So with East Bound and Down going on in my head, I am still up at just before 5 a.m. (or as some friends of mine would say "o'dark early").
And these are the thoughts I have...
1) I hate it when I do not have a complete file to work from. It would be nice to know what hell is going on in the case beyond the motion. (Note to people who may want contract work done, when the Angry Bell says send the file over, I do not mean a copy of the moving papers that are missing 1/6th of the pages and incomprehensible pro per brief that make sense only if you can read idiotese!)
2) I'm not my ex-boss from the days gone by. He could, and did on occasion, write his briefs blindly without evening bothering to wait for the other side serve him with their moving papers. I am a mere mortal who likes to know what the other player is throwing in the pot.
3) Writing a full blown opposition in less than a day is frakking nuts. Especially when its a motion I have never handled before. And I tell you that you I have never done this particular wrinkle of civil law.
4) I absolutely hate it when the person who contracts me the job says things like "it'll be easy" and "it's a slam dunk" or "all you have to do is....". If it was easy, why the frak did they not just bang it out on their weekend time instead of me doing it? If it was a slam dunk, then why are the casing running 3 to 1 against with the given fact pattern (that namely our client is in the wrong)? And if all I have to do is x, why is x the least important part of the entire frakking piece?
Because 12 hours ago I was called up by another attorney in desperate straits. This guy has a client who is on the verge of being declared a vexatious litigant (not a good thing). And the opposition to the motion is due soon. Like tomorrow.
I really have to get a better group of clients so that I don't have let other people's poor planning become my emergencies.
Last week, I was participating with the VLSP's courthouse project, helping it represent indigent tenants who are faced with evictions. I have mentioned this program a few times in the past. Because I have been doing this for a while, the people who run the program feel that I can best serve a certain type of client. A very special type of client. You know, crazy.
So this week's crazed person was an immigrant from Czecheslovakia (now the Czech Republic). This person had fallen behind in their rent, but the landlord was offering incredibly generous terms (they actually liked this peson and wanted to keep them as a tenant.) In the space of a few hours, this person managed to alienate me, the person overseeing the program, the opposing party's attorney, and the judge pro tem. It included both the pro tem and myself, at separate times, reading the client the riot act in order to bring this person back down to the planet we like to call Earth.
And after three hours of work to get the client to agree to something which they told me they wanted in the first place(!), the client walks up to me. He tells me (in a thick Czech accent), "You look too...uptight. I watch Matlock, you could learn from him."
Alright...the week gone by in Dancing with the Stars. Well... I was really... ummmm... underwhelmed by most of the dancing. There was the one standout: Ohno and Hough's Rhumba was great, despite what Mr. Goodman said about the chair.
(And as a side note, how many out there think that Edyta saw the split move by Julianne and wanted to go out and do the same?)
There was one set of scores, which I thought really were undeserved: Ian and Cheryl's Paso.
Frankly, I feel that the judge's are just being mean when it comes to Ian. Maybe its because they are tired of seeing Cheryl win or something, but every time Ian goes and does what they tell him to do, they tell him he should have done it the other way. Watch his face as he stands there and manages to not explode as they whiplash him again. Not my favorite dancer, but this is the hard luck couple of the tournament this time. That dance, I thought, deserved a bit better from the judges. At least the viewers rewarded him.
Now... the most painful of the night had to be that lost bear in the swamp: Billy Ray Cyrus.
Yeah, I know, "Big Daddy" and all that. Will people out there have some mercy on poor Karina and stop voting for them. Please. Please put her out of her misery. She deserves a better fate than this.
As for the rest, ... well Laila turned in a nice Cha Cha Cha but I wasn't as bowled over by it as the judges were.
It was good, it just did not grab me. Part of it was Laila's bit of choreography at the end. The other is that I think Maksim is a bit of a brat as a partner. He swings from choreographing boring, simple routines, with routines that are beyond a person at her level that and contain moves that are not allowed.
John and Edyta put on a fun little Mambo...
Their days are numbered. In a perfect world, they will go a week longer than Billy Ray and Karina (is anyone listening here? Save the dancer, don't vote for Billy Ray!). Of course, Edyta is doing far better than she would have if "Big Pussy" had not pulled out. Then again, Julianne has challenged her title of being the most flexible and most willing to kick her leg past her ear at any time so she might be readying something to show off her legs and smack down the upstart Julianne.
Then there was Joey and Kym. Not much to say. It was fun. I was masculine (at least for Joey).
And this with a song that really wasn't that Samba-esque I thought.
Last but not least, there was Heather and Johnathan. The leg was eventually going to come up and get her and the Paso was it.
She was voted off 2 weeks early in my opinion. Of course, she had less of a margin of error. Paso is a tough dance, doubly so for the woman I think.
But, in a rare agreement, I think the judges picked the right routine to bring back for a second viewing when they had the entire cast do their group swing again. It was fun.
After this week, with Lalia and Maksim clawing their way back up and Ian and Cheryl continuing to stumble, its looking like the final three could end up being Fatone/Johnson, Ohno/Hough, and Ali/Chmerkovskiy. If Ian and Cheryl can pull it all together, they could get back in this one because I think that Maxsim will end up bringing his partner down. But I think that we could be looking at an all-male star finale with Fatone/Johnsone and Ohno/Hough squaring off for the title.
So I have been keeping my ear to the grounds of the various cases against CitiApartments and the Lembis. The short answer to "what has been going on" is that the two cases filed on behalf of tenants is almost over. The case filed by the San Francisco City Attorney's Office is still progressing.
In the cases filed by the individuals, there was a flurry of activity in the past few months, This included a couple of motions to compel by the various parties. The discovery commissioner made a few Solomonic decisions so no one apparently got everything that they wanted (or so I have been told). A deposition of did happen, but the parties have been very mum about what actually happened during it. Whatever happened during the deposition of the CitiApartment personnel sparked a very quick round of settlement negotiations. All I know for certain is that settlement agreement which came about because of these talks is confidential.
Now, as many lawyers will tell you, this could mean a number of things. However, it is interesting to note that this was came about after the initial deposition of the CitiApartment people. On the one hand, it could mean that the number crunchers from the CitiApartment insurance company decided that the cost of defense was outweighed by potential liability and they made an offer. Of course, it could also mean that the deposition went particularly well for the tenants which forced the CitiApartments people to come up, in conjunction with their insurers, with a real settlement proposal rather than risk a trial with some damaging.
Aren't confidential settlements great? A multitude of sins can be swept under the rug with them.
Of course, the City and County of San Francisco's case against the Lembis and CitiApartments is apparently still on going.
I have a client whom I do work for on occasion. This is an attorney who needs contract help on some of his cases. Lately, though, he seems to be treating me like I am an associate rather than an independent contractor. For example, yesterday, I received at my office, a couriered document that he wants me to deal with. He did not ask me if I had the time to deal with it (which I have, if I want to cut out sleeping at all this week before Friday). I definitely do not charge him enough for this.
But what is really steaming me right now is the email that he sent me this morning about my meeting tomorrow. Apparently, the client will be there and wants to critique the document (an appeals brief) that I am writing on the case. Like he did when I was writing the opening brief. Like he did last week when he tried to tell me how the law worked in an email (an address which I did not give him for very reason I did not want him contacting me).
Critique me? Where the frak does this little idiot of a client get off thinking he knows anything about legal writing, much less appeals work? Did this guy go through three years of hell known as law school? Did he sit through the bar exam? Did he pass the California Bar on the first try? Does he know the difference between res ipsa loquitur and res judicata (one of them being very important to the case)?
Oh wait, let's think about this. That's right, this is the guy who decided that he was too smart to allow a lawyer to handle the case. This is the guy who could not be bothered, apparently, to go to a law library, if he was going to be idiotic enough to be his own client, and figure out exactly what it takes to follow the rules. It would be like me being trying to be a plumber without first knownig the difference between a crescent wrench and a pipe wrench. Or to diagnose and treat my own maladies because I have access to wikipedia or webmd. I sure as hell do not go out, screw up my engine by tinkering with it and then try and tell the mechanic what to do.
There is a reason that there are professions. Its not because we are trying to keep ourselves exclusive for exclusivity sake. Its because some jobs require more than the basic education you get in school. You want it done right, whether it be plumbing, medical treatment, or legal advocacy, you go to the person who knows what the frell they are doing.
Going to this meeting tomorrow will be... interesting.
So as I was watching the tivoed Dancing with Stars Results Show (yes, but I have an excuse for using the tivo. Two actually. Veronica Mars is on hiatus and the Giants game is much more important to be watched live), and saw the return of Drew to the dance floor.
My first thought was, "Rich looks like he would rather be anywhere else singing than on this show." Then as I watched some more, I could not help but think, "wow, you think Cheryl misses having Drew as her partner?"
Anyways, the routine that has impressed me the most was the Joey Fatone (who would think I would ever something nice to say about an N'Sync member?) and Kym Johnson Paso from this week.
With Leeza Gibbons gone (finally!), the next to fall should be Clyde (if only to put him out of his misery) followed by Billy Ray (send the Kentucky boy back to Kentucky and stop torturing Karina). Then, it should go that either John Ratzenberger (sorry Edyta, maybe next season you'll get someone who can keep up with you) or Heather Mills (yes, you are the feel good person, but eventually that peg leg of yours should put you out of contention). The final three should be Fatone/Johnson, Ziering/Burke, and Ohno/Hough.
Who I think will win(N`Sync had a lot of fans): Fatone/Johnson
Who I think should win: Fatone/Johnson
Who I think is the darkhorse: Ohno/Hough
Something about the Ziering/Burke pairing just keeps them from great, but then there is a stumble. Sorry Cheryl, I think that Ziering is just too much of a goofball to put you back on top for the three-peat.