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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bingo Fever

I took the last week off from poker. Entirely. I didn't play, I didn't open a site to rail, nothing.

Work absolutely kicked my butt. I'm pretty sure I've never had three trials in the same week before. Thankfully I was able to get a fourth case settled, otherwise it would have been worse.

I don't think I'm up to it at the moment, but at some point I'd like to do a complete post on just how adaptable people can be. I'll use myself as a case in point - sample size be damned.

When I went through law school, I purposefully avoided courses relating to courtroom work. I never expected to end up doing any amount of litigation. I deemed it a terrible fit for my personal skill set - I loathe public speaking, have never been interested in "performing" and I'm at my best when I have time to consider things carefully before saying what I think. I managed to make it through nearly ten years of practice without having a single trial.

And then "what I do" changed. Drastically.

When I started doing some different types of work a few years ago - including court appearances - I was frequently petrified. I worried constantly about my shaky knowledge of procedure and lack of experience. Even the simplest hearings were scary. I was bothered by the idea that my clients might not be receiving the best possible representation, even though the results were generally very good.

Now, oddly, I'm as comfortable in a courtroom as I am in the office. No, I'm not going to ever be Daniel Webster, Perry Mason, Johnnie Cochran or whomever you might consider to be a great trial lawyer. I won't dazzle anyone with a brilliant argument or with my incredible knowledge of the rules of evidence. I'm just not afraid anymore.

And there are no telephones in court. Which may be why I've grown to appreciate it.

Anyway, without going into detail, most of my cases recently deal with a very specific provision of the law. It's a particularly harsh provision, put in place by legislators who may or may not have given much consideration to the impact that particular section has - I haven't looked at the history, simply because the result, the law itself, is black and white and legislative intent is not relevant.

Most of the people I represent in this area are set up for failure. Sometimes it is due to their own actions, other times it's because of the wording of the law. The results, however, are consistent - my clients, and by extension myself, lose most of the time.

That's something that has been difficult to accept. I don't lose sleep over cases where we lose because my client can't get it together, but I still have a hard time accepting defeat where he or she has tried to do the right thing. It could be that that is why this past week was so tough - in the last case I really believed that we had a chance to overcome the stacked deck and win.

We didn't. And an exhausting week dragged to a close with another sleepless night spent wondering what, if anything, I could have done differently to change the result.


Another contributing factor to the lack of poker this past week has been a resurfacing of my addiction to Scrabble. Much like poker, online Scrabble is a terrific time waster, and since there is nothing at stake it's the ideal game for fried-brain evenings.

No worries, this isn't going to turn into a Scrabble blog. (Unlike Dawn Summers, I don't play live). Although I'm pretty proud of winning three games this week by bingoing out, you won't care. I can accept that.

I will offer one observation, though - people cheat. You could never play online Scrabble for money. Most players are honest, but when you're playing against someone with a crappy rating and they insta-bingo twice in a row with PRIEDIEU and nuts, I can't remember the other one, but it involved some crazy combination of letters like MOXILY?, you have to believe that they're using a program or website to find words.


A return to poker is likely this week. Remember that there is, as always, a full slate of blogger games to play. Monday, MATH. Tuesday, Bodonkey and Blogger Skillz Game. Wednesday, Mookie. Thursday, Riverchasers. Friday, Dollar Donkament. I'm sure there are others - the Monkey tourney, maybe some Sunday night events, I don't know.

As for the moment, I need a nap.


Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

The Rooster has never been a good public speaker either...unless there are ladies around. Holla!

Johnnie Cochran is the greatest lawyer ever. He got his first 10 murder cases off...Holla! Johnny vs. The Man.

Scrabble Champion!!! Yes, I am. Bring the board next time so I can spank you and Dawn...holla!

Ronnie55 said...

I think a week off can be good now and again! hopefully it was beneficial for you in the long run.

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