.

See Dick try to shoot Roommate and Dad.

See Dad shoot back. Five times.

See Dick finally obey restraining order. Forever.

Paper covers Rock. Rock crushes Scissors. Scissors cut Paper. Guns beat paper. Any day.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Blogroll Maintenance

Since I started this blog, I have had the pleasure of reading and interacting with bloggers I have never even met.  As I "meet" new writers, I like to add them to the blogroll.  Please take a minute (or an hour) and enjoy their writing.  Believe me, they are better than I am at this.

Also, if you are a regular reader or commenter, and I have not added you to the blogroll, please let me know so I can add you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter! (Quote for the Week)

Come, ye saints, look here and wonder
See the place where Jesus lay
He has burst His bands asunder
He has borne our sins away
Joyful tidings, Yes, the Lord has risen to-day.

Thomas Kelly

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sounds Like Something I Would Do

From my friend's Facebook page:

So I'm leaving my in laws house & get a call from my father in law telling me I forget something, keys maybe, wallet...nope one of my

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Finding Myself

It's now been about a month and a half since I became the managing partner of the firm.  It's certainly been an interesting ride.  My workload has more than doubled, since my partner has now devoted himself fully to the pursuit of political office.

I have been blessed with a great team.  As with every team, members have strengths and weaknesses, and part of my challenge as a leader is to highlight their strengths and shore up or minimize their weaknesses.  That's actually a fun part because I feel like I'm putting together a puzzle.  We've shifted a few responsibilities around and changed some of the processes.  Hopefully, the result is a leaner, more efficient office.

The biggest time drain has been the business aspect of the firm.  I've picked it up in the middle of the stream, so I haven't had the benefit of letting my skills grow along with the firm.  I'm suddenly in charge of a large advertising budget, with many people more than willing to help me spend it.  I'm juggling vendors, and have changed vendors where I felt necessary.  We've also made some interesting marketing decisions that should be fun.  Well, as much fun as a stuffed-shirt, heartless attorney can have.

Overall, it's been a great learning experience.  There's equal measures of reputation management, staff guiding, and still remembering to wear my attorney hat.

I think I'll keep going.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quote for the Week

Money doesn't change men, it merely unmasks them. If a man is naturally selfish or arrogant or greedy, the money brings that out, that's all.

Henry Ford

Thursday, April 14, 2011

No Fairytale

I try not to get emotionally involved in my cases.  It's a bright line I have drawn, and one I work hard to keep.  I cannot give effective advice if I am emotionally drawn in.  At times, it makes me seem cold and apathetic, but I am more effective that way.  I do care, it's just that I care differently.

And yet, there are these cases.

I walk into my conference room and stifle the surprise.  The lady at the table looks just like a relative of mine.  The look is so similar, I am taken aback.  I compose myself and get her story.

She is dressed conservatively, yet with the care of someone who takes pride in her appearance.  Her hands fold and unfold in front of her, and she looks nervous.  She is in her 50's, and has spent decades fighting someone else's fight.  Ambitions and dreams have been happily pushed aside so her husband can reach his goals.  They have raised two sons, now both out of college and pursuing successful careers of their own.  She has been looking forward to spending their future together, now living the life they have dreamed about.

The best laid plans...

Her husband struck a friendship with a woman up out of state.  This started as an internet friendship, but quickly became serious.  Last week, she says, he packed up his stuff and said the true love of his life was this new lady.  He got in his vehicle and left, never looking back.  He cancelled the health insurance, car insurance, all utilities, cashed in his substantial retirement account, and cleaned out the bank account as well.
After taking some days to pull herself together, she begins to clean up his side of the room.  She finds a tiny slip of paper, about 1/4" by 1/2", with three lines of text: a first name, a street name (no number) and the state.  Armed with that information, she calls me and makes the appointment. 
Time to get to work.

Unfortunately, the husband has moved fast.  In the days before Zaba and other search engines, finding someone with the small bit of information I had was no easy task.  But we make it work, and I eventually track down the hiding husband.  He gets served, and we finally get the ball moving.

A court order needed to stop the retirement plan distribution does not come in time.  Tens of thousands of dollars are gone.  She is swiftly running out of money, and has returned to work, working 7 days a week just to catch up.  Now in a position she never anticipated, she's starting to rebuild.

The case drags on for four years.  Hearings, notices, negotiations, rejections.  A sad case all around.  By the time the case finally concludes, no one wins.  The parties end up fighting for nothing more than memories.  What little was left to save has been wasted trying to save it.  She'll get the house, the contents of the house and the car.  Eventually, she'll get her portion of the retirement money back.  Currently, he has none to give.  Time will tell if he sticks to court ordered payments.  I close the file.

Recently, now ten years after I first met her, I met some friends at a restaurant to discuss an upcoming event for which we were volunteering.  The restaurant, not my pick, is a cheap, well known greasy spoon.  It's loud and busy, though that's not what bothers me.  I can feel my arteries clogging from the smell, and I'm gaining weight just walking past the food.  Heck, I'm gaining weight just writing about it now.

It's almost 10p.  We sit down and begin to hash out details.  My attention is drawn by movement to the left.  I look up, and I see her.  My former client is waiting tables.  She's older now, has lost weight, and is still hard at work.  I try to get her attention, but I don't think she remembers me.  Or she is trying not to.  I hope she's happy with where she is.  I hope things have gotten better for her.

She was a good client, but I am reminded that, most of the time, there are no fairytale endings.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Just in Case

Just in case you need another reminder, here's an article from

Never Talk to the Police.

It's not that I don't like the police.  It's just that, if you are being questioned, no good comes from trying to answer.  Either they already have what they need (so they don't need your answers) or they don't (and need to get back to work finding it).  You will be unable to help yourself.  All you can do is hurt yourself.

I've mentioned it here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Hmm...  I'm starting to sense a pattern.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Quote for the Week

Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hello, Murphy. Now Get Out!

The day actually started out pretty normally.  I dropped off the girls at the bus stop, and talked with one of the neighbors while we waited for the school bus.  Then, I took off for work, knowing I would not have a lot of time to get stuff done.  I had a seminar in the afternoon, so that left me a half a day to get some work off my desk.

I barely made it out of the street and into one of the main roads when the truck ran out of gas.  Now, before you wag your finger, the gas gauge does not work, but I had figured out gas consumption, so I thought I was safe.  However, one unplanned trip was unaccounted for and I ended up about two blocks short.  I know... bad planning.  The truck stopped in the middle of the road.  During rush hour.  I'm going to be late for work, and now the whole city hates me.

I got out and started to push.  Thankfully, I was helped by three other motorists, who pushed me into a nearby parking lot.  I got out and hoofed it over to the gas station about two blocks away.  At least it wasn't raining.  I get the gas and head back to the truck. 

I start pouring the gas, and after a few seconds, my pants leg feels cold.  Yep.  The gas has been dripping down the can and onto my pants.  Great.  I set the gas can in the truck and head to the gas station to fill up.  Then, off to work, with my gas pants.

At about 11:30a, I head out to the seminar with one of our other attorneys.  It's my turn to drive.  At least I know I have plenty of gas.  We open the doors to the truck and are greeted by the smell of gas.  Great.  I left the gas can in the truck.  Looks like we'll be heading down to the seminar with the windows down.  At least it's not raining.

Now, when I attend a seminar, I typically dress down.  I've never really had an issue with that.  Today, I'm dressed in blue jeans (with the special gasoline scent) and a polo shirt.  I walk into the seminar, and there's about 160 other attorneys and judges.  I'm the only one dressed casual.  I'm fitting in like a milk bucket under a bull.  Great.

I pick my seat, as usual, near the back.  I set down my seminar notebook, my phone, and go get a glass of water.  I'm not sure if the ice was an extra charge, but I can't find any.  I take my warm water and sit down.  I turn to the side to talk to an attorney, when I see it coming.

Another attorney is walking up the row in front of me, and she's carrying a large purse.  This thing is huge!  I think she's carrying her car and probably a paralegal in this thing.  She carefully threads her way closer.  She swings around to greet someone else, and before I can react, her purse comes around and nails my glass of water like a bowling ball in the pocket. The cup falls over with a vengeance and spills all of the water onto my notebook, on my phone, and all over the table cloth in front of me.  Great.  She never notices, and happily takes her seat.  Now, other attorneys are filing in, looking at me, and wondering if I'm incapable of drinking water without making a mess.  Thanks.  My notebook has a color cover, and the color's now starting to run.  The papers are wrinkling, and I'm hoping my phone survives.  Now, I can't find my pen, so I won't even be able to take notes on my soggy paper.

I finally make it out without further embarassment and we drive back to the office.  I decide to put in some extra time to try and catch up.  I get engrossed in my work, and don't leave the office until 6:45p.  I head home, grab dinner, and finally get to sit down.  At about 7:15p, my cell phone rings.  I answer.  I'm supposed to be at a meeting about 20 minutes away.  The meeting was supposed to start at 6p, but it was delayed an hour.  Now ready to start, they have been waiting for me.  Great. 

Other than that, it was actually a pretty uneventful day.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fighting for the Freedom of the Middle East

I have no clue what we are doing in Libya.  Neither does our President.

I have no idea what the plan is in Iraq.  Neither does our President.  Neither did our previous President.

While we may have had some semblance of a plan in Afghanistan, it seems to have rolled off the table and be stuck in a floorboard crack somewhere.  Our President does not know what it is.  Our previous President is the one who let the plan roll of the table in the first place.  Or, it may have never existed.  In any event, he's to blame as well.

There's a lot of smoke being blown around about what our plans are.  We are fighting for them, to give them freedom.  Do they want it?  What are they going to do with it?

In the last two years, Christians have been burned alive by Muslims in Gorja, Pakistan, and by Hindu extremists in Orissa, India. Christian churches have been torched and scores of the faithful massacred on holy days in Iraq and Egypt. Few of these atrocities have received the media attention of the Rev. Jones’ stupid stunt or the Danish cartoonist’s irreverent scribbles.

Before America sends more of her sons to die for the freedom of Arabs and Muslims, perhaps we ought to have a better idea of what these folks intend to do with that freedom. For across that Muslim world, the faith that created our world, Christianity, is being persecuted and in some sectors annihilated.

Who are we fighting for?  Pat Buchanan

Go read the whole thing. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Going Back!

Found these videos of old cell phone commercials.  That's bringing back some memories!

Number 6 was my first phone. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Quote for the Week

A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

Max Lucado

Saturday, April 2, 2011

That Might be Why

Text messaging a friend:

Incoming:  How are you doing?

Me:  Doing great, how are you?

Incoming:  My therapist told me I need anger management.

Me:  Wow...So, are you going?

Incoming:  I don't know. Probably. She made me mad when she said that.