Back in 1L year, the whole class would run around spotting potential torts all day. Is that a puddle on the floor? Better mop it up. Now you have actual notice. If I stick my finger in this blender and it doesn’t stop dicing, does that qualify as product liability? I should totally sue. We thought we were so smart. It wasn’t cute.
Anyway, we have a new guy at the office now, so I’m no longer the most junior attorney. And I realize how not-inexperienced I am anymore. More importantly I guess, I am not legally naive.
*Moe’s first day coincided with the first day we were to begin trial in federal court. And this kid thinks he’s Antonin Fuckin’ Scalia or something. He had an incredible amount of fresh! new! ideas about the direction we could take this trial. Oh, really now? Do tell. Yeah, we’ve prepared and pored over paper for months, but yes, I really think you have the solution.
And then I’m trying to explain to him a huge, HUGE, HUGE issue that we feared the opposing side might raise which could dismiss our entire case.
PerStirpes: You should start catching up by researching assignments and licensing. See, an assignment is—
I am trying to offer you an agreed judgment. I am trying to give you money. Why won’t you call me back, ya dumb ho?
Sixty six requests for production? I got something for you:
Dear client, this is exactly why no one wants to work with you. If we were business partners, I’d go out of my way to breach my fiduciary duties just so I can stop working with you. I would breach all of them.
No, I don’t know what the other side is going to do next. No, I don’t know what I”m going to do in response to the thing I think they might do. And no, I don’t know what they’ll do when I do the thing I think I’ll do. Do I look like a fucking wizard?
My calendar tells me that if I’m sitting at the beginning of May and I need to wait for the beginning of September, four months will pass.
Last Friday, at a hearing in front of a full courtroom of seasoned attorneys, Judge *T yelled at me and told me I was wrong.
Apparently, nine minus five doesn’t always equal four in Texas.
See, I had a motion for summary judgment on a sure win case! My clients were owed money, and at no point had the Defendant denied this. I knew Defendant’s counsel wanted to ask for a continuance [in laymen terms: “can I get some more time to respond to this motion?”], but I swear I had it in the bag.
The hearing was underway and the Judge was about ready to sign an order allowing the Defendant until September to respond.
Quick lesson: In Texas, a Respondent to a Motion for Summary Judgment gets a minimum of 21 days after the filing of a MSJ before the motion is heard. So, if I file the motion on January 1, I can have the hearing on my motion as early as January 22. Sure, I can set the hearing on say, July 1, but why give them more time than the rules require?
I knew Defendant was out of the country until the end of the month, but giving her until September to re-set this hearing was a little too nice, even for me.
"Judge, I understand you’re inclined to grant a continuance but is there anyway we could get a shorter—"
"Oh… but you see, a three month continuance after she’s returned is much too long—"
"THREE????! It’s TWOOOOOO! It is NOT TOO LONG."
His voice boomed throughout the courtroom. He was f-u-r-i-o-u-s that I dared ask to shorten his continuance.
So I stood there counting on my fingers. May, June, July, August. That’s four.
If she returns end of May, that’s June, July, August. That’s three.
June, July, August. That’s still more than two.
"SHE GETS ONE MONTH TO SETTLE BACK INTO THE COUNTRY. SHE GETS ONE MONTH TO RESPOND TO YOUR MOTION.”
Uh… what? The Rules of Civil Procedure allow me 21 days, but Judge T* grants her SIXTY flipping days, plus like, a whole bonus month.
And although that is the most goddamn ridiculous thing I’ve heard, what else can a first year lawyer say but, “Ok. Two. Yes, your honor.”