I’m back, baby. Life’s been crazy right? 😬
Law Talk, December 15, 2020, edition.
Yesterday, opposing counsel in a case pulled what is known in legal jargon as a “dick move”. I was very angry, and almost sent him an angry email in reply. I let myself chill for 24 hours, until I was no longer angry, before replying substantively.
Note: this is long, but I hope you will be provided with a few minutes of entertainment, and think it is worth it. identities redacted. One of the lawyers CCd is Mr Fancypants’ mother, as far as I can tell.
Dear [Mr Fancypants, Esq, cc: paralegal and the several other attorneys listed on their site]:
Yesterday, I composed a scathing email to you regarding your professionalism in ambushing me with your CCP complaint—especially when I agreed to your request for a continuance last Friday of the 12/23 hearing without batting an eye. After I was done, I let it sit a minute, and then deleted it, recognizing that I shouldn’t send emails when I am angry. I am not angry anymore. Instead, I now find myself compelled to thank you for doing what you did. Because you have shown me the type of lawyer you are.
Now, really, this is my fault in giving you the benefit of the doubt. I should have recognized you for what you were when you refused to ask your client to even make a phone call [facts redacted] in an attempt to resolve this matter without proceeding to court, especially where [facts redacted]. I won’t make that mistake again.
From this point you get no further professional courtesy from me in these or any future interactions I may have the displeasure of experiencing with you. Here is a non-exclusive demonstrative list: No extensions; No friendly reminders; No pleasantries.
Furthermore, I will only respond to you (and anyone affiliated do with your firm) in writing. By calling me, you are explicitly warned, and accept, that I will record your phone call (see 18 Pa.C.S. §5701 et seq) because I now know I cannot expect even a baseline level of respect ([paralegal], [lawyer], [lawyer], [lawyer], I am sorry that this includes you now too, but [Mr Fancypants, Esq] has left me with no choice. It’s not personal, it’s business).
When I was a baby lawyer, my lawyer pal Mac Randazza taught me about his philosophy when it comes to litigation. It’s based on a saying attributed to Caesar, I think: murium aries attigit. Look it up if you’re not a history or latin buff. Marco’s [sic] Italian, so Roman history is his jam. Me, though, I’m a big fan of the Norse mythos.
Some of the oldest oral stories of the Norse culture are compiled in the Elder Edda, also known as the Poetic Edda. There’s a part of it called Hávamál, or “Sayings of the High One”. In case you’re not a huge Norse history nerd like I am, the High One is Oðin, the chief god of the Aesir in Asgard. He also goes by Wotan, which is where the term “Wednesday” came from (“Wotanstag”). Oðin has a magical spear, named Gungnir (“The Swaying One”, approximately in English). This spear always hits its mark.
According to the Norse stories, in order to gain the secrets of the runes, Oðin speared himself in his own side with Gungnir, and hanged himself for nine days on the world tree, Yggdrasil. At the end of those nine days, he found himself knowing those secrets. I consider this a parable about the sacrifices one makes to obtain knowledge.That’s all a roundabout way to getting to one of my favorite passages in the Elder Edda:
Hvars þú böl kannt,
kveð þú þér bölvi at
ok gef-at þínum fjándum frið.
In case you can’t read old Norse, that says:
𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗴𝗻𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗹, 𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗮𝗸 𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘀𝘁 𝗶𝘁, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗻𝗼 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗲𝘀.
I expect I have made myself clear.