Monday, January 14, 2008

Even Law Has Its Fools

Today at work I sat in on my first deposition ever. For non-law students, a deposition is when one party's attorney questions the other party, or people involved/witnesses, in order to collect information. It's all conducted in front of a court reporter who transcribes the entire thing.

An attorney from a huge law firm came to our office to depose three people involved in one of our land use cases. The three depositions took five hours! I have to say that although this attorney worked for a large, respected firm, this guy was totally unprofessional and ineffective. He asked the lamest questions, he acted like he was questioning a witness in court rather than taking a deposition. He kept asking leading questions and he kept having to rephrase questions because he wasn't getting the answers he wanted.

Most of the time I knew exactly what answers he was trying to pull from our clients but he simply couldn't phrase the question properly. I know I am just a lowly lawstudent, but I kept coming up with better questions in my head and I wanted to end the pain and just give him my own, less stupidly phrased questions.

Before and after the depostion, the attorney started making small talk with me- but I figured out right away that he really just wanted to word vomit all over me and didn't care at all about having a two-way conversation. Like I was too low to speak back to him or I was too unworthy to be listened to/have a respectable conversation. I have run into a number of attorneys and other professionals like this. Drives me crazy. I just sit back, shut up and try to imagine them on the toilet with their pants around their ankles. Even their shit stinks.

At one point during the deposition, the court reporter announced that she needed a 15 minute break around lunch time. Eventually it got out that she needed to "pump" -- she has a little one at home. After that, during random pauses in the deposition, the attorney kept making random remarks about "pumping." Things like, "I remember when my sister got pregnant and I saw a pump for the first time-- it was scary" and "you have to buy expensive pumps because I heard cheap ones can really hurt." He wouldn't drop the whole pumping business- he kept bringing it up in front of his client and our own clients. It was so have no idea!

I wonder how people like this can practice law... I'll be keeping my eyes on the local bar association newsletter for news of him being disbarred or sanctioned.


newduck said...

Good. Lord. This guy gives our profession a bad name. If I was the woman with the pump I would have found a way to "accidentally" spill some on the back of his jacket at some point during the afternoon.

newduck said...

By the way, regarding your post on my blog: first trimester of pregnancy = hell. As much as I complain about how hard it is to sleep in the third trimester, I guarantee things only get better from the first trimester on. (Well, they did for me anyway.) You'll notice I didn't start blogging until October, which is why you didn't hear my first trimester nightmares. So don't sweat it!