Friday, July 16, 2010

For All The Diamonds And All The Hands

I spent yesterday where I shall spend today - in Bayonne, New Jersey. My client is involved in a wrongful death action and these two days are devoted to conducting the depositions of individuals who the plaintiff (daughter of the decedent) obtained statements from and upon whom (for reasons that were not entirely clear to me as the completion of yesterday's session) she hopes to rely for testimony at trial. Writing that sentence just made me realize that one of my favorite legal redundancies is the concept of 'wrongful' death. Does anyone sue for 'correct' death or 'appropriate' death? Not in my experience anyway.

Not once have I represented a defendant who has received a letter from the plaintiff who is suing it due to the death of a loved one that says, "Thank you for what you have done. Thanks to your negligence, old Aunt Fannie was injured and later died of her wounds. Now all of us can finally do all those things we always wanted to do but could not when she was still alive because she was such a pain in the a##." Maybe next year I will defend my first "rightful" death action but I will resist the temptation to hold my breath in eager anticipation of doing so. When one says the phrase "I am defending a death case" it seems to me that the "wrongful" is understood or implied.......sort of like the "s" in Illinois.

I have lived my entire life in New Jersey, except for the four years I spent living principally in Boulder while I went to CU. To date I have spent disproportionately more time gazing across the river at Manhattan's skyline than I have spent walking on its sidewalks. Driving into Bayonne yesterday morning I had a truly spectacular view of that skyline. The sky above Manhattan was slate gray. But not entirely so. There was a break in the clouds at what appeared to be about the mid-point between the Empire State Building and the Battery that cast down a simply gorgeous and ethereal ray of light onto the buildings below.

It was a beautiful enough sight that I found it difficult to look away. Even while looking at it - and absorbing what I was seeing - my eye was drawn towards the southern tip of the City. And to what was no longer there to be seen.

This morning we are officially in the second half of July. Already. Before you know it, it will be August. And then it will be September. Again. Nine years. Already.

Another fast fading, nothing lasts forever summer is half the way gone.

-AK

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