Friday, July 21, 2006

This week in the law....

Ok, its summer and everyone's posts have slowed down, so I'm just trying to make sure I do at least one each week. I am really busy, its hot and I have other things going on.

So, name of the week: Pie-trae. (With the hyphen)

Dumb client of the week: One who's in jail in County 1 for worthless checks and has worthless checks in counties 2 and 3-- except in trying to discover for her how much she owes each county I have only managed to learn she has even more in County 4. Her husband is calling me every two seconds and I'm sorry, but yeah, there's nothing I can do. If the person who's working that case in on vacation, they're on vacation.

There was a riot in the jail the other day a friend of mine "caused." Everyone has been giving her a hard time. : ) She's an appointed attorney like me and her client didn't like the bad news she gave him, so after she told him, he went back to his cell of 25 inmates and he got the whole cell rocking and rolling screaming her name-is-a-bitch. We even heard it in the Courtroom.

She was soooo funny. She went back there after they had her client in 4 point restraints and looked at him and said, "Dude, I am just the messenger. I do what I can but its not my decision. You should not be mad at me. But since you are, I will withdraw as your attorney. Good day."

I think I'm getting appointed. Oh Boy.

Its just a bad time to be in jail. Somehow, even with the ac working, people are just more whooped up in the summer.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Title Work can be fun....

A lot of lawyers I know don't like title work. Title work is what we call examining an abstract for a real estate closing, along with fixing said title when there are problems. In fact, people hate it so much, a lot of banks aren't even requiring it any more but self insuring- which protects them but not you, the consumer. I like title work, because its exacting and the rules are clear.

Whenever you buy a piece of property you get what is called an Abstract. An abstract is the history of a piece of property- from its first being released by the U.S. through each and every person who has owned the property down to you, the buyer.

When you examine an abstract, you end up reading people's wills (I leave the south 40 to Jane and john.) People's divorces (The South 40 is awarded to Jane because Joe is a jerk.) and other glimpses into people's lives.

In my town, there is a whole subdivision of 80 acres where every abstract contains a copy of a divorce from the 1800s. In that divorce, right before the woman was awarded the 80 acres, is a wonderful, wonderful line:

"Like a dog returning to his vomit, so he returned to the fair and delectable Vinnah."


Have a great day : )

Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Imaginary Conversation...

Sometimes, when I get something on my desk, I wonder just how it happened to arrive there... For example, yesterday I was working on two paternity establishments and realized that the children had the same father, were born 2 days apart, and are both already 6 years old.

Hmmm, I said to myself, there has to be a back story as to why these two women are establishing paternity all of the sudden six years after these kids were born.

So, this is the story I concoct in my head:

Lets say Jan and Peter start dating, but she doesn't know he's also dating Marsha. Jan gets pregnant and she and Peter decide to have the baby but "not get married right now." Marsha is sleeping with Peter but she's also dating Mike, and Mike has a much better job than Peter so when she gets pregnant, she tells Mike its his.

Years go by and Mike has broken up with Marsha as have Jan and Peter. Marsha and Jan take their kids to the same daycare and one day while they're picking up their kids, one of the staff comments how "those two are just like brothers, but they're the same age." This makes both moms look at the kids real hard- they really do look alike so Jan mentions that her baby looks just like his Daddy, that run around jerk named Peter. Marsha suddenly realizes that her child must be Peter's, and **** THEY ARE TWO DAYS APART**** So they start talking and decide they are going to "get" Peter- Screw around on us are you! (Even though we know that Marsha was already sleeping with someone else!) And "that low down irresponsible run-around." Even though for 6 years Marsha has lied to her child and ex about who his dad is and Jan won't let Peter see her child because she's mad at him.

Oh, and Peter already has another child and he works fixing cars for cash and lives with his Momma so, for the next 13 years I'm going to be trying to squeeze blood from a turnip when its really not about the kids-- its about these two women being pissed off, so everyone will be pissed at me all the time- the women will be pissed because I won't put him in jail often enough and the guy will be pissed because he will have to pay current plus back support for 24 months and I'm trying to lock him up if he doesn't pay.

It lands on my desk, however, as a Paternity Establishment, which doesn't even begin to touch all of the elements of the story....

Now, if you can figure out who is right, wrong- good and bad in that story- you shouldn't be a lawyer because you will drive yourself crazy, but if you can separate they players from The Law, you are well on your way to seeing the world through my eyes. Which is why I shrugged off the back story that I am sure I will learn when I get to Court and focused on the Facts and Law.

But the stories sure are interesting and shed light on the lives of people who are far, far more interesting than I.

BTW, my stories will continue to be slow for the next month or two.... its summer and I'm burned out : )