THE STANKOWSKI REPORT #12: Why I Keep Coming Back for More
By Stan Stankowski
Things progress at the law firm, as they do from time to time elsewhere. And that is and of itself a hell of a statement considering.
At any rate, I know that I have bitched, from day to day, about the quality of life, and quite frankly all of those things are still true. However, I have discovered that working as an attorney is much like the game of golf. You start out, you know very little, you are lucky just to hit the ball. At some point, you begin hitting the ball and then you occasionally hit a good shot. It is nothing completely spectacular; however, it keeps you coming back for more. [Note: only lawyers think that it is important to use a semicolon before the word however, it is just one of those things.] At any rate, here are some examples of those shots that keep you coming back for more. They are not always favorable, but damn if they don't catch your eye just a little bit, kind of like a 300 yard slice into the woods....
For some reason, even though you do not practice in this area, you have ended up at an employment deposition. Racial discrimination is the charge. Your client, an executive of some sort is being deposed....
Plaintiff's Attorney ("PA"): So, what does this document represent?
Witness ("W"): Well it seems to be a list.
Partner ("P"): Object to form.
PA: Look partner, there is nothing to object to ...
P: Take your deposition and let me do my job.
Stan ("S"): *This is the fifth time in ten minutes, it is getting a little old... what is this on my blackberry...* [asterisks denote thought, not speech, after all, no speaking for you]
PA: Welll what is it a list of?
S: *Hmmm, that is a really interesting print on the wall, I wonder how much it cost...*
W: It's of my employees.
S:*I wonder if someone will buy lunch, weird how I don't normally eat lunch, but I really want ...*
PA: Which employees?
S: * lunch today, maybe something with meat instead of just a salad, that would be great, meat...*
W: Well, it's all the nigg ...... African-Americans at the company.
S: *maybe a hambur...Hello? Did he almost say nigg...*
PA: Did he just almost say "niggers?" I cannot believe this. Read that back. I cannot believe this. Did that really happen? Read that back...
P: <head in hands>
P: (whispering) Do you have your checkbook?
PA: Did you hear that? Did anyone else hear that?
W: I didn't say anything.
S: *Holy Shit*
Court Reporter: "Well, its all the nigg .... African-Americans...."
PA: This is unconscionable!
S: *Holy Shit*
P: <head in hands>
And then, there is the other kind of interesting,
P: I think we are going to lose this motion...
S: Well, if we look at this case...
P: Lose I say, I cann...
S: No really, listen, we have an argument..
P: Dead in the water...
S: Maybe not, I mean.....
P: Leave whatever you have on my desk, I don't have time for this....
<three hours to three days elapse>
S: Ummm, yes?
P: Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Write it up.
And, of course the ultimate reward..
S: On what?
Courier: The judge ruled, you won! Congrats!
S: Really? On that?
So, in the end, it is certainly not all bad. About ten percent of your shots will be amazing, under par type shots. And you will love it, even if it doesn't work in your client's favor. And at times like that, well, you realize this isn't all bad. In fact, it is really pretty good. For about five minutes.
And that is enough to keep you coming back.
About the Author: Stan Stankowski is the pseudonym of a first-year associate working in a litigation firm somewhere in the South. For more details, read his introductory post, as well as Evan Schaeffer's introduction. The collected Stankowski Reports are here.