Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Eye to Eye

Bad new abounds today for my assistant Lucia. After spending the first two days this week camped out in the Middlesex County Courthouse waiting to get assigned out to trial and then starting trial in a matter, I shall be in the office all day to torment her. As happy as my client was when I told him yesterday afternoon that the matter against him had been settled, she was equally dismayed. I have had that effect on every room my entire life. I brighten them always upon exit. Never upon entry. The good news for her is that today is already Wednesday. I will only be in the office today, tomorrow and half a day on Friday before bugging out for A.C. to watch Frank compete in the State Championship. Only two and one-half days in real time. It will likely feel like twice that in "Adam" time. Everything is relative after all.

One of my favorite people is my former assistant T. T and I worked together for more than five years. She had been with the Firm for close to fourteen years when she left shortly before Thanksgiving. As great as you might think from afar it would be to interact with me on day in/day out basis, T apparently aspired to greater and loftier goals. The final few years we worked together she worked full-time during the day while earning her nursing degree at night. She graduated in December. Today she sits for her nursing exam, which as I understand it is the nursing profession's version of the bar exam - one must pass it to actually work as a R.N. I have little doubt that she shall kick ass on it. I wish her well in the endeavor. When you are fortunate enough to encounter and interact with good people in your day-to-day, even when they are no longer part of your day-to-day their light never fades from your view completely. T is a good person. I hope she achieves the success she deserves.

Yesterday rather than having to try the matter on which we had been assigned out, my adversary and I resolved it amicably. Candidly, amicable resolution was the avenue for resolution that both of our clients deserved. There was nothing extraordinary about the matter either factually or legally. But for less than ten seconds of contact three and one half years ago, it is reasonable to presume that the two principals involved never would have made the acquaintance of one another. My client is a nice man and at the risk of being drummed out of the defense bar - the plaintiff is also. Over the course of the past couple of years I have had the pleasure of defending several matters prosecuted on behalf of clients by the attorney who represented this plaintiff. He is a good lawyer and even a better person. I learned quite a bit from him over the course of these several cases - stuff that I will hopefully bear in mind as I move on to other matters and he does as well.

The interesting, sometimes almost inconceivable thing about defending civil matters as opposed to doing criminal work is that quite often compromise is the best solution to the parties' dispute. No one wins. Yet to a degree everyone wins. My hackneyed effort at explaining it no doubt does little to illuminate the point. If so, then the fault lays with my explanation and not with the process.

There ain't no good guys.
There ain't no bad guys.
There's only you and me and we just disagree.

Not the context in which Dave Mason wrote it I know but apt nonetheless.


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