Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Curmudgeon tries to figure out what to do next

It's come down to this: I'm 55 years old and I need a job.

And I don't know what to do.

Oh, I can still be a lawyer -- I just can't get anyone to pay me. And my tolerance levels are not what they used to be. Partially, it's stress: Like a rubber band stretched too tight, I'm snappish.

So my tolerance for crazy clients or crazy opposing counsel is not what it should be. And I don't have a file -- not one! -- that's humming along like it should. Everything has a complication or three.

That case I wrote about last week? The one where it took three months to get agreement on the wording of the Releases? The Plaintiff's attorney in the underlying case is going to court tomorrow to 'enforce' the settlement. A $10,000 tail is wagging a much, much larger dog. And for absolutely no good reason.

And that's one of the more straightforward cases I have right now.

I have another case that's been assigned to mediation. But one of the parties doesn't want to mediate. The attorney insists that the clients can settle this between themselves. That is their right, of course. But they can't. My client offered a virtual unconditional surrender -- take the money at issue and just go away. But the other side doesn't want to go. And new issues are raised constantly: Litigation as Whack-a-Mole. Meanwhile, my client so desperately wants to settle that it will mediate, it will meet privately with the other side, it will do anything but let me and my co-counsel press the litigation. But it takes two sides to make peace. My client hasn't accepted, yet, that the other side does not want peace on any terms my client can possibly accept. Mediation may make the other side see the futility of their position -- yes, I know, in traditional mediation the neutral will seldom evaluate -- but, even in a mediation, a mediator is free to press a party into a 'reality check.' And retired judges evaluate more than they say they do. In that case, I think the other side has a crazy lawyer. I don't know if the client is crazy or not. A mediation will tell.

I have another case where my own client is nuts. I can't talk about this one. Not yet. But it's not pleasant.

And the new hourly client I thought I'd picked up in the spring has yet to pay a bill. First it was problems getting properly registered in the third party service that evaluates bills before sending them on to the insurance company client. This dragged on for months. Then, although I was finally approved, another month went by with no check. I reached out to the guy who hired me -- who now says I wasn't properly given a "vendor number." But he's working on it.

Good grief.

The only numbers I really need are the ones on the check.

And there's a real problem with this case now, too. Which I also can't talk about.

I went to the doctor yesterday and he downright insisted I go on blood pressure medication. I resisted; I've talked him out of it before. He talked me into it yesterday.

Meanwhile, I read want ads online. I don't understand most of them. The impenetrable jargon gets me down. I am a person who works with words, and pretty much always have. When I can't understand job ads, what does that say about my declining skills? I'm out of touch, at least.

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