Am I in need of sensitivy training?


#1

Allow me to ask an odd question. First a slight amount of background.

When I was young, I was a political more or less liberal, but always a “live and let live” social conservative. As I’ve grown older, however, I’ve become more conservative in every way. I’m particularly considerably more conservative, I guess, regarding personal morality and responsibility.

Anyhow, I’m also (unfortunately) a lawyer practicing principally in civil litigation. I have a case against an early middle aged female opponent who recently very openly gave birth with no spouse. I don’t really know the details, but I know that she knows the father and all, and I am more than willing to give her credit for doing the right thing after getting pregnant and having the baby.

My problem is that suddenly the baby is coming into my case in an odd way. I keep hearing complaints made to the court about how much money she spent flying, rather than driving, to a deposition, that she, not I, noticed. I know the reason she did this is that she couldn’t find day care for the day, but I’m tired of hearing that I’m a bad guy because she spent so much money to get to her own deposition. I fear these sort of complaints are going to get worse as I know that she has to make all sorts of allowances and exceptions to get day care, including having family members fly out from out of state.

For the past 20 years I’ve sacrificed piles of family time, haven’t had a vacation in a fifteen years, etc., and never chosen to blame it all on opposing counsel. I’m beginning to resent this, and sort of feel like noting that if raising a single child is too much of burden for a traveling litigator, she should look for other options.

Probably me just being insensitive and grouchy, right?


#2

Well, I would say that she is a new mom, and figuring out the whole thing. Adapting to the changes a baby brings is one of the hardest things for all new moms, and it can really be harsh on their sense of self. She may come to the same conclusion you do.

And it wouldn’t necessarily be different if she was married.

And you really have no idea of the situation with the dad, and the pregnancy, she may be making the best of things.


#3

No you don’t need sensitivity training.:stuck_out_tongue:

I would say if she is just complaining I would ignore her, if she is actually making these complaints to the court then you might want to take some action. I would start with speaking to her personally. (Really how much is a plane ticket for a lawyer?:shrug: and really shouldn’t she have daycare for the baby anyways, how is it that she couldn’t find anyone to watch the baby?:shrug: (Maybe it was a weekend or the baby was sick, but really she scheduled the depo. Anyways I hope you get this figured out.


#4

It sounds like you are bringing a lot of your own issues into it. It really has nothing to do whether you were once somewhat liberal and are now conservative and whether or not you have had a vacation in the last 15 years really shouldn't be anyone's problem other than your own.

As far as expenses being billed, it seems like the logical thing would be for her to bill based on the least expensive mode of travel. Any difference, she would need to cover.


#5

[quote="jilly4ski, post:3, topic:205020"]
Really how much is a plane ticket for a lawyer?

[/quote]

In our society we tend to assume lawyers are wealthy and well-paid, but this isn't always true. My brother-in-law worked for the state right out of school; he was so poorly paid that he had to take a 2nd job as a waiter to have enough money to start paying off his student loans!

Even after he was made partner in a private firm, most of his income was commission from his cases. Some years he made $100K, some years he made $20K. (And kudos to my sister for being able to make--and keep--a family budget under these circumstances!)

One-day flights tend to be more expensive as well; a day trip to Nashville from Louisville set me back nearly $1000, 10 years ago.

Miz


#6

Uhm, why is this your problem?

Are you scheduling her depositions far away from her on purpose? Are you somehow making it harder for her to represent her client?

It sounds like she is having trouble making her lifestyle choice work. That is entirely on her unless you are going out of your way to make it harder for her.


#7

[quote="Miserys_Fence, post:5, topic:205020"]
In our society we tend to assume lawyers are wealthy and well-paid, but this isn't always true. My brother-in-law worked for the state right out of school; he was so poorly paid that he had to take a 2nd job as a waiter to have enough money to start paying off his student loans!

Even after he was made partner in a private firm, most of his income was commission from his cases. Some years he made $100K, some years he made $20K. (And kudos to my sister for being able to make--and keep--a family budget under these circumstances!)

One-day flights tend to be more expensive as well; a day trip to Nashville from Louisville set me back nearly $1000, 10 years ago.

Miz

[/quote]

Yes I realize that not all lawyers are rich. (I am a law student myself with loans that would make most people faint). This particular lawyer is not working for the government but rather working in civil litigation, is middle age (so has been working awhile?), single so had fewer expenses (up until the birth of the baby). The point is that she choose to fly when she could have driven to a deposition that she scheduled, and then complained about it to someone where it got back to the opposing counsel. This is unprofessional at best and at worst she is trying to paint the OP in a disfavorable light to the judges or jury.


#8

Besides, aren't travel expenses billable? Also, she could hire a temp attorney to handle the deposition.

I know an attorney who did depositions for other attorneys for a fee. Is that still allowed?


#9

[quote="jilly4ski, post:7, topic:205020"]
This is unprofessional at best and at worst she is trying to paint the OP in a disfavorable light to the judges or jury.

[/quote]

And if she's trying to paint an unfavorable light to the judges, they will feel as OP, since they themselves missed a lot in their families' lives to get to the position of being a judge. One of the many reasons why I did not pursue law school or marry a lawyer, I missed out on my dad all those years with all his hours, I did not want the same for myself nor my family (and some government jobs as an attorney may not be 80+ hours per week but they are definitely in the 55+ hours per week range.


#10

[quote="Yeoman, post:1, topic:205020"]
Probably me just being insensitive and grouchy, right?

[/quote]

Nope.

It's possible she's being emotional (this and hormones happens to lawyers too), but I'd probably specifically ask the court not to be swayed by that in the judgement of the case (without implying anything and so on), and take into account you're both in the same profession and representing your clients, "and I can't tell my client I won't be filing the motions or initiating the depositions because that would inconvenience the opposing counsel. And I shouldn't, because my client deserves the legal protection he comes to a lawyer for."

At least there's no jury listening to that or, wait, is there? I know there is jury in some civil cases in the US, but I don't know any federal or state specifics. I'm a lawyer myself but not from the US. Generally, if I litigate, I will call the other party on every mention of any difficulties I supposedly cause in the process, or any remark about my intentions or hidden motivations etc.


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.