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


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


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.