Watch Me Take The Bar
Watch Me Take The Bar
This blog, originally started as a chronicle of my taking the bar, is now a look into the mind of an attorney in solo practice in Port Clinton, Ohio.
Friday, July 28, 2006

Quote of the Day On Peer Review, Non-Efficacy Of

Michael: [Makes sound of horror.]

Pleasant Reason: What?

Michael: If you can't get disbarred for this, what can you get disbarred for? The Supreme Court just suspended a guy for two years (with one year stayed) for "delaying filing of joint personal bankruptcy, forging clients' signatures, misrepresenting that no fees had been paid, failing to appear at first meeting of creditors or to communicate with client, making further misrepresentations at bankruptcy hearing and failing to adequately protect clients' interests on withdrawal from bankruptcy." [Mahoning Cty. Bar Assn. v. Olivito, 110 Ohio St.3d 64, 2006-Ohio-3654, no, I don't talk in citations to my grlfriend.]

Pleasant Reason [not even stopping to wonder WHY she chose to date a lawyer]: Isn't that, like, not doing his whole job as a lawyer?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

To Those Of You


freaking out

sincerely believing there is no way you know or ever could know enough to pass the bar which starts in less than 72 hours

realizing you have only a few days left until you take

The Test

Please know:

I am thinking of you

I feel for you

You can do it

You know more than you give yourself credit for

One year from now, you will be a lawyer.

You will have a caseload. You will have clients. You will have billable hours.

I was once as you are now. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You may even find yourself next year at an art fair with a Pleasant Reason to be there.

Hang in. Excelsior.

(PS: I heard this year they're increasing the MBE to 250 ques -- no, no, just kidding. Just kidding. Breathe, people. Breathe.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Cynical Poem

A woman calls, a client
She has the money to start a divorce.

She's begged, she's borrowed from her family.
A bank.
A way to a new life.

She writes a check,
Feeling confident this is best for her children.
Get them away from the abuser.
The courts will know he's an abuser.

We should make women sign
An informed-consent form in this country
Before trying to get out of an abusive relationship
Leaving their abuser, I mean.

"WARNING!" it should say.
"The courts won't help, only process cases
on their very best day."

It seems so simple.
Keep abusers away from kids.

Trust me. It's not.

I talked with a fellow attorney the other day.
Mentioned CPOs
(Those things you get when some nasty bastard won't leave you alone.
I do a lot of those.)
He won't help people get CPOs.

Like it's a bad thing.
This guy defends drug dealers.
Baseball-bat wielding thugs.

But he doesn't help people get CPOs.

(I guess they're only for lowlifes.)

I suspect it's 'cause you get angry abusive people in your life.
The people you've obtained it against are mad at you.
The people you've obtained it for are scared.
Who wants that in their comfortably carpeted law office?

Who wants that in their LIFE?

Yeah, we just abandon them
It's just a nasty divorce.

They come into my office.
They say the same things.
They wonder why the court can't get it.
They feel like they were victimized again.

And they have kids, dealing with the trauma.
What looks to be just petty drama.

I say it before, I say it now, I'll say it again:
We can deal with this problem now
Or we can deal with this later
But we'll deal with it, all of us, somehow.


(PS, please note: I am actually in a much sunnier mood than this poem would indicate and life has been pretty daggone awesome. I love my job, and feel like I make a difference. It's just, the madness of the whole system gets, well, maddening sometimes.)

Monday, July 10, 2006

My Nominee for the Summer Blockbuster

Are YOU a person who might only see one movie this summer?

Do YOU like to laugh?

When watching people who obsessively compete over a rather picayune pastime, will YOU laugh just a little bit nervously because you can identify with these people and think "I, too, could see that as a competition I would have a good time at"?

Then YOU need to go see Wordplay.

The Pleasant Reason for my frequent trips to Ann Arbor of late is, fortunately, the holder of a degree in English, and as a result has a fascination with words that is probably even more severe than mine. The good news is that this means she not only tolerates, but finds it cool, when I say, "Hey, let's spend an hour and a half of a beautiful Sunday inside watching people work crossword puzzles on a projection screen!" The bad news? Well, my days of winning Scrabble appear to be over.

"Wordplay" features John Stewart, the Indigo Girls, Mike Mussina, and Bill Clinton and Bob Dole talking about the crossword. (Dole is, as ever, self-deprecatingly funny: "The whole [1996] election was a puzzle to me.") But the real stars are the people who actually play to win the annual crossword tournament. (They make a pilgrimage to Stamford, Connecticut, in the winter, to do this. I would make some comment about who the heck goes to Stamford in the witner, but others make pilgrimages to similarly -- actually, probably more -- desolate places in the winter.)

There's the college student who wants to be the youngest to become the crossword champion, the woman who's won it before and been to a bunch of them (I frankly found her a little full of herself), and the guy who always ends up in the top three but never has won. Think of a story about a characters n the sports team merged with a bunch of pocket-protector-nerd types, and you've got "Wordplay."

It's like this. Most of us will never have a chance at winning something like the Super Bowl or the Masters. Some of us never had a chance of being on a wining football team in high school. This lets us think, "Here's something that I could -- could -- be good at." That's "Wordplay."

I highly recommend it.

PS: Insofar as it's a documentary and not made by Al Gore or Michael Moore, you may have difficulty finding it in a theater. You may have to travel to somewhere like Ann Arbor, where bookstores and showing of documentaries are some good reasons - although not nearly qualifying as the Pleasant Reason - to go there. (I just ignore the Wolverine paraphernelia everyone seems to have to fly there.)

PSS: Here's hoping the soundtrack to this movie comes out soon. Some of the songs were pretty entertaining!

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