Sunday, July 11, 2010

I’m back after a week that needed to end before it began.

At my firm, I get the honor(?) of drafting most of the documents (pleadings, motions, briefs, go-f***-yourself letters, etc.) for the cases that my partners and I handle. Usually what happens is that I will show up to the office returning from the courthouse, find a stickie-note attached to my computer monitor saying ‘see me’ and then my day implodes.

This past Tuesday, a client walked in the door three days before the expiration of the statute of limitations for his case. With a compelling story, a fantastic set of injuries and time running out, my partners gave me the file and said get cracking. Combine this into a week that is already overscheduled with court appearances, depositions and other related nonsense; this ninety-six hour work-week started to look like it needed an additional 200 hours.

Without revealing too much detail, this was not your run of the mill case. Meaning, I couldn’t just plug names, dates and places into a form and click print. When this happens, because of how my brain works, I have to research the facts and then the law and then go over the facts again so I can begin to draft the complaint for my partner to review.

With about 36 hours to go, the initial facts were given to me and I started to digest the law. After that lengthy 13 seconds, I began the actual factual research (or, as some stodgy accountant may put it, my due diligence): the 1,200 pages of documents the client brought with him to back up his claims.

That’s when the client-bullshit-o-meter began to sound like a tornado siren.

Page after page and no corroboration to the assumed reality that we were operating under. Twelve hundred pages and nothing that I can see gives us a case. I must have missed something, so I go through them again. And then one more time.

At this point in the workweek, everything else had been put aside to focus on this project. But now, there's nothing and I get to have that uncomfortable meeting with the partners letting them know that I've found nothing but an ethical duty to tell the client to engage in sexual congress with himself.

It then became time to cram the original five days worth of work into two. It all got done. And I went to bed before 9pm on Friday night. And then 7pm last night.

I am a party animal.