Monday, November 13, 2006

so now i'm back in the court room waitin' on the outcome

Hoov Goes to the Acupuncturist: A One Act Play

"For starters, You should stop eating pizza and stop drinking coffee."

"Well, nice meeting you. Do you validate?"

Seriously though - the acupuncture was a cool experience, and mad props to Karen for giving me the hook-ups at her clinic. But methinks that today might not have been the best day to go...

Today I had to go back to the downtown L.A. courthouse, to make an appearance in front of the judge that hates me. Last month this judge eviscerated me for our firm's decision to postpone a mediation. A stipulated and voluntary mediation that was to take place two days after we subbed-in as new counsel and that our clients informed us they would in no way be able to attend.

So, postponing seemed like a reasonable choice, not to mention the only choice.

Not to The Honorable Judge Hatehoov. She yelled at me, repeatedly interrupted me, refused to let me advocate our position, and set a sanctions hearing for failing to attend a court ordered mediation. That seemed like an odd course to me, in light of the fact that the mediation was, as I said, voluntary.

But I hadn't packed a toothbrush, so I wasn't going to argue with her.

That was last month. Today was... well, I hesitate to use the word "worse". Because worse would imply that the two were in the same category of misery. Last month's hearing was maybe on par with having your car stall out on the freeway, whereas today's hearing was more like having my car stolen from me at gun point.

See? Same physical context, but the latter is so much worse that it strains the comparison.

Just so you know, we had done the mediation. We found a private mediator that would let our clients (president and general counsel for a publicly traded company, and thus predictably based in NY) appear over the phone. No settlement was reached, but we got the numbers a bit closer and it was generally amicable.

However, "amicable" is not a word that Judge Hatehoov can understand, because like many of her fellow reptiles, she doesn't have ears. Well, she does has vestigial earlobes, but I can't honestly suggest that she possesses any of the mechanisms necessary to intake and process language produced by humans.

No, she is more akin to a snake. Her tongue flapping is so constant that I can only imagine she is using it to detect heat and motion. But she found me, and now there is a Hoov-shaped lump working its way down her neck.

Ok, that was a bit graphic. But seriously. She yelled at us (opposing counsel decided to show up this time), insulted us ("you two don't get it"), lectured us, sanctioned us, and finally threw me out when I asked her to repeat a date she had set. Well, perhaps she didn't technically throw me out, but she did loudly request that I go to the back of the court room. Which, incidentally, is where the door is. So it's like being thrown out by implication, or constructively defenestrated.

Needless to say, I was still a bit tense when it came time to lie down and have people insert needles into me. I'll probably take another stab at it (ha!) when I get back from a relaxing Thanksgiving trip to Texas. A few days away from the smog always clears my head.

When Thad got home he asked how the appointment had gone...

"So you can't drink any more coffee?"

"Nope. Not until this pot is done brewing. Have you tried the Ethiopian?"