Thursday, December 29, 2011

Forgery is not an option

The other day, one of the newby paralegals came to me and asked how to send something out. I noticed it wasn't drafted correctly, so I mentioned it to her and told her she would need to get the client to re-sign the document. She told me JD filled it out incorrectly. She told me that when she mentioned the mistakes to JD, he asked her to change the document and forge the client's signature.  Paralegal refused and told JD he could forge it, but she wasn't going to. He got angry at her, yelled at her and she changed a couple things on the already signed document.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Importance of mentorship

I came to this profession with no experience, no idea about how the law worked, and no idea I was getting myself into a career. The road was bumpy along the way. I am so thankful that so many people along the way were willing to take their valuable time to mentor me and show me the ins and outs of the trade.  I absolutely would not be where I am today without their help.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Christmas Story, in legalese

Whereas, on or about the night prior to Christmas, there did occur at a certain improved piece of real property (hereinafter “the House”) a general lack of stirring by all creatures therein, including, but not limited to a mouse.
A variety of foot apparel, e.g., stockings, socks, etc., had been affixed by and around the chimney in said House in the hope and/or belief that St. Nick a/k/a/ St. Nicholas a/k/a/ Santa Claus (hereinafter “Claus”) would arrive at sometime thereafter. The minor residents, i.e. the children, of the aforementioned House were located in their individual beds and were engaged in nocturnal hallucinations, i.e. dreams, wherein vision of confectionery treats, including, but not limited to, candies, nuts and/or sugar plums, did dance, cavort and otherwise appear in said dreams.
Whereupon the party of the first part (sometimes hereinafter referred to as (“I”), being the joint-owner in fee simple of the House with the party of the second part (hereinafter “Mamma”), and said Mamma had retired for a sustained period of sleep. (At such time, the parties were clad in various forms of headgear, e.g., kerchief and cap.
Suddenly, and without prior notice or warning, there did occur upon the unimproved real property adjacent and appurtenant to said House, i.e., the lawn, a certain disruption of unknown nature, cause and/or circumstance. The party of the first part did immediately rush to a window in the House to investigate the cause of such disturbance.
At that time, the party of the first part did observe, with some degree of wonder and/or disbelief, a miniature sleigh (hereinafter “the Vehicle”) being pulled and/or drawn very rapidly through the air by approximately eight (8) reindeer. The driver of the Vehicle appeared to be and in fact was, the previously referenced Claus.
Said Claus was providing specific direction, instruction and guidance to the approximately eight (8) reindeer and specifically identified the animal co-conspirators by name: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen (hereinafter “the Deer”). (Upon information and belief, it is further asserted that an additional co- conspirator named “Rudolph” may have been involved.)
The party of the first part witnessed Claus, the Vehicle and the Deer intentionally and willfully trespass upon the roofs of several residences located adjacent to and in the vicinity of the House, and noted that the Vehicle was heavily laden with packages, toys and other items of unknown origin or nature. Suddenly, without prior invitation or permission, either express or implied, the Vehicle arrived at the House, and Claus entered said House via the chimney.
Said Claus was clad in a red fur suit, which was partially covered with residue from the chimney, and he carried a large sack containing a portion of the aforementioned packages, toys, and other unknown items. He was smoking what appeared to be tobacco in a small pipe in blatant violation of local ordinances and health regulations.
Claus did not speak, but immediately began to fill the stockings of the minor children, which hung adjacent to the chimney, with toys and other small gifts. (Said items did not, however, constitute “gifts” to said minor pursuant to the applicable provisions of the U.S. Tax Code.)
Upon completion of such task, Claus touched the side of his nose and flew, rose and/or ascended up the chimney of the House to the roof where the Vehicle and Deer waited and/or served as “lookouts.” Claus immediately departed for an unknown destination.
However, prior to the departure of the Vehicle, Deer and Claus from said House, the party of the first part did hear Claus state and/or exclaim: “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!” Or words to that effect.
 (*Not written by Superlegal)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Perspective


I saw this picture recently and was so touched. What perspective we all lack at times!  I have been one of those shoppers, I hate to admit.  I am always stressed to the max, whether it be due to work load or my chaotic schedule. I stress out at the holidays because I may not get the perfect gift for someone, or I may not send enough Christmas cards, or I might not clean our house in time for the next holiday party. How ridiculous those stresses are when, half way around the world, another mom stresses about feeding her children, or a six year old orphan stresses about feeding his younger siblings.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Evil Green Trial Monster in us all

I have all newbies in my office. It sucks. I was recently assigned to oversee a newby paralegal on a trial. This was a one day trial. It was not a complex case.  I probably could have prepped the trial in a half day or less. However, to a paralegal on her FIRST trial, this was a very big deal. I certainly recognize that, and wouldn't dream of minimizing the expected effort she so clearly required of herself.

We've all been there. You're excited to take on your first trial, but afraid because you have no idea what to do, in what order, or how to complete everything in time.  At that time, out comes the Evil Green Trial Monster in us all. Usually, the EGTM is surrounded by people who understand what the EGTM is going through and stay clear of the EGTM's path until s/he returns to his/her normal cheery self. Unfortunately, that is not the case in my office. The newbies don't understand what an EGTM is and that it subsides post-trial.  They all assume the EGTM is permanently mean and crazy and they have lost their friend forever to the fiery depths of legaldom, never to return. I can't tell you how many times the newbies ran to me expressing their concern for EGTM's mental sanity. 

For those of you who are new out there, please understand that you will be an EGTM sooner or later. No matter how hard you resist, it will happen to you. The good part is that with experience, it will happen less and less. Eventually, your inner EGTM will only show its fangs during huge trials. (The bad part is that the more experience you get, the more big trials will be assigned to you, so it may seem like it happens to you equally as frequently.)

You should know that you are not alone in the battle against time. All paralegals deal with their inner EGTM from time to time. Some aren't self-aware enough to recognize it, some will warn you before you breathe on them wrong.

I will tell y'all what I told all the newbies who came to me to express their concern for their recent encounter with our recent sweet-paralegal-turned-EGTM:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Joke of the Day: To Comma or Not to Comma

I am one of those people who LOVES to use commas. Commas are pretty much the best punctuation ever invented.  Sometimes, I add a shortened clause just to use a comma.  If I could, I would decorate with commas - everywhere.  I would make art made only of commas.  I dream about going to Comma (that's a special comma land I made up).  If I could give commas for Christmas, you betcha I would.  I think some things I write sound like Captain Kirk's speech.

People like me drive comma haters crazy.  (It's mutual!)  B-Dub is one such comma hater. (He is also a habitual run-on sentence offender, which also drives me crazy.  Yep, he's one of those.)

Here's a recent conversation I had with Scooter (new secretary) about something he drafted:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Inspirational Quote of the Day (and a quick story)

Change starts with the brave one.
                                - Superlegal

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bullying

Law firms have an interesting dynamic that I have never understood, quite frankly.  Once the person with the focus of negativity in an office is gone, staffers (women in particular) pounce on their next target.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Secretary update

It has been an interesting few weeks. I've been up to my eyebrows at work (that's deeper than up to your eyeballs, you see). I've had a couple temp-to-hire secretaries and a decision was finally made to hire the latest one. He can't start full time for a while, but good help is always worth the wait.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday!! (As you can tell, I am not shy about telling the world!)

I haven't been posting much to my blog lately, but that should soon change. I've been training people and using my spare time to catch up on my real work. Once these people are trained, I expect I will be back to blogging. So, thanks for hanging in there with me.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grammar and punctuation joke

I ran across this joke the other day and thought it was too good not to share with all my favorite grammar geeks..

Friday, November 18, 2011

SECRETARY WAS FIRED!

A short while ago, I realized while I was screaming at my husband about Secretary X for over an hour (or at least it seemed that long to him), that Secretary's ridiculousness had to stop and that I was not going to take it anymore. I reached my boiling point.  Life is way too short to deal with people with terrible attitudes who refuse to do work they are paid to do.  I swear I felt like telling her to go live with the Occupy Wall Street folks down the street in their tents if she wants to soak up other people's money and make them angry while accomplishing nothing! Those are HER kind of people. Anyways, I digress...

So, the next day, I walked into the office, dropped my crap in my office and marched straight into B-Dub's office and told him I was done dealing with her crap!!! (No joke, just like that.) I told them that I was resigning and that I would stick around until they transitioned someone new into my spot. I didn't have a job lined-up, but I couldn't take it anymore.

Then, he called Associate in. I was happy he did because it saves me some time repeating the same crap he also needed to hear.

Then, I made a 45 minute impromptu exit interview speech, which included the following key points:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10 tips to keep off the pounds during the holidays


I think it's safe to say that we all want to be healthy. Some of us will put the effort in, and some won't. I find it especially hard to make good food choices at the office around the holidays because I am a sucker for sweets. It seems like vendors keep the break rooms supplied with petit fours and pastries aplenty. I really wish they would make healthier choices when gifting snacks.

We all should recognize, though, that healthy holiday treats are not in the cards (the holiday cards, that is). With sedentary desk jobs, you MUST defend yourself from those evil calories that attack your health and bring susceptibility to high cholesterol, diabetes and other scary health risks.

Here are some tips to stay healthy at the office during this time of the year without dieting:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Superlegal Fun!

Today is the first anniversary of my first blog post and the launch of Superlegal Fun. Time sure has flown by! We've had some good times over the last year. Thank you all for reading, encouraging me, and listening to my crap.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I discovered the magical trick!

The other day, B-Dub sent me an email and asked that I respond. The email discussed several things, including deposition scheduling, which is Secretary X's job. B-Dub is giving Secretary X less and less work now (I know why, but can't disclose the reason yet).

I went to Secretary and confirmed the deposition dates she scheduled the week before. She went on and on ... and ON ... about all the work she did to schedule the depositions. I'm not particularly sure what exactly is so difficult about giving direct, straight forward answers, but evidently it's too difficult to do. I think she believes that if she confuses people with her nonsensicle jibberish, she can easily get out of her ambiguous responses later on. Well, I just keep hounding her until she gives me a straight answer. She hates that (and, hey, if a little torture gets me what I need, I'm all for it).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Joke of the Day

Here's an oldy, but goody:

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

A: No.

Q: Did you check for blood pressure?

A: No.

Q: Did you check for breathing?

A: No.

Q: So,then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

A: No.

Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

Q: But could the patient have still been alive nevertheless?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Changing jobs in this economy and hiring politics

If you have a job in this economy, you're considered to be very fortunate. Many people are staying at jobs they hate out of job market fear.

Sending out resumes can be very dangerous.  When I hear people talking about it, I am reminded of one interview experience that could have been disastrous.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Should I become a paralegal?

Recently, someone searched Google for an answer to "Should I become a paralegal?" I don't have the answer for you, and likely, Google doesn't either.  However, if you're looking for a quick quiz to help you answer that question yourself, here you go:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Open to other possibilities...

The other day, Secretary had several ridiculous hissy fits. I couldn't believe how she was acting. She was like a two year old on crack. What kind of grown adult behaves that way? One that knows she can get away with it.

One of the hissy fits was a hold over from the day before when I instructed her to send a one sentence letter out. One sentence. She then came to me to tell me she was not going to do anything without an attorney's approval. I was half-tempted to just do it myself, but decided I wasn't going to do her work and give in to her non-sensicalness (yes, I made up that word) - no more than I would give-in to a fit-throwin' two year old demanding ice cream at a grocery store.

I let that simmer and told her that if she wanted that confirmation from an attorney, she needed to ask for it herself and that I expected it to be done promptly regardless.

She spoke to B-Dub about it and he had no clue about what I asked her to do and instructed her to talk to me for instruction and do as I said. (Thank you, B-Dub for a little validation!) So she asked me again that next day what she was supposed to do. As I was starting to explain it again, B-Dub walked up and pulled us both into his office.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Quote of the Day

"You either start losing the bad employees, or you start losing the good ones."
-Superlegal

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guess what's NOT on my bucket list?

I've been composing my bucket list lately. It's not a life crisis, just want to make sure I have some goals in order and I make the most of the breaths I have. Really, they're just life goals.

So, that got me to thinking: do you know what's not on my bucket list? These things:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Improper use of the word literally

Lately, I have heard the word literally used inappropriately too many times to count. It aggravates me. Don't use words if you don't know their appropriate function!!

When something literally happens, it actually happens. If something hasn't happened, literally is not the correct word to use. Don't do it, or you will drive me crazier than I already am.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10 things a paralegal is NOT

From the mail bag, I have the following question from a reader:

What are 10 things a paralegal is not? 

Hey, that's a topic worth exploring! Here's my list:

Monday, October 10, 2011

How paralegals avoid unlawfully practicing law

We all know we can get in big trouble (worse than a spanking kind of trouble) for giving legal advice without a bar card.

A newbie paralegal asked me the other day if certain actions existed in our state because she wanted to relay the answer to someone who called on that topic. I told her that whether or not we have that information, you simply cannot provide such information to people. That could be considered legal advice and we could get in trouble for unlawfully practicing law. She acknowledged she knew she couldn't provide legal advice, but didn't know that the information the caller was requesting was considered legal advice.

So, I thought it a worthy topic for a blog post. Here are some examples of practicing law that newbies might not initially understand to be legal advice:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Know the answers before asking the question: an important lesson

I saw this article floating around Facebook. I'm pretty sure it's not a true story, but it is a good lesson. The article was entitled "When Grandma Goes To Court."

Lawyers should never ask a Mississippi grandma a question if they aren't prepared for the answer.

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?" She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you'll never amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?"

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Changing the world, one office at a time

Rarely do we reach a point in our careers that we are willing to risk abandoning our job for our principles. One such opportunity recently arose for me.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Rejection letter

Receiving a rejection letter after a diligent job search is very discouraging in this economy.  If you receive a rejection letter, consider responding with this letter:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Men are underappreciated sometimes!

We all know working moms have quite a schedule, and sometimes I think about how we are able to add a full-time work schedule to our full plates at home without dropping a single ball.

It takes a lot of determination and refusal to accept failure. In fact, failure simply isn't an option, so you make it work. I am lucky enough to have an awesome husband ("TDH") who works harder than I do to maintain our life.  Swimming upstream is so much easier with him.

Last week, TDH was out of town on business and I had the luxury of the single mom experience. I was in late to work all week because I needed to take my kids to school and daycare. So, I emailed my department at work to let everyone know. Half way through the week, I had a brief conversation with B-Dub in the elevator on our way out the door to leave for the day. After some chit chat about my week and TDH's absence, he made this comment:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy short story to start your day (and mine!)

The attorneys at our office are allergic to giving feedback. You would swear they thought feedback (positive or negative) would create world peace and societal niceness and they would be out of a job, and money.

We have lots of newbies at our firm. After receiving a nomination request survey the other day from my local paralegal association, I sent out several emails with compliments to four support staffers. After reading my emails, each of them came to me tearfully and explained how my timing was eerie.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

It's all about the mustache!

Looking for some off the wall courtroom giggles from good ol' fashioned People's Court?

Check out this weird video.  It's all about the mustache! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Losing momentum

People in a law office can be classified as people who react, or people who elicit reaction. Those who know how to elicit reaction are able to stay one step ahead of their competition and keep momentum in their cases.

Friday, September 23, 2011

CYA notes are important!

Here is an important blog to read from Paralegal Hell. She points out the importance of good note-taking and how to save yourself from potential/ probable future troubles.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some things should not be said at a deposition


Here's an awesome video excerpt example of what you shouldn't say at a deposition.  This guy looks strangly familiar...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

How much does it cost to hire an attorney?

Every so often, attorneys have good ideas. Here is one that I am especially fond of:

Monday, September 19, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Defending your billings: critiques happen!

It is never fun (or billable) to defend the time you spent on a particular project. However, we all have to do so from time to time. Clients or attorneys may ask you to explain an extraordinary amount of time spent on a particular project, and you need to be able to defend your entries quickly, so as not to lose too many precious billable hours.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Using Requests for Admissions Effectively

Great Requests for Admissions (called RFAs in my state) are works of art, finessed to corner your opponent into admitting facts, and potentially winning the case on admissions. They can also be used to win certain motions in limine, among other things, if they don't obviate pretrial resolution.

If your state follows general guidelines for RFAs, you are limited to a particular number of requests, making the choice of words all the more important. Also, making each RFA about one simple fact is vital. Compound requests are easily denied if any one part of the request isn't true.

Getting started with your draft is often the most difficult part for newer paralegals. Remember, the complaining party usually has the burden of proof (excluding successful Res Ipsa Loquitor jury instruction arguments), so if you can prove or disprove the allegations of the complaint, the case can be won or lost.  Here are some good starting places:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Trial Tool: The Incredible Notepad

So often, we all get caught up in the latest gizmos and gadgets that we forget to utilize those battery-less, user-friendly, cordless tools: good old fashioned yellow lined notepads. They are not just handy to memorialize meetings and telephone calls, but also a real tool to use at trial. Lawyers often use notepads to record thoughts, and once those thoughts are recorded, they are typically as useless as, well, the attorney's thoughts. They are disregarded as waste, only taking up space on counsel table.

I am here to tell you, my friends, that yellow-lined recycled tree is my closest friend during trial. It sits in my lap in the courtroom, and I carry it with me day and night. For those of you that have your tablets and laptops and swear by them, I submit to you that my yellow abacus-age tool has never crashed, died, or had a techno-glitch of any kind.

For those of you who may not understand how a bound mound of notes can truly be so helpful, I will share with you my system:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A letter to my readers and anonymous commenters

Thank you to everyone for your supportive emails and comments.  I've also had not-so-nice comments, and one with some constructive criticism (thanks, Julie Hunt).  Throughout the week, I read all your comments and emails, and I have done a lot of thinking.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Perhaps this is the end of Superlegal Fun?

When I started this blog it was intended to allow me a place to vent and try to bring some humor to my work life. It seems that purpose may have come to an end.

Etiquette: Neeeded

Today was quite possibly the most annoying day of my life - EVER. A combination of circumstances created by others meant I got nothing done and did only other people's work today. In fact, I think I came close to doing something for everyone in the firm, except myself. This prompted me to think of a few of the etiquette rules that could have prevented my agony:

Friday, August 26, 2011

How a paralegal assists attorneys at trial

I realized during a call with my mom the other day that some people have no clue what paralegals do to assist attorneys at trial. My mom basically thought I was there to sit in the back of the courtroom and look pretty (thanks, mom!).

Here is a list of 10 things a paralegal does to assist an attorney in the courtroom during trial. Attorneys can use this list to reform the way they use their paralegals to streamline their trial practice (there are too many to list, so I picked 10):

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What the crap, you [blanking] moron?!?!?!?!

I learned today from an out-of-the-office auto-reply email from B-Dub that Secretary X was promoted to a "legal assistant."
WHAT THE CRAP? Are you [blank]ing kidding me? On what planet does someone, who should be fired, get PROMOTED? Not in the normal world, I thought.

Draft response to said auto-reply email:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quote of the Day

"[Y]our blog is now way more productive then [Secretary X] is."
-TDH

Monday, August 15, 2011

Things typical and annoying today

1. Associate successfully argued a motion to dismiss without a specific ruling, and without asking, if the case was dismissed with prejudice. Genius. When I asked her whether it was with prejudice, she just stared at me like I was talking Greek! I tried to explain how important that ruling is on a motion to dismiss, but I was met with nothing but blank stares. I gave up. I guess we'll wait and see what happens.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Work-Life Balance for Paralegals

One of my readers recently asked whether there is good work-life balance for paralegals.  This is an excellent question. (Thank you, Indy!)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I want to be a Paralegal! What school should I go to?

Getting a job as a paralegal can be difficult, as in any profession these days (except perhaps for blogging, woohoo), but it can be made easier if you have some credentials backing you up. The more letters you stick after your name and the more colleges you have listed in your C.V. the better for bringing in the dough. How many letters you put after your name is a matter of time and the money you can put into education. There are several options for this, depending on what you're willing to put into it. You owe it to yourself to get the best credentials you can.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CELEBRATING 10,000 PAGE VIEWS!

Superlegal Fun hit 10,000 page views today!!  

This is how I celebrate. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

Waiting for a verdict

After you run a marathon to get to trial prepared, and after closing arguments are done, you finally realize that there is nothing to do but wait for the jury to return the verdict.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Legal TV genius: David E. Kelley

Legal shows are rarely very good. It is hard to catch and keep the attention of the general public with law, and rarely does a show succeed. I think I have at least taste-tested the majority of them, rarely becoming enthused about any one series. It seems that it may be even harder to keep the attention of legal enthusiasts, like myself, because the shows rarely portray the law, judges, lawyers, and their staff accurately. Producer David E. Kelley is the common thread in every legal show I have liked and loved. He is a legal TV show super genius. Plus, he had the good fortune to marry Michelle Pfieffer in 1993. (Random fact, unrelated to law)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One of JD's career choices

JD told me he used to be a used car salesman. Life makes a little more sense now.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Manners, manners!!

I worked all weekend preparing for a major trial starting today. To my surprise, Passive Aggressive Paralegal also worked all weekend. I asked her if she also had a trial soon. She said she had one in September. Well, that may not be too far off, but I have THREE trials between now and then. She asked how my trial was coming along - the one that starts today. I told her there was still a lot to do, but that I would be at the office all weekend working on it. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wrong! There is such a thing as badly-timed, stupid questions!

I am starting a MAJOR trial in a couple days. I have told Secretary X that I have no time for anything but trial prep, especially since B-Dub is on vacation and I am preparing the case by myself.  I told her to see me in two weeks if she needs instructions on anything and to simply deal with anything else herself in the meantime. Well, that little instruction through her into quite a tizzy. Her response a-la-attitude was that now I have one case and she has a THOUSAND cases and that isn't fair, promptly stomping her hooves in protest. Obviously, I told her that I don't have time to help her with that issue and she needs to bring it up with B-Dub if that's a problem (again, he's on vacation). She walked away.

Now, of course, five minutes later she comes to me about another question, and another, and another, all unrelated to my case going to trial. So frustrating! Here is a list of her issues that are more important than my huge trial:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Awesome Blog: Paralegally Insane

Check out this new paralegal blog! It is written by a funny family law paralegal, who has some pretty unbelievable stories. Don't forget to tell her I sent ya!

Link: paralegallyinsane.blogspot.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Defense verdict: a bitter sweet victory

I recently had a defense verdict in a trial. The plaintiff's claim may have been legitimate IF the law supported her claim. She legitimately was damaged, though not in the amount she claimed (as is the case with most plaintiffs). Unfortunately, the law did not support her claim. Our motion for a directed verdict was denied (in error), only to have the jury decide in our favor anyway.

This plaintiff thought she had a slam dunk case (after, I'm sure, her attorney over-assured her he would win).  She believed her attorney that he would win, and after years and tens of thousands of dollars in costs alone, her gamble didn't pay off.

It was even worse that she didn't understand the verdict when it was read because the judge didn't read the verdict question before giving the jury's answer to the question. Her attorney obviously didn't prepare her for that part of trial. She was clearly confused and scared when the jury was dismissed without discussing damages.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Highlights of my day today

1. Witnessed an attorney arguing at trial that a dissenting Supreme Court opinion is (a) legally binding; and (b) legal standard when there is well-defined and well-established law on point.

2. Argued with an opposing attorney about why he should agree to an extension for a response to a bogus motion because B-Dub can't respond because he was in trial when he served his motion and will continue to be in trial through the date it is due. Did I mention that I waived a court rule two days ago on the SAME motion for the SAME jerk of an attorney as a courtesy because B-Dub was in trial?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Things pissing me off today

1. I told B-Dub a judge didn't have a projector screen for a trial. He told me on the way out the door with two other people that I should figure out how to get him a screen because he didn't want to carry the firm's screen to the courthouse because it was too heavy.  So, it's too heavy for three people, but not too heavy for me? Wimp!

2. Secretary X removed something from B-Dub's inbox that I just put there and told me not to bother him with it. No, seriously. The document had to do with stipulations for a trial that starts in less than two weeks.  I had no idea I needed to run these things by Secretary X first. I was WRONG.

Jersey Shore is ba-ack!

I know I will lose respect for this post, but I'm going to do it anyways!

I am somewhat addicted to the little autonomous universe New Jersey has created. They have their own style, language, social mores, and now, their own TV shows. MTV has adopted the little universe for their own little cash cow, featuring a variety of shows, including roommates, wedding dress shops and salons.  I got hooked on the original "reality" show called "Jersey Shore," based somewhat on a "Real World" premise.

Back in the day, I would watch Real World and Road Rules. They were great shows until it became apparent that the cast members were getting bonus dog treats for tricks and stunts based nowhere in reality. Listen, I KNOW these shows are not reality. The entertainment value for me comes only from how convincing the cast members are.

So, how does this relate to the law, you might ask? Well, it doesn't really. However, this is my blog, so I'm going to make it. Here are some common Jersey slang terms and phrases and my own (slightly legal) definition tweaked from other definitions:

BOYFRIEND: a male who engages in a shortened "meretricious" relationship lasting several days to one week before the relationship ends based on inevitable unfaithful irreconcilable differences.

JUICEHEAD/ GUIDO: A multi-faceted stereotypical term for an urban Italian-American.  Originally, it was used as a demeaning term for Italian-Americans in general. More recently, it has come to refer to Italians who conduct themselves as thugs with an overtly macho attitude. Indeed, guidos easily find themselves as a respondent in a number of paternity suits.

DTF: [Not family friendly]… "Down to have extramarital "fun" without consideration of liabilty and damages.

Mint: Nicely dressed and smelling nice, like any good lawyer should.

Grenade: female with fewer physical attributes than other females and less likely to be damaged under DTF terms.

Extraction: A tactical separation of the attractive friend from the grenade in an attempt to cash in on DTF potential.

Zoo: Multitude of grenades.

Fist Pump: A dance move used to show excitement at clubs

GTL ("Gym, Tan, Laundry"): An acronym that stands for the daily beauty regimen of going to the gym, tanning and doing laundry to consistently look mint.

Juiced: Extremely muscular, often through the use of illegal steroids.

Robbery: Theft of another male's most recent female conquest.

Vibe: To be attracted to another person.

T-shirt Time: A male beauty regimen which includes changing t-shirts to look mint immediately preceding a night at the club.

Busted: to describe an unattractive or undesirable female.

The next season of Jersey Shore was filmed in the homeland, Italy.   If you're like me, you'll be glued to your screen shamelessly, and hoping no one notices.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Saving trials, one exhibit at a time

Yesterday, I explained to Associate why you don't make jury instructions a trial exhibit. Yep, I did. Enough said.

(If you're reading this and not in the legal profession, you may not understand.  Just know it is redundant.]

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

That is TOO gross!

Mean Partner just came out if the bathroom holding his coffee cup! Disgusting!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If I didn't have to put my big girl pants on in the morning, I would...

Well, I probably wouldn't have much, if any,  money, so this is a "budget" list:

*Sleep in and not get up at 4:30 AM.

*Clean my house.

*Garden.

*Go to Happy Hour with my husband.

*Soak up some glorious rays of outside light, even if there are clouds, rain, or snow in the light's way.

*Talk for hours on the phone about nothing.

*Sip margaritas at my favorite restaurant (yes, plural).

*Watch live TV, instead of the bits and pieces of shows I watch on my DVR.

*Have dinner by 5:30.

*Eat a COOKED breakfast at a table, not a desk.

*Bake cookies.

*Go to the gym every day.

*Scrapbook.

*Breathe deeply for at least 10 minutes daily.

*Take a nap.

*Run in the sunshine.

*Run in the rain.

*Not fill my calendar so that I have to schedule something three months out.

*Volunteer more.

*Camp more.

*Not live life in 6-minute increments.

*Take the kids to the zoo.

*Take the kids on bike rides.

*Take the dog to the park.

*Drink coffee or tea IN a coffee shop, instead of taking it to go.

*Accomplish more things on my bucket list.

*Change the colors of the wall paint in my house.

There are just too many to add...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Casey Anthony verdict: hard to digest

I won't go too in depth on this one. The country is fuming, and it needn't more fuel. Also, I haven't been able to catch most of the trial, so by no means do I have the authority to report the facts. This is based purely on the bits and pieces I know based on media reported-facts.

Legally, the jury may have made a good choice.  The criminal standard is so high, as it should be, that the jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt that someone committed the crime(s) with which they are charged. That means there can be no plausible circumstance to refute the prosecutor's version of the events, and that the prosecutor must prove every element of the statutory requirements for said crime(s).  We may all believe in Casey Anthony's guilt, but that is not necessarily a legal standard.  Jennifer Ford, Juror #3, said important questions were not answered by the prosecution. She clearly believes, with the other jurors, that although the evidence could point to a murder conviction, those dots were not connected by the prosecutor.

As hard as it is, do not blame the jury for their verdict. They did not choose to be put in the position of deciding this case, and they were not the ones with the burden to prove what we all find obvious based on the facts reported by the media. We were not in the courtroom with them.

I hope there is justice in this decision. Certainly, that is what Caylee Anthony deserves. I am faithful to our justice system, sometimes blindly. I do recognize that the system is imperfect and that sometimes, those imperfections shine through in ways we all recognize as being frustrating and impractical. However, that faith does not run dry in the face of a decision I may not agree with. That is what faith is.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

10 things you should never let lawyers do by themselves

My blog usually has humor in it, but these are honestly rules to live by.  If you are a new Paralegal, print this one and carry it in your pocket. This is no joke. These rules come from personal experience.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ownership is a relative term

I thought the copier on my floor belonged to the firm. Turns out, it actually belongs to Secretary X.

I copied some documents today for an expert. Secretary X came into the copy room and asked if the copy job going was mine.  I confirmed it was. She flipped through the pages on the copier, as if she was counting them, grunted, and walked out of the copy room in a huff with her letters.

How dare I not ask permission to share her toys!

Funny firing email

If I were in charge , I think it goes without saying that I would fire Secretary X (for real this time). Here is my draft email to her:

---------------

Dear Secretary X, you worthless insufficient-ling:

You are fired. You failed to measure up to the low standards your coworkers had no problem meeting.

We have all suffered in silence throughout your reign, but we will no more.

Please do not ask for a reference because you don't deserve one.

We wish you continued success in all your future endeavors. Thank you for terrorizing our firm. We will truly appreciate your quiet desk when you are gone.

Sincerely,
Superlegal

-------------------

What? Too short?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top 10 ways to get fired

First, please understand, this list was created by Beverly West at Monster. I didn't come up with these, so no hate mail. This is worthy of reposting, only because I can comment on how ridiculous it is that someone actually was paid to come up with this list of actions that will result in getting fired. I guess it could be useful guidance for someone without any work ethics.

1. Lying on Your Job Application or Resume

I had no idea they would fire you for that. Well, I guess I better break into the HR director's filing cabinet, steal my old resume and replace it with an accurate one. Then, I won't get fired.

2. Being Indiscreet About Your Job Hunt

I tend to disagree with this one. Announcing your eventual departure in advance of your resignation makes employers look for someone to fill that gap quickly. If the new person is available sooner, you bet your socks you'll have about 40 hours more free time to spend at Monster.com. (Perhaps this article is a marketing ploy for Monster.)

3. Gossiping

How else will the world go 'round? Gossip is a necessity, like breathing, to some people - some unemployed people that is.

4. Taking Too Many Personal Calls

Secretary X and JD are repeat offenders, and their calls can be heard around the office sometimes. Based on that, I firmly believe you will, in fact, not be fired for personal calls.

5. Drinking at Work

Hold that bottle just one minute. You mean to tell me that my liquid sanity will get me fired? I just don't know quite how to feel about this, Monster.com. I guess I need to go to everyone's desk and dump their liquid sanity down the sink. The firm couldn't function if everyone got fired, right. I'm doing everyone a big favor.

6. Surfing the Web Excessively

Excessively is subjective. You should probably ask your employer how many hours of web surfing is acceptable so that you don't cross that line.

7. Becoming Romantically Involved with the Boss

Gross. Just gross.

8. Forgetting to Double-Check Your Figures

I like to check mine in the office windows as I walk down the hall, and in the full-length mirror in the women's restroom.

9. Alienating Your Coworkers

Evidently, you will not get fired for this at my firm. In fact, you can alienate coworkers, assault them with keyboards, and no call-no show, and there will be no consequences whatsoever. It's an art, brought to you by Secretary X. She should probably write a column for monster.com.

10. Pointing the Finger at Everyone but Yourself

But it's THEIR fault, who else are you going to blame?

(Link to full article: http://career-advice.monster.com/in-the-office/workplace-issues/10-ways-to-get-fired/article.aspx)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sign I want to post all over the office

Your mom doesn't work here. If she did, she would tell you she isn't your maid either.

Friday, June 17, 2011

11 things you shouldn't do during a staff meeting

This list may be a little surprising to some people.  Trust me, you shouldn't do these things at a staff meeting.

1. Do not fall asleep.

2. Do not write "lawyer," "client," or any other obscenities on the forehead of the sleeping coworker next to you (despite the fact that s/he broke Rule #1 above). Remember, you could be the next victim.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Secretary X's disappearing act

Secretary X has a habit of disappearing for several hours. Today, B-Dub and Associate were at a mediation trying to get in touch with her for hours. They never did. Will this be the push B-Dub needs to can her? Probably not.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thong Tha-thong thong thong

Last Friday, Secretary X wore thong sandals to work. These weren't the fashionable, dressier type. These were worn out, grungy $2.00 flip flops that she has probably worn for 10 years. It was disgusting. All, without a good pedicure.

Now I see why mean partner hates casual Friday - the term casual can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

Pure. Horror.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's shaping up to be a fantastic day!

First thing in my inbox:

B-Dub's draft of a document that was due last week with a note from Secretary X to me saying that she didn't make B-Dub's revisions because she wasn't sure about some of them.

I have never seen the document, I didn't draft it, and they aren't my revisions that she doesn't understand. I have to agree with Secretary X that it is the natural choice to put it in my inbox while I am on a pre-scheduled vacation and ignore the deadline.

Awesome.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Legal joke: Lawyer IQ

Q: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 50?
A: Your Honor.

 

[Not written by Superlegal.]

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Office Pet Peeves

1. Giving me a deadline without warning or enough time to complete it in the time alotted, especially right before lunch. I gave you the draft last week. That's called [air quotes] "planning ahead" [end air quotes].

2.  Disorganization. I am organized to the Nth degree. My desk is always clean. That does not mean I know where everything is at on YOUR desk. Deal with your own disorganization. Not my problem.

3.  Training associates who think they know everything already. Listen, Associates, it's not that I know EVERYTHING, it's just that I know more than you. You have the degree, and I know how to apply it. Maybe you could at least act like you're listening while you're ignoring what I say. Maybe then I won't be as angry when I have to fix YOUR avoidable errors.

4. Not reading a full string of email. Common sense has left this world. How on Earth can you adequately respond to someone's email without reading the whole thing? You wouldn't make a cake without reading the back of the box, or drive in a foreign city without following all the directions. Sometimes I wish there was a setting in Outlook that made it read emails to attorneys BEFORE they could hit the reply button.

5. That leads me to the next one. I do actually read emails I receive. I do not need anyone to hit send, then run to me and summarize the contents of their email. I speak English, and I actually do quite well in reading comprehension.

6. Procrastination. Here's one of my favorite sayings: "An emergency on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine." Procrastinators like to think they are excellent prioritizers. Not true. My day was already prioritized when you arrived at my desk to pass off your last minute task to me.

7. Talking over other people on a conference call. Egotistical jerks believe everything they have to say is more important than what everyone else needs to say and they talk over other people. It's rude and disrespectful. Also, listen to what is said BEFORE you formulate your response.  Do not chime in with your unfitting opinion without having heard all the facts. Of course, the nice part about conference calls is the silent hand signals.

8. Staff meetings. Waste. Of. My. Time. Staff meetings are usually a way for attorneys to find out what is going on in a file without having to look at the file or endless spreadsheets, reports and memos they require you prepare. Here's an idea, stop golfing and start looking at the files regularly. Better yet, read what I write for you to sign and listen when I give you updates I need to give you so I don't get in trouble for practicing law without a license.

9. Ignoring scheduled appoinments. When I make an appointment for you to meet with me, it's because I've reached my limit for blow-offs and require your attention OR ELSE. Blowing off those appointments is unacceptable. Don't do it.

10. Coworkers who listen in on my phone calls, then proceed to give unnecessary, inappropriate and flat wrong input after the call. YOU ONLY HEARD ONE SIDE OF THE CALL, YOU IDIOT!!
 
11. Lastly, but most importantly, I hate when coworkers try to pawn off their work on others, or refuse to follow through on tasks. I have enough of my own work, I don't need yours. Also, if you send me an email requesting instruction, that does not make it my task. You are still responsible to follow through with your work.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wikipedia: the differences between a lawyer and a paralegal

Wikipedia says "The greatest differences between lawyers and paralegals are that lawyers can set fees, give legal advice, appear as counsel of record in court, and sign pleadings (and other court documents) in a representative capacity. If a paralegal attempts to do any of these acts, they will be in violation of the unauthorized practice of law statutes that exist in most U.S. states.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oops, she did it again

Secretary X scheduled a deposition. I spent a ton of time finding the witness and getting he-who-does-not-want-to-be-found served with a subpoena for said deposition. In came the fax from opposing counsel stating that she never even consulted with opposing counsel on dates for the deposition. She just randomly picked a date and called it good.

So. Utterly. Frustrated.

Searches that found Superlegal Fun

"Creative Legal Blog"

Google thinks I am creative. Thanks, Google!

"Should I become a paralegal before law school"

Yes. Please be informed about the dark side before taking THAT leap.

"is it fun to be a paralegal?"

Sometimes. Especially when you make games out of it, and prank people often. Those are key components to having fun as a Paralegal.

"what should i know befor tring tobecome a paralegal"

English - grammar and spelling.

"don't take your children to work day"

Agreed.

"fun secretary"

Where? I'll take one, please.

"i could bring her"

I guess, but you'll have to bring an extra tequilla bottle.

"is it worth it to become a paralegal"

Worth what? Money? No. Getting thrown under the bus? No. Meeting people who know which other firms not to work for? Priceless.

"what is the job security for secretaries?"

Excellent. In my firm, there is nothing you can do to get fired.

"Secretary on a copier"

Do tell...

"Bitter lawyer"

Usually.

"most fun Paralegal"

Thanks, searcher. I was hoping you would find me funny.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I wouldn't have just cut in if I wasn't that important."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th is Blame Someone Else Day!

Today, on Friday the 13th, be sure to celebrate the real holiday: Blame Someone Else Day. It's a real holiday (although, Hallmark probably doesn't have cards on point - jerks!). I say we petition to rename the holiday to Secretary X Day.

In honor of Her Royal Secretariness on her special day, here are some recent examples of things Secretary X has blamed on others (feel free to use the ideas for your own celebratory acts of holidayitude):

1. Irreparably jam the copier, requiring a service technician, and halting production so that there is a line outside the copy room at 4:00 of people waiting to get their deadlines out the door.

WHO TO BLAME: Copier repair guy for not anticipating the needs of the office. That jerk! (Happened last week.)

2.  Not scheduling a court reporter for a deposition.

WHO TO BLAME: the court reporting firm scheduler, of course. They obviously "lost" your order. (Happened yesterday.)

3. Transcribe a report to the client while B-Dub is out of the office at said depositions that is filled with typos and gramatical and spelling errors, and send it to the client without review or signature because B-Dub was in the aforementioned depositions.

WHO TO BLAME: B-Dub. He obviously didn't dictate instructions to Secretary X to read and proof the dictation before it went out. Not. Her. Job. (Also happened yesterday.)

4. Not inform the clients she scheduled an arbitration and have a default issued against the client for the failure to appear.

WHO TO BLAME: Superlegal. Superlegal spoke with the client many times and had the relationship with them. It should be natural intuition for Superlegal to tell the client what Secretary X should have told them. Further, everyone knows Secretary X doesn't do her job, so it should never be assumed that she has handled such an important responsibility of her job.

5. Fail to send in a motion to postpone a trial and field a call from the Hon. Angry Judge for Associate not showing up to trial assignment the day before trial is scheduled to begin.

WHO TO BLAME: Associate, of course. Associate didn't remind her incessantly to ensure it was done. Superlegal reminded her many times, but she doesn't have to listen to Superlegal. Duh, that doesn't count!! (Happened the last few trial sets - you'd think Associate would learn the error of her ways, right?)

[Special thanks to Grumpy Humbug for forwarding the link:  http://www.holidayinsights.com/other/blamesomeoneday.htm]

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Awesome Email Exchange with Secretary X, Part IV

From last week:

FROM: BIG INSURANCE CLIENT
TO: B-DUB
Dear B-Dub:
Just to let you know the letter you just sent out had the WRONG claim number. PLEASE change your records.  THANKS.
Big Insurance Client

*****

FROM: SUPERLEGAL
TO: SECRETARY X
Secretary X:
This bad claim number is throughout our entire correspondence file. Will you please change them all so it doesn't happen again?
Thanks.
Superlegal

*****

FROM: SECRETARY X
TO: SUPERLEGAL
Superlegal:
It is not bad throughout all correspondence and it is on the chart correctly. There is nowhere to change it. Just be careful when you are saving as.
Secretary X

*****

FROM: SUPERLEGAL
TO: SECRETARY X
Secretary X:
It needs to be changed on everything so that it doesn't accidently happen again. I saved the letter from the initial letter to the clerk. You and I are not the only ones that access the file and re-save documents. Whoever uses the electronic files needs to be able to rely on the documents being correct.

Going back and forth on these things is not productive. I will change it myself because it needs to be done.

Sincerely,
Superlegal

*****
Entire email exchange forwarded to Associate.
-----------

After that email, Secretary X approached me to tell me that she noticed this problem in the beginning of the case, but that we just need to remember to check the case spreadsheet. (So, I thought, if you had changed it by yourself when you noticed the problem, the client wouldn't think we are incompetent and we wouldn't be having this conversation? You're right, Secretary X, we should all remember that the file is wrong instead. THAT makes more sense.Not to mention what a huge waste of time it is to have to double check every case number, claim number, etc. whenever you draft something.)

I told her she was being ridiculous. That went over well (you're right, it didn't).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Firing Secretary X

I don't have experience with being fired, witnessing the firing of others, or holding the ax. My ideas about "firing" comes from the few Celebrity Apprentice episodes I have watched. (Shut up! It is real!!)

So, my mind has been pondering what the inevitable firing of Secretary X will look like. Here is what I envision:

B-Dub will ask Secretary X to come meet in his office. B-Dub will shut the door behind her and she will sit across from him in his big boss-man chair. Secretary X will immediately start snarling and showing her incisors in a rat-like attempt to intimidate B-Dub into letting her keep the job she doesn't like or want -- after all, it has always worked before.

B-Dub will tell Secretary X that, among other things, her no call no show on a trial day was unacceptable and that she is no longer employed here and she will need to pack-up her personal belongings.

Stunned, Secretary X will say that, after all her poor judgment, whining, attitude and bad work ethic, she just can't understand why this is happening to her. He will explain to her that he cannot accept her behavior and that it has been a long time coming.

Secretary X will start laughing hysterically and repeat quotes from "The Office." She will jump up onto B-Dub's desk warewolf-style and scutter around crouched on his desk "froggy style," dusting the papers off his desk with her growing spiny tail.

At this point, she is full-on monster. Fangs, scales, fur, talons, you name it.

She will hop around in circles, bouncing off the ceilings and walls, before leaping out of his office, onto the elevator, and out of my life FOREVER!!!  Buahahahahaha!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

C'est la vie

Today, I am further disheartened.

This is in follow-up to yesterday's blog entitled "Is She Really Gone?" Link: http://superlegalfun.blogspot.com/2011/05/is-she-really-gone.html.  See also this blog post regarding her behavior on Monday: http://superlegalfun.blogspot.com/2011/05/secretary-x-huffed-and-puffed-and-blew.html)

Secretary X showed up today like nothing happened the last couple days.  The really strange part is that EVERYONE acted like nothing happened. I felt like I was in the twilight zone or something. Did yesterday really happen or exist? Am I living in parallel time dimensions? No, it couldn't be... or could it? This is all very confusing.

Well, at least that's what I thought until about 3:00 this afternoon. B-Dub invited me into his office to talk about one of our cases and closed the door behind me. "Here we go," I thought.

He asked and I explained what happened the other day and that she pulled some MAJOR attitude in front of a major client. I think he was a bit offended (maybe an ounce or so). I explained that there will be interoffice personnel conflicts no matter who you employ, but imposing your attitude on a client and threatening the firm's biggest business relationship is unacceptable. He agreed.

He also said that when he fired people in the past, he found afterward that he waited too long. I agreed that was usually true. We also discussed other options we knew of to replace Secretary X.

He told me at the end of the conversation that how Secretary behaves today will determine whether she's here tomorrow.  (He's right, you know, we should ignore everything she's done to date, including yesterday's no-call no-show.)

He and Associate met with Secretary briefly -- very briefly (less than five minutes). Secretary X came out perky, sugary sweet and with the best facade of a good attitude she could possibly bring herself to exude. *PUKE*

She obviously wasn't fired.  B-Dub wimped-out. Really? Yes, really.

I am pissed.

How far does someone have to push the ax button before the ax actually falls? That is just another semi-ambiguous question, similar to "How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll center of a tootsie pop?" Everyone assumes there is an objective answer, but no matter how long you wait it out, progress is still so far away.

I think this was a terrible business decision.  She will not change. She will continue to cause problems, and the firm will suffer because of her. He had the support of the whole office to cut her dead weight, and he turned his head.

C'est la vie.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Is she really gone?

Secretary X may now be X-Secretary!!

Secretary X was a no-call, no-show today.

Ha!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Secretary X huffed and puffed and blew down the copier!

Yesterday was the first day of a trial for one of my cases. Things are bound to be rushed on the first day. No matter how much you prepare, there are still things to do once people start lying on the stand. Secretary X does not understand this evidently, because she was walking around huffing and puffing (without residual buliding structure collapse) because everyone was spending time on the trial instead of helping her. So, imagine her surprise and disgust when I asked to cut-in at the copier to make some mid-trial exhibits that B-Dub needed ASAP.   Secretary X slammed her hands down on the copier, jammed it and walked away. I tried to fix the jam, but to no avail. It kept jamming, likely because she knocked a part loose. After several jam clears and re-jams, the copier gave up, stopped working and said a service call was required.  I was, however, able to scan documents and print them from my printer (genius Superlegal). I should really express my gratitude to Secretary X for her outbursts. They so greatly enrich everyone's life.

I was also appalled when she threw a hissy fit right in front of a Big Insurance Client (who gives us about half of our work). What could have caused that? Well, the Big Insurance Client asked where our insured was, after he didn't show up for his deposition preparation meeting.  Wait just a minute, Big Insurance Client!! You can NOT talk to Secretary X like that! You should telepathically know where the insured is. How dare you!! Secretary X agreed that Big Insurance Client was rude to ask such a question. Secretary X threw her papers down on her desk, took a loud, deep breath, and, with all the attitude she could muster, explained that she sent them a letter to come to our office, "as [she] always does." I'm glad she set Big Insurance Client straight. As Secretary X demonstrated, you should not take such abuse from anyone, including Big Insurance Client(s).

Wait, it doesn't end there.  All day, Secretary X huffed past my desk every 30 minutes to go smoke. I am all for people taking regular breaks - they are absolutely necessary for our sanity (although not always feasible). But when you are gone from your desk more than you're at you're desk, that's when you are doing it right! Not to mention her head was down on her desk the times she was at her desk. Now that's how you do it. Con your way through a job sleeping and smoking and doing no work whatsoever. What a dream!

Now, for new readers, please don't send me hate-mail because I'm writing about someone who was having a bad day. Look back through my blogs. You will see this is NORMAL behavior for her. Please direct your hate-mail to her.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Legal joke: New Evidence

Lawyer: "Judge, I wish to appeal my client's case on the basis of newly discovered evidence."

Judge: "And what is the nature of the new evidence?"

Lawyer: "Judge, I discovered that my client still has $500 left."

[Not written by Superlegal.]

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Take Your Child to Work Day

Tomorrow is "Take Your Child to Work" Day.

The nation-wide event has its own website and sports a full line of its own merchandise. Translation: It's a big deal.

If you go to the website at http://www.daughtersandsonstowork.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=936, you'll find the following mission statement:

"Designed to be more than a career day, the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work ® program goes beyond the average "shadow" an adult. Exposing girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their lives does during the work day is important, but showing them the value of their education, helping them discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life, and providing them an opportunity to share how they envision the future and begin steps toward their end goals in a hands-on and interactive environment is key to their achieving success."

Our oldest will come to work with my husband and me, but after reading the purpose behind the program, I'm not sure I qualify to participate.  I think my child is more likely to learn the following:

1.  Education value: Everyone has a boss. Bosses still treat you like crap when you have an education. However, with an education, you will understand the words they are using when they yell and scream at you.

2. Balanced work and family life: I still have yet to discover the solution to that neverending problem. My idea of balance: neverending paid weekend. My boss' idea of balance: working on the weekend. Hmmm, guess who wins?

3. Envision end goals: My child is too young to drink tequilla, my end goal.

4. Achieving success: Undiscovered hiding place for said tequila? I still don't think that's appropriate for a child.

Now that I think of it, perhaps we should change the day to "Take Your [insert favorite liquor] Bottle to Work Day."

Administrative Professionals' Day

Here is your reminder that today is (drum roll please...)

ADMINISTRATIVE PROFESSIONALS' DAY!

I'm sure your calendars already reflect the momentous day, but does your boss' calendar? Likely not. So, in the spirit of celebration of OUR day, my fellow administrative professional friends, I offer the following quote from this country's boss of the past:

"When things haven't gone well for you, call in a secretary or a staff man and chew him out. You will sleep better and they will appreciate the attention." —Lyndon B. Johnson

Have a fabulous day, and remember to appreciate whatever attention you get today from Bossy-Poo!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Discovery excerpt of the day

I asked Secretary X to type the client's draft answers to interrogatories. Here's one summarized example of SEVERAL answers:

Interrogatory No. 1: Have you ever been involved in litigation prior to the subject lawsuit?

Answer: No.

Interrogatory No. 2: If your answer to the preceeding interrogatory was in the affirmative, please list the lawsuits you have been involved in prior to this lawsuit.

Answer: [CLIENT LEFT THIS ONE BLANK.]

I guess the client is smarter than Secretary X because she knows how to READ!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What you should know before you become a paralegal: 10 points of caution

I love doing what I do. I recently accepted two mentees to mentor. These are the things I will be telling them as words of caution:

1. The bigger the firm, the more rules there are. Usually, some of the rules make no sense and are there to serve one purpose: make people follow rules.

2. If you have experience fixing electronics, and you are hired into a firm without an IT department, you will become the IT department.

3. In most jobs, lunches and breaks are mandatory and overtime is a luxury when you need to earn a little extra cash.  In a law office, lunches and breaks are luxuries, and overtime is mandatory.

4. You will not like everyone you work with, and not everyone will like you. If that's a problem, move on to the next job. Paralegals are intelligent, strong-willed, territorial, and mostly all are Type A perfectionists. You will be eaten up if you don't fit in with the right personalities.

5. Law is a rewarding profession if you love it unconditionally. The law is not fair, and sometimes judges' decisions, although legally correct, can make you sick to your stomach.  You need to be able to endeavor through those days and come back the next day unphased. If it is something you think you might enjoy, you need to shadow or adopt a mentor to ask questions before you get in over your head. Most local Paralegal organizations can help you contact an established Paralegal. Ask hard questions, like "what three things would you change about your job."

6. Benefits are not what they used to be. Law firms are offering less and less to their employees for retirement, healthcare, and work-based incentives.

7. This job is very stressful. Burn-out rates are higher than ever. You cannot handle stress by "coping" with it, you must be able to "deal" with stress. Do not deal with stress by ignoring it. That won't work.

8. You must be in it for the long haul. You don't get the exciting privileges until you have the experience to handle those tasks. In the first five years of your career, you will learn legal procedure and how to comply with deadlines. If you work near a state border, you'll likely learn multiple states' laws and local county rules and how to apply them. Once you learn the rules of the road, you will be entrusted with more and more complex responsibilities.

9. Organization and multi-tasking are necessary. You will be lost without your own perfect system.

10. Most importantly, in this economy, people are looking for a job with lots of earning potential. No matter how much they pay you, the money is NOT worth it if you don't love the job.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Legal joke: Creative Defense

A lawyer defending a man accused of burglary tried this creative defense:

"My client merely inserted his arm into the window and removed a few trifling articles. His arm is not himself, and I fail to see how you can punish the whole individual for an offense committed by his limb."

"Well put," the judge replied. "Using your logic, I sentence the defendant's arm to one year's imprisonment. He can accompany it or not, as he chooses."

The defendant smiled. With his lawyer's assistance he detached his artificial limb, laid it on the bench, and walked out.

[Not written by Superlegal.]

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bad economy = job security for Secretary X?

Y'all might be surprised to know that Secretary X started as a temp-to-hire with my firm. I wasn't there at the time to witness such reckless abandon of all sanity. Thank goodness I wasn't, because my screams of horror probably would have gotten me fired. Employers keep people for a number of reasons, such as being on the hook for unemployment, or keeping a warm body in a chair. But Secretary X? Nope, they had no reason to keep her except that she did awesome work. Obviously, if that were true then, it's certainly not the case now. 

What is with employers these days? If it is such a terrible economy, and there are so many good people looking for jobs, why is it that employees who obviously don't deserve or like their job manage to keep their job?!?!?!?!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

Superlegal: "I saw the file copy of our Response to Plantiff's Request for Production that went out the other day, but I didn't see the file copy of the production that was supposed to be attached. Did the documents get attached to the Response?"

Secretary X: "No. No one asked me to or gave me the documents, and I didn't read it."

Well, there you go. Lesson learned. From now on, I have to ask her to READ documents she sends out. (Nevermind that I marked the documents with stickies that said "PRODUCE." I guess she doesn't read stickies either.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Excited intern + warm sun = renewed happiness with my job

I spent a little time today talking with our file clerk, who is graduating with a Paralegal degree in June.  Her excitement to start her career and her love of law, coupled with the first semi-warm day in many months, brought me some much-needed motivation and renewed my sense of happiness that I am in a career of my choice in a job that affords me a great deal of freedom.

Here are things I enjoy about my job:
1. Days off without much/any notice to my bosses;
2. Skylight above my desk;
3. Tardiness does not mean I lose my job. I am ALWAYS late. I wouldn't last in a job where I needed to be on time;
4. Lunch whenever I want;
5. I get to pick what I work on and when I do it, so long as deadlines are met;
6. I am challenged;
7. I am never bored and the days fly by (usually); and most of all (drum roll please)
8. I get to eat lunch with my hubby everyday!

I realized halfway through writing this, my happiness is also probably due in part to Secretary X's absence today. Oh well, I'll take it!!

Awesome blog to check out: A Paralegal's Life

Grumpy Humbug writes this fantastic blog. She's witty, charming and realistic. Check her out at http://aparalegalslife.blogspot.com/

Here is her self-written blog summary:
"Tales from the BigLaw trenches.  This is a humorous and sarcastic blog written by a paralegal in a mid-sized law firm in a mid-tier market. The goal is to share some of the pitfalls and foibles encountered in my own day-to-day experiences."

Thank you, Grumpy for all your blogging! I'm sure I'm not the only one who enjoys reading. Keep on keepin' on!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Purgatory: a place for friends!!

Paralegal Hell has created a Purgatory Panel. It's awesome. Please check it out at http://board.paralegalhell.com/

Friday, April 15, 2011

Five [Not So] Exciting Changes to Superlegal Fun

1. I made it to 3,000 page views yesterday!! Thank you all for reading, and thank you to all my fellow bloggers for adding a link - please know that sending your readers my way does not go unnoticed.  In the spirit of paying that favor forward, I will add a new Awesomeness series featuring my fellow bloggers.

2. Added email. Send me an email at superlegalfun@gmail.com.

3. Added subscription options. Sign-up to get an email everytime I post something new! (Please contain your excitement.)

4. Added "Most Viewed Posts."

5. Discontinued the requirement to type the verification word when posting a comment. That requirement was annoying. If I get spam, I'll add it back in.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

No-Bake Recipe to Make a Law Office

Ingredients:

1. 2-3 jerks with JDs who think they can do it better than their last firm;

2. 1-2 paralegals who believe the lines the 2-3 jerks fed them to leave the last firm for a paycut and very few benefits;

3. Office space with corner offices for said jerks and no space for staff (paralegals don't need room to work, they just need computers, right?);

4. 20 rich clients to suck up to until said jerks have too much work.  At that point, the jerks will ignore their clients and route all contact through their paralegals while they go golfing;

5. A conference room and table big enough to feed their enormous egos;

6. Sock puppets (need I say more?);

7.  Doors on all rooms for secret meetings;

8. Very expensive pens (key to ego proliferation);

9. A letterhead design that shouts "WE ARE MSSRS. FANCY McFANCY-PANTS!"

10. Liquor cabinet and paper shot glasses (for the staff);

11. Cubicle golf for every attorney's office with monogramed clubs and balls;

12. Gold name plates that include their middle name and "Esq." (that's how fancy they are);

13. A cool name.  They will undoubtedly argue over whose last name comes first on the door (you know, the important things that are not at all childish);

14. Employment posters that have been crossed out in big fat black marker and read "just quit if you don't like my stupid rules."

15. MORE LIQUOR!!

16. Lots of stickies so the paralegals can write instructions on all the new office equipment the jerks will continue to break and jam and then leave for the staff to fix.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chill jerks until they are as cold as can be and will not warm-up for the remainder of their career.

2.  Put staff "in-charge" of all tasks so they will do all the leg work to set up the firm, but don't let them actually make any decisions.

3. Move into said office.

4. Stir up the ugliness and watch the mess unfold.

  * Pairs well with a lifetime supply of the liquor of your choice.

Awesome Email from Secretary X, Part 3

Here's another awesome email exchange yesterday with Secretary X.  Note: rescheduling a trial is HER job, which she decided she would assign to me yesterday for some unknown reason.   It's funny, she is MY secretary and she is now assigning HER work to ME.  What is wrong with this picture?   [MY COMMENTS ARE IN CAPS.]
------------------------
To: Superlegal
From: Secretary X
Please coordinate and handle trial reset, if it is going to be reset.
------------------------
[CAN I GET YOU A CUP OF COFFEE AND SCHEDULE YOU A MASSAGE WHILE I'M AT IT?]
-----------------------
To: Secretary X
From: Superlegal
It's my understanding that there is a conflict with the ABC v. XYZ case and that Associate already talked to you about getting it reset. Is that not the case? This needs to be dealt with ASAP to avoid an ex parte appearance to reset.
------------------------
[ASSOCIATE HAS BEEN TELLING HER TO DO IT FOR MONTHS AND MOST RECENTLY LAST WEEK DUE TO THE CONFLICT WITH THE ABC V. XYZ TRIAL. SHE HAS TWO DAYS LEFT TO DO IT.]
-----------------------
To: Superlegal
From:  Secretary X
It is not a conflict with the ABC v. XYZ case. And I can't deal with it ASAP. Maybe opposing counsel can since he failed to do so last time.
-----------------------
[WELL, SHE'S WRONG. THERE IS A CONFLICT. I DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW SHE DOESN'T THINK THERE IS A CONFLICT WHEN THE SAME ATTORNEY HAS TWO TRIALS SCHEDULED ON THE SAME DAY. DOES B-DUB HAVE A CLONE I'M NOT AWARE OF?]

(SUPER-ASSOCIATE COMES TO THE RESCUE [INSERT AWESOME SUPERHERO MUSIC HERE -- DUH, DUH DUH DUH, DUH DUH DUH DUH!!!])
------------------------
To: Secretary X
From: Associate
Superlegal cannot bill to reschedule the trial. Please contact opposing counsel and find a mutual trial date so that we can get a date certain trial date. Then, please get the trial reset. Thanks.
-----------------------
[THANK YOU, ASSOCIATE, FOR EXPLAINING TO SECRETARY WHY IT'S HER JOB IN THE FIRST PLACE. NOT THAT IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE, BUT IT MAKES ME FEEL BETTER TO HAVE SOMEONE ON MY SIDE BACKING ME UP AGAINST THE EVIL THAT IS SECRETARY X.]
-----------------------
To: Associate
From: Secretary X
I can't get into this for awhile because I am too backed up. I don't see billing is an issue.
------------------------
[TRANSLATION: ASSOCIATE OR SUPERLEGAL NEED TO DO IT IN THE NEXT TWO DAYS, OR ASSOCIATE WILL HAVE TO MAKE A COURT APPEARANCE AT EX PARTE TO RESET THE TRIAL.]
[ALSO, SECRETARY X DOESN'T SEE BILLING AS AN ISSUE BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T BILL HER TIME. SHE DOESN'T HAVE A BILLABLE HOUR REQUIREMENT TO MEET. SHE WON'T LOSE HER JOB IF SHE DOESN'T MAKE THE YEARLY REQUIREMENT. RIDICULOUS!!]
[LAST THING: SHE PROBABLY CAN'T DO IT ASAP BECAUSE SHE TOOK A ---FOUR---HOUR---LUNCH---- YESTERDAY. NEED I SAY MORE?]

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Awesome Email from Secretary X, Part 2

Associate asked me to send an email to Secretary X. Here's another awesome blast from Secretary X:

Dear Secretary X:
Per Associate, please confirm you have our expert lined-up for the hearing next Wednesday, April 20. Thanks!
Sincerely, Superlegal

Dear Superlegal:
Did you open up the calendar for this hearing?
Sincerely, Secretary X

I guess I was supposed to know that's where she decided to randomly put that information, even though it's not normally there.

Oh, and it is obviously painful to give someone a direct answer to a reasonable question.

HOW DARE I EVEN ASK AND FOLLOW ASSOCIATE'S INSTRUCTIONS!!!

Awesome Email from Secretary, Part 1

This is a follow-up to my post Monday called "Beyond Frustrated." Here is the link : http://superlegalfun.blogspot.com/2011/04/beyond-frustrated.html

Just so y'all can get a little taste of what I deal with daily, here is a summary of one email with Secretary X today:

Dear SecretaryX:
Please make sure you tell the insurer about the new court date.
Sincerely,
Superlegal

Dear Superlegal:
You really don't need to keep emailing me to do things I routinely do. And, just so you know, I have not had a confirmation call back from our client yet. Thanks.
Sincerely,
Secretary X

(She already confirmed with the court and I called all the witnesses. I see another reset. WHY would you confirm with the court before you talk to your own client?)

Wikipedia: Paralegal definition

Wikipedia's definition of a Paralegal:

"Paralegal is used in most jurisdictions to describe a paraprofessional who assists qualified lawyers in their legal work."

A couple thoughts:

1. Qualified? I guess that means they passed a bar exam. The sad part is that unsupervised newby associates are also considered "qualified" to make independent legal decisions (and we have to happily assist in their near malpractice).

2. "Assist" does not mean the following:

  * Do your work for you. I am not an underpaid associate.

  * Cover for you or reschedule hearings and meetings to accommodate your sport of choice. Instead, I will start informing opposing attorneys/ judges/ clients that you couldn't make it because your wife just left you after finding you in bed with another man in her underwear. Yes, I'm pretty sure that will be the last excuse I need to make for you.

  * Do all the work to prepare you for trial while you're enjoying the Florida sun the week before trial (true story). Perhaps I'll assign the same level of interest to that case and hire a camera crew to capture your surprise that I didn't bail you out. Oh, and then I'll refuse to work the weekend on trial prep because I already promised your wife I would help her move everything out of your house while you did your own work!!

  * I am not your walking task list or babysitter. It's not my job to tell you what your priorities are, when to do something, where you're supposed to be, who to call, or give you a briefing about a case when you get a call because you can't remember what a case is about. I think, instead, I'll start "accidently" getting the cases confused, and give you random facts about several cases. Besides, Secretary X makes worse mistakes. It works for her.  Maybe I'll give it a shot. Who knows? I might get a raise.

I think the definition should be:

Underpaid, overworked people who loved the law before the attorneys around them disabused them of the idea that paralegals assist and contribute to bring a case to conclusion.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Beyond frustrated...

Secretary X is at it again!

I asked Secretary X weeks ago to reschedule an arbitration. She is in charge of ALL scheduling/ calendaring. She scheduled it, but didn't check with our witnesses or opposing counsel. At that point, I told her I would handle communication with the witnesses so she wouldn't screw it up (witnesses who agree to voluntarilly appear to testify must be carefully handled so you don't piss them off). I told her to communicate with everyone else (the client and client's family, arbitrator and opposing counsel).

Tips for interviewing for a Paralegal position (can be adapted for other professions)

Late last year, I interviewed for a Paralegal position at a new firm. I guess it's like riding a bycicle (one where the seat goes up your butt no matter how you position yourself). No matter how good you are at interviewing, it's so uncomfortable to act like you're not begging for a job, and to act like you WANT to feed the interviewer's ego. So here are some common interview questions for a Paralegal and some suggestions for responses (adapt to your profession as appropriate):

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Awesomeness, Part VII: Reasons to embrace your awesome haters and hate-mail

I have reached another thrilling milestone. I have hate-mail!! Yippee!!

Y'all may have noticed a recent post by a reader in response to my post entitled "Dear JD: What exactly did you learn in law school?"

The hate-mail comment read:

Fort Worth 8L said...
Perhaps if you werent's so full of yourself, you could see that you also have issues. For instance, you misspelled "dilute." It only has one "l." If JD has just passed the bar, it is quite likely that they never taught him to use the acronym LR for local rule in law school. Our local highly rated law school factory is pretty academic and plus we don't use LR in Texas. We have local rules but refer to them differently.
April 7, 2011 12:37 PM

Now, before you all go hatin' on the hater, you need to understand why I appreciate his/her comment. Here are the reasons haters and hate-mail are awesome:

1. It means people who don't know you want to read the crap you write, even though they hate it.

2.  Haters like Fort Worth, who is likely a lawyer since he/she didn't defend the Paralegal profession, don't realize that they are carrying on the oppressive behaviors I am criticizing behind closed doors because it's not allowed in the office.

3. Forth Worth blindly criticizes me without knowing that typos happen, likely because the only time I can blog is on my two hour commute each day on public transportation on my "smart phone" with the great unwashed. Isn't it awesome that s/he's jumping to conclusions just for me? (So sweet!) Maybe I'll start incorporating tyops just for him/her. (Oops, I did it again!)

4. Haters are good for laughs sometimes because they don't read the other crap I've been dealing with and make uninformed comments without reading my whole blog. Just so y'all know, JD has been licensed for several years and "practicing" for almost a year. The fact that he hasn't looked at our local court rules is indicative of his incompetence, and likely why he couldn't find a real lawyer job.  Further, we aren't in Texas, Todo, and we do use LR all the time here.

5. Haters get to pass judgment on others. Haters, afterall, are so awesome they are above everyone else. Again, s/he's probably is an attorney, so s/he's used to exuding his/her awesomeness everywhere.

6. They give us great blog topics!

Well, I have a big smile on my face. At last, ladies and gentlemen, we paralegals get to speak out against the collective group of attorneys we work for.

For you, Fort Worth: Yee Haw!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dear JD: What exactly did you learn in law school?

JD is an attorney (hence the nickname JD), but couldn't find a lawyer job, so he took a job with our firm as a Paralegal.

Today, he asked what ABN and LR meant.

For those who don't live in a law office, you may not know that those acronyms stand for "associated business name" and "local rule."

That's right. He didn't know LR meant local rule. Oh the humanity, bring me some sticks to draw that man a picture on the wall of his cave!!

One day, my superpowers as Superlegal will be a force to recon with.  On that day, justice will dillute the evil cesspool of posers who attempt to practice law.

Until then, I will stick to my pranks. Some pranks I thought of to play on JD:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Awesomeness, part VI: Why my blog readers are awesome!!

I hit 2,000 page views today. This was due in large part to a surge in readers after Paralegal Hell posted my link. (Thank you Paralegal Hell!) Everyone should read her blog if you haven't. She was my inspiration to start blogging and is hilarious!! Her site is: www.paralegalhell.com. (I also have a link on the right side of blog page.)

So, I am writing this Awesomeness Blog to you guys, my AWESOME readers!

REASONS Y'ALL ARE AWESOME:

1. You read my blog, rain or shine.

2. You have an appreciation for the crap I deal with daily because you guys deal with similar crap daily.

3. You offer awesome and brilliant prank ideas when I really need them.

4. You don't tell my boss this blog exists.

5. I know if they put us all in a room, our combined super powers would surely take over the world and cause unbelievable havoc to those who oppose us. May the power be with us!

Thank you to everyone for reading! It's so nice to be heard!!

Remind me again why she's employed here?

About a month ago, Associate transferred about 10 of my cases to the other Paralegal on my team (Vannah). I had about 50 cases and she had less than 20. So, if you do the math, after transferring those cases, I still had at least 10 more cases than her.

On top of that I had a HUGE quad case going to trial April 4 that was scheduled to last four weeks (most trials last 3-5 days), immediately followed by back-to-back trials in May.

I have been working non-stop with about two days off in the last month. Out of necessity, I have also ignored my other cases for two months, and they are all way behind.

In the last week, Vannah told me several times that she is swamped and will need my help soon to get her cases ready for depositions, arbitrations, etc. 

Yesterday, in the middle of prepping trial exhibits, pretrial motions, etc., she interrupted me to ask if my case was close to settlement because she really needed my help. I told her it wasnt because three days ago we were still millions of dollars apart.

Turns out, her timing was spot on because as soon as I finished saying that, B-Dub came out of his office and told me he settled it -- for less than our offer last week and plaintiffs just folded (a huge victory).

I overted my eyes, but I'm sure Vannah just wanted to pounce all over my schedule.

I truly can't believe the laziness in my firm. No one wants to do their own job, everyone wants help, but no one wants to help others, and everyone tries to get out of doing work they are assigned.

I have always worked with a few people that are that way, but a whole firm -- including the attorneys? I don't get it. Perhaps they are trying to get fired to collect unemployment for two years. Why work now when you can not work now and get paid to work even less later?  I know people that would be happy to have a job, and it just irks me when able-bodied people don't appreciate the job they have.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Duh! Mandatory overtime doesn't apply to Secretary X

In my department, we have all been working lots of overtime because we have a trial starting soon on a large case (which is assigned to me).  We all work long days, nights and weekends, and have been doing so for months.

I gave Secretary X a package to fill-out a packing slip for and take to Fed Ex (her job). She told me she couldn't find the address, so I got the address for her (her job). Then she asked, at 4:45, if I was going to make her stay late to finish it.  I told her "Yes, of course. I haven't tortured you enough today."

Pop quiz:

1. Why does it take more than 15 minutes to fill-out a packing slip and walk ONE block to Fed Ex?

2. Why is Secretary X the only person in our firm NOT on mandatory overtime?

3. Why is staying late to get something out in Fed Ex to an expert across the country for a trial that starts in 9 days so ridiculous to request?

Answers:

1. Because when you refuse to do anything, it takes longer than it should to get anything done (like forever).

2. Because she is the queen of the firm and makes all the rules for everything. Besides, she needn't lift a finger when she can wave her magic keyboard around in the air and make everyone do everything for her, including any overtime.

3. Don't be ridiculous. She takes no responsibility for anything on any case and doesn't care one bit what happens in the case. You best not even think of inconveniencing her one minute for the sake of trial prep.

I really should be more sensitive to her schedule.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Myths about Lawyers and the Law

1. LAWYERS PRACTICE LAW.
Truth: Lawyers do not practice law. Lawyers practice:
  A. Whining like a baby until they get their way.
  B. Procrastinating as a test to see how many hoops their paralegals can jump through (like show dogs) before they quit.
  C.  Taking credit for everyone else's work.
  D. Avoiding reality.
  E. Sharpening their gaming skills in between barking-out emails giving wrong instructions about cases they either know nothing about, or don't understand.

I work with pink, curly-tailed animals without proper ventilation

EVERY flippin' morning, I come in to the copy room in natural disaster status. I always try to leave a place cleaner than I found it. Perhaps that's where my OCD cleaning gene comes from.  (Thanks a lot, mom!)

So, every flipping morning I clean up the filth and return the copy room -- one of the few common work areas in the office -- to the shiny clean room I know it can be.  I throw away used staples. I collect all the paperclips and binder clips that are all over the counter, floor and copier and put them in their proper container. I fill the copier and fax with paper. I pick up paper hole-punches with packing tape. I rearrange the supplies so they are neatly against the back wall of the counter to maximize counter space to work at. I deliver all the faxes from the day before that no one bothers to claim or deliver (Secretary X). I pick up miscellaneous garbage and recycling and put them where they go. I move the stickies back to their pile.

Yesterday, I walked in. It was a mess. I didn't clean it. Throughout the day, it got worse as the visiting pigs ignored their mess.

Just before I left yesterday, I opened all the drawers in the copier and fax. I sprinkled paperclips and binder clips all over. I wiped the used staples and hole-punches off the counter and onto the floor (office confetti flew everywhere). And to top it off, I tipped over the garbage and recycling bins.  To tell you the truth, there wasn't much of a difference than the mornigs I clean it up.

I'm looking forward to seeing whether anyone cleaned it up, but I am not hopeful.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Awesomeness, Part V: Reasons being B-Dub the Boss Man is Awesome

1. He gets to single-handedly create the freak show of crazies outside his office, then sit back and enjoy.

2. He enjoys that everyone comes to him with their problems with all the other crazies because he delegates all responsibility without delegating the corresponding power to improve office personnel issues.

3. He gets a fat paycheck and doesn't have to share the profits of my success.

4. He gets to take weekends off after he delegates everything to his overworked, underpaid staff (see #3 above).

5. He has a housewife to take care of all his home responsibilities while the rest of us are fortunate enough to have a few hours after slaving away at work to handle our home responsibilities.

6. He can complain about getting up at 4:30 to fly to a deposition, even though I've told him I don't need to hear that because I get up at that time EVERY DAY.

7. One of his biggest choices in his day is between the Porsche and the Escalade in the morning.

8. He gets to ignore Mean Partner.

9. He can ignore the work that has been drafted for a month and  sitting in his inbox, and then question me about why it hasn't gone out yet. Of course, it couldn't have been sitting there that long because he's sure he's gone through his inbox since then, even though I have given him weekly reminders that they were still in his inbox and needed to go out.

10. He can routinely schedule a vacation the days before a trial, but refuses to allow staff to schedule vacations close to trials. He has a back-to-back trial schedule, so that little rule equates to staff not being able to take vacations. "Here is vacation time for you. Feel free to use it when you quit."

After writing this, I realized that it may not be as awesome as one thinks to be B-Dub the Boss Man, and that he really deserves all my sympathy.