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!


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.


*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.


*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.