Monday, April 28, 2003

You know how it is. You see things how you want them in your mind's eye, and then....reality sets in. Case in point: Saturday's oral arguments at the Daley Center. I envisioned myself as eloquent, knowledgeable, and able to field every question. Things didn't quite turn out that way. As evidence, I offer the following (we spoke in front of a two judge panel):

Judge A (to Chad, counsel for plaintiff): Thank you counsel. At this time, I'd like to rebuke counsel for defense (me) for failing to ask for rebuttal time......

Me (thinking): Holy Shit. Holy Shit. How did I do that? I swore I asked for rebuttal time. And here I've been, like a fool planning my rebuttal! And Chad cited Lindgren v. Moore, the facts of which almost perfectly dovetail the facts in this case, and I need to distinguish it! Oh can I be so stupid......

Judge A (continuing): .....and you won't make that mistake again, will you counsel?

Me: No your Honor.

Judge A: I imagine you'd like rebuttal time right about now, wouldn't you?

Me: Yes, your Honor, I had thought I'd asked for it. An oversight on my part.

Judge A: Would two minutes be sufficient?

Me (surprised at all hell that I'm getting this huge break): More than sufficient your Honor.

Judge A: You may proceed then.

Me (with volumes of gratitude): Thank you.

In the feedback section, the judges both pointed out my error, and used it to highlight the importance of asking for rebuttal time. On the positive side, Judge A commented my rebuttal was 'perfect' and did exactly what it was supposed to do - defeat Plaintiff's arguments. Judge B did chastise me for invoking sarcasm when I mentioned biofeedback, reminding me that you never know what the judge is into, and if his wife was big into biofeedback, I could have just blown a perfectly good argument. Both Chad and I earned marks for being the last to go, and handling the tough questions they asked with grace and poise and showing a real "mastery of the law." Afterward, Chad, Jen (a classmate in another section of legal writing) and I celebrated at Miller's Pub.

Onward and......upward?

I announced my resignation today. Two week notice. Well, not exactly two weeks, since May 9th is my last day. My boss said he was shocked, but understood. He said I'd probably shock a few other people as well. If I do, I'll be surprised. I told him that I was flexible, that I didn't want to put him in a bad spot. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, and I was nervous as hell all day. I told Mark on Friday, and Jim today, figuring that since I've been friends with both of them for 8 and 18 years, respectively, and knew both before they worked for the company, that they deserved that much. Jim was dying to find out how Ken reacted, figuring Ken would ask him when he know. I also told my old boss, and the two main people I support, before I worked up the courage to tell my boss.

We'll see what happens now. Any suggestions for living on $20K a year welcome.

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