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.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Remember on Memorial Day


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.]