Time needs to start moving at ludicrous speed and go

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I’ve set myself a goal this week of reading through some of the books I need to read for an upcoming case. There’s only 3 and I say only because this is considerably less than my regular That’s going through 3 very thick books of previous cases to find a precedent for my current case. To some people that may seem hard, but to me it really isn’t anything out of the ordinary.

I’m a busy person. It’s incredibly rare that I ever have any time to myself, besides for in between verdicts and some holidays, but I’ve got an even bigger problem. I over commit. This is such a big problem for me because once I’ve committed to doing something, I have to do it. It stays on my mind (although sometimes at the back bubbling away) until I actually find the time to get whatever it is done.

This leads to two other problems. The first is self neglect. Unfortunately I’m not looking after myself the best lately. The start of last year was excellent – I was regularly attending the gym, finding time to eat home cooked meals and even catching up with friends of a weekend. Now, I’m swapping breakfast for coffee, home cooked meals for granola bars and the gym for running from one court room to the next. It’s not healthy and the evidence of this is starting to show. I’m noticeably more tired lately and I haven’t been able to keep to personal commitments such as meeting friends for dinner.

And then there’s the second problem where people begin to see you as lazy and unreliable. I take a lot on and because it can take me time to fulfill commitments people often resort to thinking I am a lazy person, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m just busy. I’ve been implementing some strategies that have helped me to stop listening to people’s judgements however as it was really starting to effect me.

This month will be better. I plan to sleep in until 6am everyday (a luxury). I also want to get that haircut I’ve been putting off (not only because it’s time consuming, but it’s also expensive!). I also want to make it a personal goal to meet my friends for lunch at least once. You may even wonder how I find the time to write this blog. I don’t. I’m actually doing this while I am listening to an audio file of one of the books I need to read (you’ve gotta love technology). I guess I’m just a natural multi-tasker, or someone who is destined to be perpetually busy.

Cue panic stations!

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I am in a state of panic. It’s almost October and upon searching for this years Halloween costume, I realized something. No, it’s not that I’ve wasted half my life defending people that I don’t care about. It’s more shocking than anything I’m yet to encounter in my day to day dealings with accused murderers, and it’s this – they don’t sell lawyer costumes for Halloween. This is how the conversation went:

Me: Hello, I was just wondering where you keep the slutty lawyer costumes?
Shop keep: Pardon?
Me: Oh, well I was just wondering if you have any lawyer costumes for Halloween?
Shop keep: Yes, I heard that, but slutty costumes!? Please! I mean, a nurse is a fantasy, yeah, but who fantasies about their lawyer? I don’t think I’ve met one hot lawyer before.
Me: I’m a lawyer.
Shop keep: Ah, yes, well… there you are.

This conversation wasn’t the only thing that had me lost for words. This was something that grabbed me by surprise. I was in shock. I cried. I laughed. I wasn’t sure what to think. After all, they have all the major professions. Doctor, nurse, police officer, clown – why not lawyer?

It’s okay, I thought. Maybe the fact is that no one sees us as a joke. But then again isn’t there something healthy about being able to laugh at yourself. I can laugh at myself – after my initial shock had worn off I had decided perhaps I could just go as myself.

To be honest, I didn’t really want to go to Halloween as a lawyer. I mean Halloween is about dressing up and I wouldn’t really be doing this if I went as myself (a slutty lawyer? Me? Never!). I just wanted to believe that some man, somewhere, was fantasizing about a seductive lawyer. And then I realized – no I don’t!

It’s not that the clients are dumb – they’re really dumb

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So this may sound a bit harsh. Sure, some of you may have some pretty strong words for me based on this post, but what I’m saying is based purely on my own experience. I have dealt with some pretty, let’s say colorful, clients over the years. For those that don’t know I’m also a gun fanatic. I know the laws about gun safety and about the best gun safe, such as these at bestgunsafeinfo.com, that people can use to ensure they are abiding by the law. After all, I’m a lawyer and this is my bread and butter.

This is why I get so frustrated when I client believes they know more than me. If you’ve studied law you’ll likely know one thing better than anything else, that you’ll never know everything. This is partly why it is so frustrating when we have clients that come to us believing they know more than us.

And this is where the annoying parts of this profession start to take hold. I recently had a client who insisted that his gun safe was suitable according to his state. After reviewing the appropriate information (I can assure you I dug deeper than simply reading a news article) I was able to uncover that no – in fact his gun safe did not comply to the laws of his state. Simple, right? Of course not. Why would a client make something like this simple when they could make it incredibly difficult.

You see the particular safe he had purchased was a bio-metric safe which required a fingerprint to bypass it. The safe was used to store his numerous rifles and I can understand his distress as he had paid a large sum of money for this safe. However, on further investigation we found that the this particular bio-metric scanning system had not been approved for storage in his state. Not only does this highlight a failure on part of this man believing his gun safe to be secure enough to store his weapons, but it highlights a deeper issue that in entrenched in our society. Why has gun safety become such a specialized field and why do we not have a nationwide standard that all manufactures must abide by.

Back to the case. We had discussed in depth that the gun safe was his choice to purchase and as a gun owner, it was his duty to be informed about the restrictions of his state and to abide by them. He agreed that should the case go before a judge that he would not (remember this. He would NOT) blame the manufacturer for negligence on their behalf. You can then imagine my shock when the case did in fact go before a judge and this man claimed that it was not his fault because “they should have told him.”

Getting rid of this case was more satisfying than any verdict. Let me make this clear, folks. You don’t want to be this guy. You don’t want to pay me thousands of dollars to defend you only to decide you’ll create your own defense. I’ll tell you right now, that’s not how it works. So was he successful? I think you know the answer to this.