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Hegdis

What was your “law school did not prepare me for this” moment?

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Running a trial in the morning.  One witness shows up for the start of the trial, but by the time it's his turn, he's vanished.  I have no idea what to do.  One of my constables says "Give me a few minutes", and goes to retrieve the witness from the bar around the corner.

First time I have a witness who is floridly delusional, so I rush to get him committed for a 30 day fitness assessment.  COmes back a month later a completely changed man.  He had been going through the DTs in court and was a massive alcoholic.

Five year old complainant on a youth sex assault allegation.  She's never going to be able to tell the court about this (she doesn't really even remember any more), but so we make plans to have her adopt her videotaped witness statement.  We make plans for there to be a screen, but the damn thing is about 3' by 4'.  So of course a five year old girl gets really bored being forced to watch a really boring movie, so she keeps playing peek-a-boo around the edge of her witness screen.

The evening I had a curling game, and realize the guy on the opposite team is a guy I'm in the midst of prosecuting for running a grow-op.  Game goes by without incident, but at the end he makes sure to shake my hand and say "Good game, MP".

 

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22 minutes ago, Malicious Prosecutor said:

The evening I had a curling game, and realize the guy on the opposite team is a guy I'm in the midst of prosecuting for running a grow-op.  Game goes by without incident, but at the end he makes sure to shake my hand and say "Good game, MP".

 

Did his team buy the beer? Did he pay cash? 

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I imagine our civil colleagues have nightmare stories about sitting around in the boardroom and realizing that the complimentary ice water is tepid JUST before the client walks in. 

I really have no idea what the civil bar does. Except something something about Uriel pulling a fire alarm to shake things up back in the day. 

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Solicitor's side:

BMO calls our office to send someone to pick up commercial mortgage in the form of a bank draft in a local branch at 4:15. Unfortunately that specific branch closed at 4 pm. Helplessly knock on BMO's door but no one answers.

truly a feels bad man moment.....

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1 hour ago, Hegdis said:

I really have no idea what the civil bar does. Except something something about Uriel pulling a fire alarm to shake things up back in the day. 

Okay, so I have a civil/corporate story.  I'm a junior associate at a small town law firm.  Our firm represents a hotel.  An oil company is going through a CCAA reorganization.  The partner forgets to file whatever paperwork he should have filed in order to get the outstanding hotel bills paid by the oil company.  So he send me to the city.  Honestly we don't have a leg to stand on other than the fact our debt is really small potatoes compared to the overall re-org, and no one else is really challenging the re-org.

This was a long time ago so I forget a lot of the actual legal details.  We have to wait for the judge for awhile, and eventually we get told to appear after lunch.  The lawyer for the oil company agrees to just pay our hotel bill.  We come back after lunch... and the judge is gone.  We check with the judge's chambers, and he's left the building.  This is a problem - I have to get back to my small town practice (pretty sure this was a Friday afternoon), and this other guy wants to get this reorganization finalized and signed off on.

So the lawyer goes "I think I know where he is".  he takes me to this ritzy social and sports club.  We start wandering around the club, until we eventually find the judge in the men's change room.  So the judge signs off of the CCAA order in the change room at the club.

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Man I don't have any fun judge stories other than "I saw Justice so-and-so on the street!"

Opposing counsel was high on cocaine in court once. He lost.

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It's not rare probably but there is the "oh shit" moment when someone threatens you with physical violence. 

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Having a partner congratulate me (very loudly) in the office for "GRABBING THE BULL BY THE FUCKING HORNS!". 

Apparently a lot of lawyers have potty mouths. 

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Finding out that the "girlfriend" of a client I needed to get an affidavit from was the spouse of another client.

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I was preparing my insured for an examination for discovery and he says "don't worry, I've been to discovery tons of times. What do you want me to say?" and then winks. 

We subsequently admitted liability.

Edited by beyondsection17
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When I was articling a client canned an exceedingly well compensated employee for cause.

Client assured senior associate on file that manager will swear employee told him he was starting competing business. Senior associate sends me to interview manager and draft affidavit.

Client sits with me and manager for five hours putting words in manager's mouth. Manager's recollections are impossibly vague. What is clear is that any cross of manager on this affidavit would be disastrous.

I explain this to senior associate, who instructs me to draft as specific an affidavit as I can based on what manager did recall. Might as well pin that down in case, right? I do it, senior associate sends it to client.

Client sends us an email response ripping into me for how shitty the affidavit is. Insists manager recalls x y and z and these should go in the affidavit. Calls me incompetent, demands I be taken off file. 

The senior associate was really kind to me and made sure I knew I hadn't done anything wrong, but I was NOT prepared for that shit.  

Edited by DariaMorgendorfer
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I was interviewing a client and she's talking about how she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. I asked her whether she had evidence with her and she unbuttoned her top two buttons, before I'm like "wait no what are you doing stop I meant medical evidence, like documents from your doctors or something, stop." 

Also,  the "oh shit" moment when someone threatens you with physical violence.

 

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Having to decide on mode of trial in a week for a trial that is 7 weeks out and I'm newly retained (after comittal to the Supreme Court so it is  judge alone v Judge and jury deadline is because of jury summons)

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