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Memphis, Tennessee, United States
Small town paralegal in the city. Once ran a law office, now being run by one. Med mal defense litigation. I think it's growing on me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Good Days

Today was a good day. It was a rewarding day. It was very satisfying. I could go on.

Today I went to court with the Boss for the first time. Actually, I met him there, but I was there nonetheless. He was appearing in a matter that has been, in some form or fashion, dragged out for years. We went in today hopeful and optimistic, but not sure by any means. By the end of the day, I was walking on clouds. If I felt that amazing, I cannot imagine how the client felt.

But it all began with an email from the Boss: "We're about to get started if you want to come." (I had been at the office hard at work.) I took stock in my clothes. Never having been in real court before (as opposed to "fake" traffic court), even as an observer, I had no idea what people wore. The lawyers always wear suits, but they are supposed to. What does someone who is not a party to the proceedings wear? I decided that overdressing would be better than the alternative, so I rushed home to slip into a suit (one that was purchased two years ago in the juniors section of a discount store, I might add). I could have worn a nicer skirt suit, it is true, but it was so cold here this morning that my hot water froze. I was not going to subject my legs to the same kind of torture.

I arrived just in time to walk in as all the witnesses were being shooed out. The Judge looked over at me and asked, "Um, are you a witness?" She was about to send me back out the door, but the Boss assured her I was meant to be there. Then commenced the hearing.

I've never seen the Boss in action. I suppose it was exactly what I would have expected. Having worked with him for over two years, I'm pretty familiar with his mannerisms. I was more interested in the Judge, her assistant, the court reporter, the other lawyer, and the other lawyer's client. This being a small court room, there was nothing grand about it. The first row of benches opened directly to the folding tables reserved for the parties and their attorneys. The court reporter sat directly in front of the witness stand doing her thing. I was surprised that the Judge had a laptop open in front of her. In fact, much of her attention was directed toward whatever she was doing on it. Her assistant sat to her left and was working on her own laptop.

The proceedings were formal enough, but not extremely technical. When someone had an objection, he stated it, mainly speaking in a low tone toward the other attorney. The Boss and the other lawyer frequently approached the bench (or rather stepped a few steps toward it from their tables) to discuss the merits of an objection. All the while, I saw prim and proper, drinking in the scene. After the Judge called for a recess, the Boss waved me up to the bench to introduce me to her. I guess to assure her I was not a wayward witness but rather his harmless paralegal.

Fortunately for our case (but unfortunately for my desire to see more of the hearing), circumstances prompted a settlement of sorts. During the waiting time, I spent time in the lobby with our client and the client's family, who made me feel right at home with them. When the Boss came over to give the client an update, he at some point jokingly called me smarter than him. The family all laughed. As he walked away, the father said with a wink, "So your Boss thinks you are smarter than him."

"Not so," I answered. "He is the brilliant legal mind. I am merely his assistant. The Watson to his Sherlock Holmes."

"Ah," said the father, "But what was Sherlock Holmes without Watson?"

At the end of the day, all was well with the world. Almost all, anyway. All enough to count, that is. There were hugs and smiles and sighs from all, and a cautious sense of relief from the Boss. Today was a good day.


  1. I live for "the Boss" stories. You're a lucky paralegal.

    Plus, did you see Jude Law as Watson in the new Sherlock Holmes movie? Just as brilliant as Robert Downey, Jr. :)

    Possibly more brilliant ;)