THE STANKOWSKI REPORT #19: In Over My Head with the Plaintiffs' Bar
by Stan Stankowski
Partner: Well, I guess I have to call this asshole lawyer and tell him what I think
of his letter. Jackass.
Stan: It is pretty unreasonable.
Partner: Of course it is! I don't know what he thinks we are going to say.
Stan: He thinks that we will compromise. That might not be a bad idea...
Partner: Fuck yes it is. I will call him after lunch.
Stan: I can do it.
Partner: You think so?
Stan: Of course.
Partner: You know what to say?
Stan: His position is ridiculous for the following four reasons ..... and
just because he has run over local podunk counsel for six months doesn't
mean he will get his way this time.
Partner: I think that's right. Call him. If you can't deal with it, conference me in.
Stan: I can deal with it.
Partner: You think?
Partner: All right, if you can't call me.
Stan: Will do.
[Interlude: Of course, there is no way in hell I am calling Partner. I would make an offer of judgment, which we clearly have no intention of doing, before I would call Partner. Partner would, of course, help me if I did call, on the other hand, it is very clear that Partner is somewhat happy that I have asked for this. Obviously, this is do or die.]
Stan: Bigelow Worthington please.
Receptionist: May I tell him who is calling?
Stan: Stan Stankowski.
Receptionist: Hold please.
[And so, I hold.]
Stan: This is Stan Stankowski, from X, Y, Z, and M in [fill in city and state]. I think you got my letter a couple of days ago.
Bigelow: Oh, of course. Look here, Dan.
Stan: It's Stan.
Bigelow: Whatever. I can't let my client be subjected to this, I am outraged that you would even suggest it!
Stan: You are outraged that we would want to depose the plaintiff?
Bigelow: In these circumstances, yes! I really can't take you seriously at this point.
Stan: Fine, I'll just move to compel. We clearly have a right to depose your guy.
Bigelow: Why would you do that?
Stan: [Admittedly confused. What the hell am I supposed to say? "Ummm, well people normally depose the plaintiff...." at any rate, he's got me there.]....<cough>
Bigelow: Well, why would you?
Stan: [Coming to my senses] My client has a right to depose him and that is what we intend to do. Frankly, I am a little surprised that you are objecting, we have agreed to fly to [BFE] to take it....
Bigelow: My client has a job and children and he doesn't have time for this.
Stan: Perhaps he should avoid suing people if he can't manage to find the time to participate in the process....
Bigelow: What kind of smart ass thing is that to say?
Bigelow: You're lucky I don't file a bar complaint against you! You sonofabitch!! Belittling my client's livelihood...
Stan: Look, I clearly was not belittling his livelihood, I am just pointing out that we are all inconvenienced by a lawsuit.
Bigelow: Maybe you are, but this is his life! And his coworkers' lives. Who the hell are you to--
Stan: I am the defense lawyer, and really, I just want to talk to the guy.
Bigelow: Fuck you. I am bringing this up at the hearing in two weeks, I cannot believe you. Punks pass the bar and think they can . . .
Stan: What did you say?
Bigelow: I said "Fuck you," your behavior is intolerable.
Bigelow: You heard me. I know you want to be a tough guy for the higher ups...
[And of course, Bigelow is correct. I want to be a tough guy. I mean hell, I have to handle this. On the other hand, I really haven't been tough. I have just been trying to talk. I am at a loss.]
Bigelow: ... and fuck that, I represent real people....
Stan: Look, I am just trying to set a date for deposition.
Bigelow: ...and real people have lives and you can't respect that...
Stan: We all have lives...
Bigelow: ...maybe if you would wake the hell ...
Stan: Look, agree or don't. If not, I will just file my motion tomorrow.
Bigelow: ...Hey, fuck you man, I represent....
Stan: Eat a dick. Just say yes or no.
Bigelow: Did you just say "Eat a dick"
Bigelow: I'm calling Partner, he sure as hell doesn't want you working...
Stan: Yes or no on the deposition? [though admittedly, I am about to piss in my pants. What the hell was I thinking? ]
Bigelow: Oh sure, we can have a deposition. The 17th is fine. It will be two days after I file my motion for sanctions for unprofessional conduct.
Stan: Great. I will send you a letter.
Bigelow: I doubt you'll be there that long....
[Time elapses. I am worried sick. On the other hand, what the hell? I can only do so much.]
Partner: I see the deposition got scheduled.
Stan: Well, it did but...
Partner: Did you tell Bigelow to 'eat a dick'?
Stan: I don't think that is a fair representa--
Partner: Did you say it or not?
Stan: Yes. But--
Partner: [Scowling] Let's not let that happen again.
Stan: Of course not.
[One day later, in passing by Partner's office..]
Partner: No, listen Harry, then the kid says, "Eat a dick!" Can you believe it? And so Bigelow calls me raising hell and I say "Hey, he's my associate, he just says what I think," and Bigelow is just going ape-shit. I have never been so proud. I taught that kid right. I tell you what Harry, that's what I like to see!
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.