Friday, July 07, 2006

Rebuking Satan

Dealing with opposing counsel seriously makes me feel like the Church Lady. My nickname for him is Satan.

In my limited experience, I've found that most litigators understand very basic things about discovery, including the fact that sometimes it is just plain difficult to get clients on board with the very mundane details of litigation. But then there is the occasional asswipe who decides to make a teenage soap opera over every little detail (putting the focus on minor goofs on your part while deftly avoiding charges of blame for doing the exact same thing in sextuplicate) and then threaten to hold you personally responsible.

In boxing, they have a term for this: hitting below the belt.

I'm sorry, but unless you're dealing with, well, Satan on the other side, most lawyers are just doing their jobs. They're trying to be advocates, which means sometimes not laying out your case for you on a silver platter. Hell, if opposing counsel did that for you, you would be out of a job. So why does Satan feel the need to fight dirty?

After I kick his ass in court I am soooo doing a Superior Dance.


At July 11, 2006 at 3:50 AM, Blogger NWsixer said...

Urgh... nitpicking, small-membered, opposing counsel...

Well done on overcoming the urge to jump up and down on them until they pop.

I do a lot of M&A work and opposing lawyers often use the silent treatment on phone calls to try and get you to cave in. I shar with you now my patented technique for dealing with them.

Hanging up the phone. When they ring back tell them you assumed they had gone home.

Then go home.

Have a beer.


Maybe kick a stuffed animal.

Or indeed, a Victory Dance.

Nice blog.

At July 12, 2006 at 7:32 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Thanks, nwsixer!

That silent treatment sounds annoying as all hell. Satan will sometimes completely ignore a question I've asked him four or five times, send me an email about something HE wants answered, and then throw a hissy fit when I don't respond within 12 hours. Um... hello? I'm not gonna go around doing things to help out YOUR client while you're dragging your feet on very basic courtesy to MINE.

Alcohol, I'm convinced, is God's way of making sure everyone has a way to be happy at some point in their lives. (Yes, I know I mixed plural and singular in that sentence, but the sentence was meant to be conversational rather than strictly grammatical)

At July 12, 2006 at 7:44 AM, Blogger NWsixer said...

I am half ashamed/half proud that 10 years in practice has given me so very few pearls of wisdom to pass on.

One that was related to me wa always remember the "Arse trinity" when giving advice.

This is the order of the arses which we protect when we're on a case:

1. Your own;
2. Your firm's;
3. Your client's.

Amen on the alcohol. As a man wiser than me once said, "the cause of and cure for, all of life's problems...".

Good luck smacking Satan.

At July 12, 2006 at 7:49 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

I've always thought Homer to be in a class of his own... :)

Your CYA ranking seems in line with my experience -- at least, I know if it came down to it, I'd cover mine before I'd cover the firm's or the client's. Hey, I never pretended not to be selfish :0)

Thanks -- we shall see how next month's hearing goes!


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