Thursday, February 21, 2008

it's the ricola talking

Greetings, my lovelies. I am currently fighting the flu, although for the moment in seems to be winning. I took yesterday off from work, and it looks as though I will be doing the same today. I spoke to one of my clients on the phone last night, and he expressed his concern for my well-being:

"You should stay home again tomorrow. Take care of yourself. Get better."


"Because the last thing I need is for you to get all of my lawyers sick. I'd be out on the street."

Thanks. That's touching, really. But I guess the customer is always right. I also may have neglected to tell him that the work I had planned on doing was sending out discovery for one of his cases. But, lawyer heal thyself, as they say.

You'll also be happy to know that I've had a few run-ins with hostile judges as of late. Nothing on par with my struggle against the forces of Judge Hatehoov, a conflict so epic it is destined to be passed down the generations in epic verse, accompanied by lute and lyre. But enough to pass the time in the midst of voluminous document review.

By the way: Document Review. It is truly awful, oui? I'm trying to think how to analogize document review for other professions. If I were a doctor, and someone were to say unto me, "Dr. Hoov, we've got a few hundred dead bodies over in that closet, and we're going to need you to rummage through their intestines to determine how they died." That would be like document review.

So I will glady put aside my intestine-rummaging to get yelled at by a judge any ol' day of the week. This time around, the judge thinks I'm engaging in "delay tactics". Now, assuming that I have a few readers out there who are still human and not lawyers, let me explain "delay tactics".

The other side keeps filing deficient pleadings. So we object to them with the appropriate apparatus, be it a motion to strike or a demurrer or what have you. And the stuff they're doing wrong isn't just nit-picky technical stuff. It's um, kinda serious. Ok, not really. It's nit-picky. But still! I didn't write the laws saying how you have to do this stuff, and I didn't write the laws saying you can challenge pleadings when they don't do this stuff right, mmkay? I am but a man among men. I won't say I'm a hero, 'cause what's as hero? Maybe I'm just the man for my time and place.

Also, these guys are filing form complaints. Complaints. That are on a form. You open it up in Adobe Reader and you check the boxes and fill in the blanks. And these people can't properly file a form complaint. Should my client be prejudiced because Goofus, Esq. can't fill out a form?

So, they file their little "document", we look over it, do some legal CSI to figure out what's wrong with it, and then point it out to the court. This has happened 3 times. And somehow, the judge keeps reading me the riot act because of my "delay tactics" over "silly issues". Don't yell at me - this guy's been practicing law since the Magna Carta - you think he could fill out a form.

So that's been fun. And now I have the flu. Which Hawkgirl gave me.

"Happy Valentine's Day," I said. "I have flown 1300 miles to see you. And here is a present, which I crafted for you with my own two hands."

"And here is a virus." she said. "And a raspberry ganache!"

Actually, in retrospect, that does seem like a pretty decent trade. The ganache was ganawesome. I may have eaten about a third of it for breakfast one morning. I also may have attributed the sudden ganache diminution to her roommate. I can neither confirm nor deny.

Sadly, thanks to the magic of the internet, I am not spared my innards review merely because I am steeped in disease. I use a thoroughly mediocre program called Citrix to access the document database at the San Fran office. All of the PC'ified lawyers think this method is the bleeding edge of technology, as though by logging-in remotely to Windows NT we were skirting dangerously close to the The Singularity.

But I know better. Citrix is on par with Apple's Remote Desktop... from 8 years ago. This must be how Daniel felt.