Someone is knocking on the door. Nala starts barking. Reach over for phone. It is 6:30 a.m. The knocking continues. Realize it isn’t knocking.
Jump out of bed. Rush to the balcony door. Throw it open. There’s a flurry of beautiful brown and orange red wings. The woodpecker flies onto the 45 year old maple tree. Looks back at me over his shoulder. And takes off.
Up until yesterday, I quite liked Woody. Had seen him hanging around the neighborhood. A Northern Flicker. Quite glorious. I was putting a few flowers in pots on the deck (since we’ve skipped winter here in Seattle). When from out of nowhere he flew up to my house and started pecking at it. I ran upstairs. Craned my neck. Spied one large hole and several smaller ones on the upper corner of the siding. How could he.
With visions of holes completely being drilled through the wall I ran downstairs. Got duct tape and aluminum foil. Ran back uipstairs. Dragged a chair onto the little balcony. Had visions of falling off backwards over the railing. Didn’t fall. Taped foil as close to the holes as I could reach. Came back inside. Googled – how to get rid of a woodpecker. Saw that putting foil up was actually a pretty decent idea.
Then this morning I awaken to him pecking again. Remember Google also said try a wind chime. Just happen to have one downstairs. Run downstairs. Run back up. Spend ten minutes untangling the strings. Alysha brought it home from Thailand. Brown bamboo and silver. With a little elephant holding onto everything from above. Hang it on the light fixture. Next to the the aluminum foil. It tinkles in the breeze. Hopefully this will do it.
Woody and I started off as friends. But he turned on me. Forever changing the nature of our relationship.
When getting to know a new insurance attorney, I extend every courtesy. Start out with the assumption that they will act professionally and respectfully. Tend to get along well with most counsel. Have developed friendships that have endured well after a case has resolved.
There’s a defense lawyer – let’s call her Ms. A. She’s newer to the practice. So far we have gotten along just fine. Ms. A does tend to be a bit strident in the tone of her writing. But I’ve shrugged that off as stemming from trying-to-prove-herself type of issues. Have decided to give her the benefit of the doubt.
We periodically chit and chat off the record. There are many times, when Ms. A shares her personal struggles with me. I never tattle or use anything against her. This is an unspoken code. We appear to be able to be friendly while still being adversarial.
This week, she files a reply brief in the case involving deposition witness Mr. T. Apparently she’s finally read my blogs on Mr. T. Not sure what took her so long. The blogs are written with the full knowledge that the defense tracks them.
There’s nothing in the blog posts that should be that surprising -unless you are interested in my wardrobe, or what I watch late at night on the treadmill. Yet she decides to use the blog to attribute petty improper motives to me. Also known in Latin as an ad hominem attack. She says:
1. Koehler “was personally motivated” to bring the motion to compel so she could create “fodder for her blog and as a means of gaining bragging rights.”
2. Koehler is on a “personal vendetta” against Mr. T
3. The blog posting was “maliciously motivated.”
4. The blog postings are “simply not appropriate”
Unfortunately duct tape, foil and a wind chime will not take care of this. I calm down long enough to send an email:
Dear A – My best friend in the whole wide world is a defense lawyer. I used to be one. I respect both sides of the bar.
That said, your passive aggressive nature of being polite in person and being personally insulting and rude on paper, can no longer be tolerated by me. You have crossed the line. For no good reason other than to try to win a motion that you already lost.
I shall not repeat the derogatory comments you shared with me privately concerning Mr. T. However, do not ever share any personal story with me again. Do not act as if I am your friend. Do not expect me to treat you with kindness and compassion in the future.
I am quite willing to be Pollyanna. Eager for people to act decently. But once they start pecking on my house, I am guided by the stern words of Dick Foreman. The senior litigator who first supervised me as a then young defense lawyer. He said: you are not here to make friends – you are here to represent your clients.
I bring a motion to strike Ms. A’s brief. And a motion to shorten time. Which the defense opposes.
The Court ultimately enters an Order pretty much confirming the prior ruling on Mr. T. At the bottom she writes:
Photo: Anti wood pecker pecking strategy.