This past month has been pretty tough.
In October, I was in a car accident that totaled both cars involved. I was left with a concussion and other orthopedic issues that are resolving themselves with physical therapy and will hopefully not be a permanent issue.
It was scary. But in reflection, it could have been worse. A lot worse.
As a result of this accident, my Doctor ordered me not to return to work so I can heal. As a high conflict divorce litigator, this caused all of my November work events (trials, depositions, mediations, etc…) to have to be rescheduled.
I am incredibly thankful to my work team and my home team for working hard to keep me well and handle the daunting task of rescheduling dozens of events.
I am truly blessed to have Jacquie, Caryn, Dane, Emily, Angela and Katrina who always have my back and act in my best interest and tell me what I need to hear and not necessarily what I want to hear.
I am also very thankful for being able to do what I do. Helping people through crisis is truly a passion and brings me incredible satisfaction. At times it also brings incredible frustration. So far, the good days significantly outweigh the bad ones.
People who go into the divorce industry who are profit driven will burn out quickly. If you don’t have a passion for listening to and helping people, you are not going to enjoy this long term. I have 21 years in. If I did not love helping people, I would have found a less stressful line of work long ago. This is the path I have chosen, and I try very hard to do it in a competent, effective and professional manner.
What I dislike about this profession are those few professionals that seem to make a tough, complex job even harder.
I recently ran into one such professional who refused to reschedule a day and a half long high conflict custody trial after my accident. This was the only professional involved in the dozens of events that had to be rescheduled that actually objected to the rescheduling, and did so in an incredibly aggressive manner (see below). Every other colleague in the rescheduling process were extremely empathetic and understanding.
In the legal profession, there is a concept known as “zealous advocacy” and then there is just being an unprofessional jerk. Which is it in this instance? Read below and make up your own mind.
I am hopeful because when I originally posted about this situation I received overwhelming positive support and condemnations that this was not acceptable behavior from an attorney.
So take a look below and leave your thoughts in the comments if you are so compelled.
I have specifically redacted the name of the attorney. This is not about shaming a person. This is hopefully a learning lesson of what is and is not appropriate.
This can be a brutal industry. We really have no idea what others are individually dealing with in their own lives. I believe by being a little more mindful (empathetic), we can do better!
The fact we represent client’s that have different interests does not mandate that we treat each other with disrespect or lack of empathy. When that case is over, we are still going to be working with each other. Wouldn’t it improve all of our quality of life if we retracted the fangs when they were not needed.
So be nicer. Be nicer to each other. Be nicer to judicial assistants, bailiffs, Judges, litigants, experts, court reporters, etc… It will make you a better person and will improve our profession. After all… we are all in this together.
Is this appropriate attorney behavior?
Transcript of Motion to Continue: