Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Happiness Is...

I often joke that in my business happiness is a closed file.  For a file to be closed it has to have been resolved in some manner.  Living life as I do on the civil side of the justice system, significantly more often than not, the resolution to which I refer is a settlement.  

Yesterday morning, I traveled to the bucolic confines of the Brennan Courthouse in Jersey City, which in spite of the fact that it is almost impossible to get to by car without first experiencing a bout or three of road rage, is one of this State's truly beautiful public buildings.  A case that I have been defending for my favorite institutional client for several years finally had its trial date.  We were assigned out at the calendar call and, thereafter, spent the next several hours hammering out a settlement.  Her Honor, Judge Rose, was a terrific help to us in resolving the case.  At day's end, the plaintiffs likely went home thinking they had accepted too little and both defendants (my client and my co-counsel's client) likely felt as if each had offered too much.  In other words, it was an "as close to perfect" settlement as I ever attain.  

When our work was wrapped up, and I was saying goodbye to the plaintiffs' attorney, it occurred to me that a fellow attorney with whom I have had too many conversations to count over the course of the past two-plus years (particularly since the calendar flipped to 2017) I shall speak with only infrequently between now and whenever his clients' closing documents are provided to the defendants' attorneys and, thereafter, rarely if at all.  I shall miss our semi-regular conversations. He is one of our profession's true gentlemen.  I enjoyed litigating this case against him, not because we did not each advocate our clients' positions vigorously, which we did, but because we did so cordially and professionally.  

It is the nature of our profession that attention is paid to open, ongoing matters and little time is set aside to take a ride on the Nostalgia Wagon.  Little opportunity shall present itself for the two of us to chat at length unless and until we renew our acquaintance in some yet-to-be-filed lawsuit.  

Happiness is a closed file.  Every now and again, the blue skies of happiness are accented with just a touch of grey.  Yesterday was such an occasion.


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