Friday, July 31, 2009

That's Why I'd Make A Horrible Mercenary

I learned something this past 37 hour work week. And it wasn't necessarily about practicing law.

I spent the past week and a half working on a mediation brief and damages analysis for this one particular case. And I'm looking at another upcoming week of pretty much the same thing. In fact, I think I've spent almost my entire summer moving this case past motions for attorneys fees, discovery requests, status reports for our client, damage assessments and the like. I've read a good amount of the medical records fand independent medical examinations or all five plaintiffs (count that- that's five sets of medical records and IMEs). I've read their deposition testimonies and viewed the recorded version of their actual depositions. I'm starting to feel as if I know these plaintiffs on a very personal level.

In fact, if I saw Ms. Plaintiff No. 1 walking down the street tomorrow, I would have the compulsive urge to strike up a conversation:

"Hello Ms. Plaintiff No. 1, how is that burning shoulder pain doing today?"
"I hope you and your third husband are patching things up. That must be hard on your daughter- the one attending community college."
"Did you really live in Colorado for three years? I've always wanted to go there."
"How's your scrapbooking coming along? And your cat named KeeKee is still doing well?"
"Do you really have a scar on your upper thigh in the shape of a pi symbol or does the picture just make it look that way?"
"You can't be serious when you say that scar is the cause of your sexual intimacy problems, Come on!"

I know WAY too much about these plaintiffs and their significant others. I mean it IS my job to know the full extent of their damages but do I really have to feel like a stalker in doing so?

Working on a handful of big cases this summer has given me some profound insights into my personality traights. It all makes sense now though- it totally explains everything about me. when I first get assigned a case or a project, it's like being handed a massive gift-wrapped box from Santa himself. When it comes to work projects, I eagerly fly straight into them, mouth agape and drooling at the possibilities- oh, the exciting legal doctrines that could come into play! The fresh page of a new word document is just a masterpiece of creative, logical arguments waiting to be created. The case, much like an unopened Christmas present, could hold anything! who knew what could be in store for me.

Then after everything has been unwrapped, removed, assembled and tried out, the excitment and eagerness disappears with the very newness of the thing. After spending a week trudging through legal analysis and research, the case is just an old exasperating gift standing between me and the next (new and more exciting) one.

That's where I'm at now. I just want it all to end. The excitement of this case has been flushed out of me and I drag my feet around the office like I'm stalling for an alien body snatcher to take me away from the dullness of my life.Maybe I'm in the wrong line of work if my interest in projects only lasts one week. It could be worse though, imagine a mercenary getting tired of chasing his target after one week, suddenly blowing off his entire mission... ok, maybe don't imagine that, I'm still stuck on my "mercenary falling in love with a librarian" romance novels.

Work will be ok though. In just one long WEEK I will be sipping margaritas, wearing a skimpy bikini on the beaches of Waikiki. (For clarification, I will be wearing the bikini, not my margaritas- although I wouldn't object if the glass decided to dress appropriately).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Guilty Summer Pleasures

When it comes to my summer reading list. I'm a bit pretentious. How pretentious? I started out this summer reading Huckleberry Finn (again) and Wuthering Heights. Yeah. No kidding. I don't often hit up the New York Times Bestseller's List (on purpose anyway)- even though some great books end up there. I just don't want people to think I'm reading a book because it's mainstream or popular. I don't want to fill my thoughts with the same stuff everyone else in the world is reading.

Usually, I prefer historical fiction or fiction that is oozing in foreign culture. But between law school and my job in the legal field, my brain has turned to mush outside the hours of 9am to 5pm. And, I feel like reading accordingly- mush. All mush.

It started when I began to dabble in the overly cheesy, pioneer woman fiction novel. You know the ones with the religious undertones? I'm talking all out Janette Oke, people. The stuff my conservative grandma would read. But... it's....Feel Good! And oh geez. The men in those books are such a turn on. How can you NOT fall in love with a devout, strong and gentlemanly Canadian Mounty straight out of the 1910s? Seriously? How! He goes to church- your mom would approve!

But from there, I fell down the slippery slope. I picked up some Debbie Macomber novels. I can try to justify this guilty pleasure by saying that I'm just supporting the local artists- she lives ten minutes from me, or that I read it for the geography- she writes about Seattle and my own city. But really, I read her books for the cheesy romance and the sexy men (and the borderline-harlequine novel quality doesn't hurt). After starting my fifth book of hers in the past month, I can almost predict what the characters will do next and the words she will choose to describe it. She's even reusing some character names. Definately not high quality literature.

But OH! When the stubborn man finally pulls the leading lady into his arms after chapters of tension and bickering and trying to convince the world he doesn't love her- it's just unbearable! That's how good it makes you feel. And seriously, some of her men characters are enough to drive you wild- rough and tumble ranchers, fearless and mean mercenaries with an unexpected tender side, duty-filled and honorable navy men risking their lives for their country. I fall in love with each one and then I kick myself for reading the book too fast. There is one male character in particular that I can't get over, he is seriousy the Perfect Man. Figures he would only exist in fiction.

While the men are pretty dreamy. The female characters drive me mad. The writer is a bit on the conservative side and each female character is about the same- inexperienced sexually, emotionally weak, petite, good cook and seamstress, with a classic female job (waitress, librarian!, teacher)- and wants the same thing: to be romanced off her feet and have all the guy's babies so she can be a stay at home mom. Nothing's wrong with that of course, but if I were writing a romance, my female heroine would be tough as doornails, confident as hell and thriving in a "man's" world.

The best/worst part of these Debbie Macomber novels are the blatant sexuality in the characters. Man, I never read a sex scene before- and when I'm reading in public, I have to put the book down lest I get all hot and bothered on the spot.

Yup, Guilty Pleasure.

Who knew it could be so much fun down here at the bottom?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Weekly MILP Roundup #108

This week I have the pleasure of guest hosting the weekly MILP roundup! I would have been more creative seeing as how this guest hosting business is such an honor, but somehow I got the flu and it stole all my creative juices (and my energy and, for a dramatic 24 hours, my will to live).

The Weekly MILP (Moms In the Legal Profession) Roundup is hosted on a rotating basis between PT-LawMom and A Little Fish in Law School blogs. We originally rounded up just the moms in law school, but then discovered that those women eventually graduate. Who knew? So now all the moms in the legal field are represented. Next week, check back in with Butterflyfish (by the way, at the Seattle Aquarium today- I actually saw a butterflyfish for the first time- very cool).

So "Got MILP?"

Here is what all the MILPs have been up to this week (I hope I didn't forget anyone- so sorry if I did):

LagLiv is reminiscing over her wonderful staycation but now it's back to work.

LEO reminds us that the bar gives "summer reading" a new meaning.

The bar is quickly approaching and ProtoAttorney is ready for the end.

JDWannabe is struggling with working parent guilt and realizing there is no turning back (we've all been there!).

Lawmummy is proof that summers just aren't what they used to be.

PT-LawMom teaches us all how to use Facebook to get the last word.

Butterflyfish is facing the calm (er, wall) before the storm.

She misses being a law student so much, Magic Cookie visits her law library at an alum.

For those who are anatomically challenged, GoobieBaBa gives us a lesson in lesbian sex (and I hope she shares her Google traffic).

Studying for the bar has Dakota making up her own hypos; doggie "duty"- lol!

And Trannyhead gives us our Sumo fix! Happy Birthday Big Boy!

A special shout out to all the MILPs taking the bar this week! Have faith in all the work you did this summer and kick some butt! Then celebrate like you've never celebrated before!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Briefing. Send Help.

Despite the state of the economy, the law firm I work for is pretty busy. Or wait, is it pretty busy BECAUSE of the state of the economy? I can't tell. But I do think people's law suit "trigger finger" gets pretty sensitive when budgets are tight.

The busy-ness is a good thing, I think. It means that instead of getting stuck under a pile of dull legal research projects, I get stuck under a pile of High Priority Really Important Assignments Due Yesterday. Hang on, I can't breath, let me move this Motion for Summary Judgment away from my left nostril. Ok, much better.

So, Big Boss Man is going on vacation. He pulls me into his office and after a pretty humorous discussion about fanny packs (apparently one of the partners wears one when he comes in every morning and when he leaves at the end of the day- but no one knows what is inside it or where it disappears to when he is in his office) we get down to business, or ahem, busy-ness.

"We have a mediation for this case coming up at the end of next month." This Case just happens to involve seven plaintiffs, an egregious accident, and a multi-million dollar demand amount. "I need you to track down some insurance documents for me, ok?"

I nod. Sure thing. This sounds easy enough.

"Oh and I need a mediation brief ready by the time I get back."

"Sure, no problem." I enthusiasticly reply. Because when you're dealing with a partner, you must ooze enthusiasm from your ear drums.

"Good. You can send me an outline of the brief before you get started so I can make sure we're going in the right direction, ok?"

"You got it."

I walk out of the meeting smiling. Then I sit down at my desk and start to think about tackling this assignment. Ok I need to write a mediation brief. Good. Ok.

Now what the heck is a mediation brief?


*Unfortunately, I now know what a mediation brief is. I just finished the outline. The OUTLINE is eight long pages. Mediation "brief" = oxymoron.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Crazy Little Guy

Jacob is hilarious nowadays. He is seriously the most fun he's ever been and every day it gets better. He knows where his head is if you ask him (and his "wee wee" of course, but that's old news). And when he hears people laughing, he automatically joins in, like he understood the humor of what someone just said or did. And boy does he babble- he babbles all day long as if he were carrying out an actual conversation with someone.

My absolute favorite thing Jacob does though is say "num" when he wants to drink something. But the best part is when he is about to pronounce the "n" sound, he sticks his tongue out between his otherwise closed lips. And if he catches ANYONE taking a drink out of a glass, he is suddenly reminded of his unquenchable thirst. He will point to the glass and repeat "num, num, num" over and over until you oblige him. It has become so annoying that, during dinner, we hide our glasses and turn away from him when we take a sip. If we didn't we'd be forced to give him sips of water every three seconds and he would refuse to take a single bite of food until we did!

We're already totally planning Jacob's first birthday party. I know he won't give two shakes of a rattle if we do anything to celebrate. But I think first birthday parties are TOTALLY for the parents and I'm going to go ALL OUT! I'm thinking a cowboy party theme with hay bales to sit on, a homemade saloon and marshall's office facade made out of cardboard, a cowboy clown, and real ponies! Ha, ha, Someone stop me! I dare you to try!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Where Do They Come Up With This Stuff?

It was my lunch break. I was juggling my recent purchase of a giant bag a skitttles, a diet dr. pepper and a bag of M&M's (for later, I promise) between my arms and my purse when all of a sudden, I heard a deep voice behind me.

"Hey, you dropped something!"

I turn around and see this lanky young man looking at me. Then I check the ground, expecting to find that I had dropped one of my bags of candy (the HORROR!). Nothing was there.

"Yeah. You dropped my number. Here I'll give it to you," the young man follows up.

I give him a look that could probably curdle Jell-o (and Jell-o doesn't even curdle). Then my agitation inspires courage.

"Oh wait. You were right. I DID drop something. I dropped this note. It says 'GET LOST'."

Then I turn my back to him and smile triumphantly. Ok, actually the smile is only two parts triumph and one part ego-boost.

Creepy One-Liner Guys Around The World: 4,931,699,00
Not-so Innocent Victims: 1

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hey Legislature? Are You Listening?

I dread talking to one of our clients. He's really weird. He thinks he knows ALL about the law. And he always acts put out by the fact that he HAS to talk to the law firm that is defending him. I mean come on dude, we're saving your butt from having to dish out possibly millions of dollars here. Show a little RESPECT?

Every time I have to talk to him it's always the same thing: "Can I sue my insurance company (technically the one defending him) for wasting my time?"


"Can I cross claim against the Plaintiffs for wasting my time?"

Hellzz. No.

Don't we all wish wasting someone's time was the basis for a lawsuit? Wouldn't that be great? Personally, I would sue the people who invented billing time in six minute increments. Then I would sue that teenager who works at the food mart who won't stop hitting on me. Then I would sue the dumbass who cuts in front of me at the Dairy Queen drive thru and then has to study each item menu before placing an order.

If I was feeling especially litigous, I would sue my bank for making me fill out a stupid withdrawl/deposit slip when I could just wallk right up and tell the teller what I want (and she usually just asks me anyway). Then I would sue Ben & Jerrys for not putting all the cookie dough chunks on TOP of the ice cream, thereby forcing me to dig through the entire carton to find them.

I would sue sunday drivers. I would sue all members of the Jehovah's Witness (Go away already!). I would sue the people who shrink wrap CDs and DVDs because, seriously, why are those things so hard to open?!

Yes, I would have a lot of fun if I could sue people for wasting my time. Hey, while we're at it, we should be able to sue people because they're ugly and hurt our eyes. And we should be able to sue people who have horrible body odor in a public place (public nuisance anyone?). In fact, we should be able to sue people JUST BECAUSE WE'RE TOO AWESOME!

For example:

"COMES NOW Plaintiff CEE, by and through her attorneys of record, ROCKSTAR LAW, and brings her I'm Too Awesome lawsuit against the Defendant Mr. You Can't Have Your Dry Cleaned Garments Without A Receipt and in support thereof, states as follows:

1. On or about the entirety of my existence, I, Cee, am Too Awesome.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff demands judgment to be entered against Defendant in the amount of one Victorias Secret Biolift Bra, size 34A and five Large bags of Peanut Butter M&Ms.

Respectfully Submitted,


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Putting The Ass in Associate

On Monday I made the mistake of confiding in a young associate. I admitted that I still wasn't feeling too hot from consuming too much alcohol on the Fourth of July. Of course I told him, "I never do stuff like this!" and he was all like, "Yeah, SURE you don't."

Coincidentally, I had gone out to lunch with him and a paralegal last week and let it slip that I choose my purses based upon whether or not they can hold a 5th of rum. This clearly did not help me out on this particular Monday.

Later in the day I walked by his office and he taunted, "There she goesssss, the office druuuuunk..."

Then at the end of the day he saw me in the file room looking through some client files.

"Hey, Cee. You can stop looking in that file cabinet. They don't keep any booze in here."

Ha ha. So funny. Can you say that a little louder. I think there is still one partner in the office who didn't hear you! That's what I deserve I guess.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cee Goes To Court! (And Kicks Butt)

Last week Associate slaps some briefing on my desk. "This is our co-defendant's motion for attorney fees," he says. "We need to file an opposition. I talked with the partner and, seriously, we don't think we can get out of this. But make any argument you can think of to try to fight it."

We go through the options... but they all seem like long shots. The judge will know we're just stalling. I decide to do some quick research before I actually start drafting our opposition.

What? What is this? The FIRST case listed in my Westlaw search results touches precisely on our issue. And case law is not only in our favor but it is CLEARLY in our favor. Did the co-defendant's counsel even RESEARCH this issue? Turns out the "attorney fees" our co-defendant demands are actually an element of "damages" to be determined at trial. The judge cannot award these fees, only the jury can determine how much we owe. Thank you Washington Constitution for providing us with the Right to a Jury Trial. OMG. We're going to CREAM them (unless of course, the judge is an idiot- which I hear happens).

After we file our opposition, the associate asks me if I want to accompany him to the hearing. OF COURSE! We show up to court in our unintentionally matching suits and shirts- the uniform of hard core, kick butt attorneys. We find our way through the maze that is the county courthouse (not before I have to relinquish my yogurt to the security guard- you know because my Raspberry Cheesecake yogurt is actually anthrax in disquise) and find our courtroom.

It always amazes me how plain and old looking county courtrooms are. Definately NOT what a court room on primetime television looks like. It also amazes me how formally informal hearings are when you are not at the appellate level. Hey, that judge isn't so scary after all- why did I tremble so much throughout my legal writing oral arguments from 2L year?

The co-defendant's counsel showed up looking like a huge skeeze-ball. Fancy gelled hair, expensive suit and a nasally voice. His hands shook the entire proceeding and he looked nervous but he also looked like he would talk your grandma out of her last pair of clean underpants if given the opportunity.

The judge listened to arguments from both sides then flat out said to co-defendant's counsel, "Your argument is stupid and weak. You fail this hearing and you fail at life." Ok maybe she didn't use those exact words... So in the end, we won a hearing that we had originally thought we would lose by a mile. This is the second briefing I've worked on to go to hearing and the second briefing I've worked on that was successful- I'd say my record is pretty good so far.

We walked out of the court room with the co-defendant's counsel and shared an elevator with him. He tried to save some face by telling us, "Well I had to make SOME argument. I can't believe my boss made me take this one."

The associate I work with looked at him and said, "Yeah, our law clerk's research really put your argument out on a limb. She found the case law. It's all her fault." Suggesting both (1) that it only took a lowly law clerk to bring down their top dogs and (2) that I did a good job.

I just humbly smiled at the co-defendant's counsel and offered a sincere but ironic, "Sorry."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vitamin R

As in Rainier Beer!
He loves his bottle.

Passed out!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Day 2

Day 2 of The Hangover. It's not pretty guys. More spin cycle stomach until noon. Got home from work with that nagging uneasiness in my tummy again. I didn't even know you could have a hangover this long. Clearly I didn't drink enough in college to learn all this stuff.

Do I dare ask?...

Why is this starting to remind me of morning sickness?

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Part I of our fourth of July celebration was really tame. We went to the party we go to every year at my husband's friend's house. Jacob enjoyed the sun with us. We snapped photos of him trying to drink out of empty beer bottles because seriously, is there anything more hilarious in the entire world?

My husband's parents showed up too. When they left the party early, they took Jacob with them, thereby handing me my license to party. And party I did. Boy oh boy. In fact, I don't remember the last two hours of the evening. I have only one person to blame: Jagermeiter, that bastard!

I woke up on the couch this morning in clothing covered in drunk drool, seaweed and sand. My eyes popped open the second I woke up. And the world was spinning. And my stomache felt like it had just gone through heavy duty spin cycle. To say I felt horrible would have been an understatement. Here's the thing, I rarely EVER drink too much. I usually have two glasses of wine and call it quits, letting the buzz take over for the rest of the evening. This was the third time in my entire life I had been hungover.

I' was unwillingly horizantal until 9pm and at that time I could finally keep something down. I've been promising over and over to never drink again- I think I might mean it...nah, who am I kidding. But I did try to go grocery shopping with my husband. And boy was that a mistake. All the food stuff I saw made me want to gag and I was perpetually keeled over. Like in the movie The Hangover, I've been trying to piece together events from last night. I discovered little treasures of the truth throughout the day:

"Where are my sandals?" I asked my husband.
"The ones you chucked into the ocean?"

"Did you bring in my bag of clothing from the car?"
"Actually, you puked in that bag."

"Hey, Friend posted some pictures from last night. I don't look THAT drunk."
"This was right before your shirt started coming off and you flashed a couple people."
"Ung! Really? Ok. Lay it on me. What else did I do?"
"You told all Friend1 that you loved her. You told Friend2 that you loved him multiple times."
"Did I at least tell YOU that I loved you?"
"No. But you did tell everyone you were going to give me the best "Blow-J" ever."
"OMG. I did NOT."

Turns out I did. Sometimes it's better to just not know.


At the annual 4th of July party that we attend, I was excited to see a couple other babies in attendance. I put Jacob on my hip and began to approach a man holding his baby girl.

"Hold old is your baby?" I asked.
"Ten months old." he said.
"My baby is ten months old too!" I said excitedly.

But my enthusiasm was cut off when I looked down at the girl and noticed something was wrong. She couldn't hold her head up yet. Her hands were clenched tighlty as her side and see seemed so fragile. It didn't take long at all to notice the striking disparities between the baby girl and my super active, hefty Jacob. I immediatetly felt bad for comparing the two.

"We don't know what's wrong with her but her brain stopped developing." The man told me. He looked at Jacob sadly. "We've been trying to figure out what a normal ten month old looks like."

His words tugged at my heart and I looked at his beautiful little daughter. I realized how horrible it must be to go through having a baby with an undiagnosed medical condition. How hard it must be to not see your baby developing at the same rate as other babies.

"Does your son reach out and grab objects? Does he eat solids yet? How many teeth does he have?"

I described a little about Jacob's recent developments and the man looked concerned.

"My daughter doesn't try to grab things. The muscles in her hands don't unclench."

I told the man how beautiful and precious his daughter was. I felt bad for approaching him with Jacob and displaying the differences between our children. I really cannot imagine what he and his wife are going through. But it seriously breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that a child could be born with a health condition and it breaks my heart that her parents don't get to experience the crazy joy that comes along with witnessing your child do fun new things

I'm so lucky to have Jacob. I always know it deep down but sometimes I need to be reminded just how lucky I am.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Mulhawk

Today Jacob is sporting a mulhawk- a mullet-mohawk combo. What a cool dude!

Exhibit A: Mullet

Exhibits B & C: Mohawk

Exhibits D&E: Mullhawk!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What's On My Mind

I could never have imagined the sleeplessness. The horrid smell of baby poo. The fact that I would pick another human's nose. The extreme and constant worry. The death and destruction of all nice clothing and furniture.

But the one thing I wish someone would have warned me about before I had a baby is the fact that babies constantly remind you how temporary everything is.

Everyone says, "they grow up too fast" but no one tells you exactly just how heartbreaking it is. They don't tell you that the joy of watching your child transform into his own person goes hand in hand with the tormet of knowing that it's all slipping too quickly from your grasp.

No one warns you that although your child will be the very thing that brings you to life, the mere fact that he wont be your baby forever could sting more than death itself.

I love each new stage Jacob enters. I love learning more about him and the person he is becoming. There is so much joy in raising children. But the joy is double sided. The more wonderful each moment is, the more sad I become over the fact that it wont last. Life is such a traumatic, double-edged sword.