I'm a little slow today. I just switched to Sanka. So...have a heart?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Oh, good.

Here's what they're saying.

And Here.

And here. Oh, that's the full hand-down of the Judgment. Very...dignified.

When it's my time.

So - Grey's Anatomy - sort of touching... very schmaltzy... kinda crappy.

But it made me think - I once had that thought that Meredith had... the "give up" thought.

When I die, I want to drown in a lake of ice-temperature water.

We were staying on Lake Eibsee, in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany on vacation - I imagine I would have been 19 or 20. Lake Eibsee is an Alpine Lake, fed by... melting snow from the Zugspritze, the highest Alp in Germany. German sites call the lake "Refreshing!" I call it "hypothermia inducing." But lovely nonetheless.

Lake Eibsee also had a floating raft in the middle of it. So, stupid American Boy, I dove into the lake. By the time I realized how cold the lake was, I couldn't turn back and I had to swim to the raft. So swim I did. After trying to re-warm up on the raft, I jumped back in and swam towards the beach (I had jumped off a ledge of the hotel where we were staying, and so I was swimming back a different way than I had swam to the raft to begin with... a farther way, naturally.)

Another stupid mistake. As I swam, I realized how cold I was. And then I couldn't feel my arms and legs. To shore was probably three hundred feet away from the raft... but the water was deep and it was cold, and I grew clumsy and chilly and thought, "Well... dying here wouldn't be so bad. I could just stop swimming and I'd sink under..." And it was so peaceful at that moment... It seemed like the right thing to do; just stop swimming. And sink. It made perfect sense to me, and for a nanosecond, but a nanosecond that really stuck with me, I seriously weighed the option of letting myself sink under the water and drown. I don't have a particular deathwish, but it just seemed like a completely viable option -- after all, in death I would be warmer than I was at that particular moment... and death wasn't a scary black void, but a dark, velvety place where I'd be warm and dry... and it would be so easy, and so painless to get there... but so warm and so fulfilling once I was there. Very... pleasant.

Of course I snapped out of it after about three seconds, and thought that if I let myself drown in the lake my parents would probably never forgive themselves, and I shouldn't ruin their vacation by being selfish and quietly slipping under the water and going to sleep... but it was the nearest to death I've ever been. And while I wasn't at the threshold, I could easily and, at the time, consciously, made a choice to let go...

So when on Grey's they talk to Meredith about her "giving up" I could totally empathize. In another situation, I might have just said, "okay..." and let myself slide under. The cold and the mind-numbing shock of the water made it seem... "okay..." I'm glad I didn't... obviously. I've lived to get my ass handed to me in court years later. But I hope when death comes it's like that. I hope it's "okay..." to just slide over. And I hope it seems like a nice place when it comes for me, because if I passed up my chance to have a soothing, easy death, and I I get stuck with a wracking, scary painful one...

Well... let's just say steer clear of me for a couple days after on the other side, because we all know how much I complain in life so just imagine how unhappy I'll be if I passed up a good death!

A couple thoughts:

1) I have finally found Cadbury Creme Eggs. I haven't seen them down here in the five years I've lived here. Oh, sure I haven't looked high and low for them, but for the first time, BOOM! There they were, on the counter at CVS.


2) That Jesus is the Reason for the Season bumpersticker you're sporting on the back of your SUV? Still want to flash that message to the world on a muggy Joo-lah day? Still think it's a timely and appropriate message?

Maybe they should make that preachy and sanctimonious bumpersticker, into a preachy and sanctimonious magnet... you know... like the Yellow "SUPPORT OUR TROOPS" Ribbons drivers of various Ford, Chevrolet, and General Motor Co. find no irony in attaching to the backs of their 10 MPG vehicles...

Then, come January 1, the drivers could lovingly peel the preachy and sanctimonious magnet off the back of their car, and load it into the attic, with all the other thousands of dollars worth of Christmas Decorations in varying shades of red, and green, with the Lillian Vernon Christmas runners and candles, and the adorable Pottery Barn ornaments, and the adorable and not-at-all tacky inflatable yard ornaments, where it's snowing on top of a Frosty the Snowman... yes - a Jesus is the Reason for the Season magnet would store quite nicely with all those other Jesus-centric, not-at-all-inspired-by-Pagan-beliefs-consumerism-or-Jean Autry-Songs ornaments and vestiges of the Season.

Just another day in the Courts of South Florida...

From the Miami Herald:

"As Birkhead made his decision public, Arthur appeared calm and Birkhead somber. Stern sat hunched, his hands clasped in front of his face. No one displayed as much emotion as the judge, who cried through his announcement." (Emphasis added.)

From the Washington Post:

"FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Blubbering as he announced his ruling, a judge said Thursday he hopes Anna Nicole Smith will be buried in the Bahamas, but he left the decision up to the guardian of her baby daughter...The judge choked up frequently and wept as he explained his decision." (Emphasis added.)

I watched this on T.V. I was flabbergasted that the Judge was crying.

Yeah, Judges are people --- when they're not on the Bench.

How embarrassing for South Florida - the state with "blubbering" Judges. The sentiment in my office? "Oh, great. People already think Florida is a joke. And now there's a Judge who's not even related to these parties, and cries as he hands down a decision, passing the buck and the responsibility for the ultimate disposal of this issue to someone else."

My boss' jaw hit the floor when I told him that the Judge cried through his pronouncement. He asked me no less than four times "Really?! He REALLY cried?!"

Here's my take on this: When the whole world is watching Florida, a State well known for its legal repercussions... (2000?) it's not the time to cut a new mold. We lawyers are conformists. That's what we do best. We're suit-wearing, clean-shaven, shorn and shiny conformists. We go to the Opera and we drive German cars, and we sometimes drink to avoid our problems, and yeah, sometimes we have personalities, but by and large, we went through grooming and training to think a certain way and look a certain way and conduct ourselves a certain way. And we don't always. But there are times and there are places where you buckle down, and you shave off your goatee, and you ditch the muttonchops, and you conform. And when you're in Court is one of those times. We're deferential, and we say "Yes, your Honor," and we thank the Judge even then the Judge slaps us with an incorrect ruling. And we expect our judges to be civil and courteous, and when they're not, we lump it. Seidlin is in the Probate Division. I think Probate and Family are areas where the judge can and should, generally use a gentler touch and some common sense -- they deal with really personal matters. And if this were a closed-to-cameras courtroom, I might appreciate his hands-on and personal touch, a bit more. But this was a time when we could have shown the world that our judiciary is always the starched-collared, pressed-robed, stern-but-fair-and-unswayed-by-emotion Ideal Judiciary.

We have some wonderful Judges on the Bench. Two that I've been before that really known their shit are Judge Gordon and Judge Emas. Judge Pooler has a wall full of bobble-head dolls in her office of the Dolphins, and when she's mad at a player, she turns him around and makes him face the wall. Echarte is tough but fair... and really, really judgelike, stern, unsmiling, scary, but he looks and acts like a Judge. I heard really great things about the late Judge Crespo, also. And I have glowing things to say about Federal Court down here - especially Judge Moreno, a nicer, smarter guy you could never hope to meet. Jordan, King, Altadonga, Garber, even Huck... they're all great, smart people, with personalities, but they run tight ships.

There are also some well-known personalities around. We have them in Dade. Broward has some really colorful people on the bench.

For me, as a young attorney, scorn like this heaped on our profession is disheartening - this entire hearings process was a zoo. And now there's a cherry on that cake. I'd sooner kill myself than cry in Court. Oh, sure, I could puke on my balls or pass out... And I don't cry anyway -- So crying in Court?! Just like how there's no crying in baseball...There's no crying by officers of the Court!

It just goes to show you that down here, anything can happen in Court. I now understand why my boss grooms me to be a dealmaker and a negotiator - My epiphany over the last few months is that the Rules of Civil Procedure and Common Law, are less... binding... and more, helpful hints for how you might want to do things, sometimes.

Going to court is a diceroll.

Like this morning, when I lost a Motion to Dismiss that should have been granted for about fourteen different reasons... including the ore tenus motion I made in Court to dismiss, after the Judge told me that the file contained neither Plaintiff's Amended Complaint, nor an exhibit that the original Complaint relied upon... after the ORIGINAL COMPLAINT had been dismissed for failure to attach the Exhibit.

This after the Plaintiff failed to join an indispensable party, and the allegations in the Complaint conflicted with the facts in the Exhibit...

Then the Judge made a completely incorrect statement of Law after I gave the Judge a case directly on point controlling whether husbands and wives must be joined as indispensable parties in a case wherein they both have an interest in real property... Judge asked me, "Did they ever take possession of the premises?" "No, your Honor." "Then they never had any interest in the premises."

WRONG. They did have an interest in the premises. That's what a lease is - a paper satisfying the Statute of Frauds, granting an interest in real property. Upon execution, and handing over keys, lessees have a leasehold interest in the premises. Whether they take possession or not is irrelevant... It's theirs to do with what they will. (You know, as long as they don't violate the Lease.) But you can't give a Judge a lecture treatise on Property Law and land interests when you're on a Motion to dismiss on a very, very tangentially related violation of the rules of Civil Procedure. Know why? Because.

What should have come out was, "Defendant, I'm granting your Motion." But no... "I'm going to deny the Motion to Dismiss..."

I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head. Never in my life have I been so utterly convinced that a Judge's ruling was 1) wrong 2) wrong 3) so, so wrong and 4) definitely successfully appealable.

But are we surprised? No. Not any more we're not.

My boss wasn't surprised either. Whatever. We're getting out of this case anyway.

I'm just glad I didn't take opposing counsel's generous offer to have me not litigate this Motion as we waited for it to be heard, in exchange for 20 days to answer. Which we got anyway...

At least the Bailiff was super happy to see me, and was all smiles and beaming, even though I haven't seen the Bailiff for a year. The Bailiff likes watching me grow up, and go down in flames with dignity and astonished poise, like the Champ that I am. The Bailiff likes me. People like me. I guess that's the moral I'm trying to drive home. Everyone loves me... (Shut up, Andy.)