Thursday, June 17, 2010

27 Banker Boxes Full Of Hell

Work has been crazy this week. I have a million things due and not enough time to complete them all! From Monday to Thursday, I billed over 34 hours. That might not seem impressive to some people but that's usually my weekly goal to reach my 155 billable hours per month. And that time is in addition to a 1 hour work lunch, a 1 hour work function and a 2 hour in-house CLE. To put it lightly, I'm kind of exhausted.

And guess what I get to do today? Resume document review of 27 banker boxes full of construction documents! I started this task yesterday and I only got through about 8 boxes for the entire day. In total, I reviewed 4 years worth of construction meeting minutes, 2 years worth of change orders, and god-only-knows how much random correspondence. UGH. 19 more boxes of awesomeness to go. Opposing counsel did their review of these boxes in one day- with 6 people helping out. I get to do it in 2 days, by myself. YAY! (not).

So, you know what's not so awesome about finally having a bar number? Opposing counsel gets to see how new your bar number is and try to take advantage of you. It's pretty much a lovely walk in the park with a rainbow sno-cone....

Weeks ago I was tasked with scheduling this awesome document review project with opposing counsel. The documents are at a third party counsel's office (this party already settled out of the case). After working with everyone and their important schedules, I finally got a week set aside for the doc review. Weeks later and one day before opposing counsel is supposed to review the files (it just worked out that they were scheduled to review first) a partner from opposing counsel's office calls me up all frantic-like. He claims he wasn't involved in the whole scheduling process and begged me to switch days with opposing counsel.

I was a little bit excited to have a partner from opposing counsel's office call me. See, I'm IMPORTANT now. I have a BAR NUMBER. (insert head inflate). So I decided to be nice and accomodate him. This is what that complying with the "spirit of discovery" is all about right? So I agree to switch days and we both left the conversation satisfied. However, I did think it was odd that instead of just rescheduling his day for review he specifically asked me if I would take his day so he could take my day.

I pop into Partner's office to let him know about the schedule change. Partner looks at me and asks, "did he say why he couldn't go tomorrow?" I reply, "No, he just told me he had a conflict and asked if I could go first." Then Partner looks at me again and with this wise old expression on his face (except he's not really old and, in fact, he's kid of hot- in a partner-sort-of-way) he says, "I think he wanted you to go first so he could copy all the documents you flagged."

That's when it all made sense. DUH. Why else wouldn't he just reschedule with the third party who has the documents? Why else would he make a specific effort to call me and request to switch days? on the phone he was so pleasant and I thought I was doing him a major favor. But to find out that he was swindling me the whole time- UGH! I feel so burned!

So what did Partner and I decide to do? We called third party with the documents, and rescheduled our review for later in the week (to be honest, we weren't prepared to view the documents one day early because we were waiting for a phone call from our client regarding what we should be looking for). Small victories are important in the practice of law. Especially when you are staring into the heart of a mountainous pile of banker boxes awaiting your review.

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