rainbow.JPGThe day after.

Oprah talks about the power that our bad secrets hold over us.  The amount of time and energy we spend keeping them hidden.  The worrying that others will find out.  The feelings of unworthiness that fester from trying to suppress our embarrassments.

For trial lawyers, the bad secrets are the crappy verdicts that juries render.  Our culture is dedicated to trumpeting big wins but rarely mentioning the small ones.  In hushed tones, we talk of losses that we hear about through the grapevine.  We rarely say anything directly to the attorneys who drop out of sight to nurse the pain.

This month our state bar ran a story that I wrote 8 years ago on humility.    What a coincidence.

Here is what happens after getting yesterday’s crappy verdict.

  • Console client.  Nothing else matters until that is done.
  • Avoid everyone in the office as much as possible.  But can’t really. 
  • Make a pretense of working.  Don’t get anything done.
  • Send immediate notice of verdict to everyone at office and on trial diary list – because have made vow to always be all the way real.
  • Wish didn’t have to broadcast verdict.
  • Bet law partners wished I didn’t broadcast the verdict.
  • Think of four or five prominent trial lawyers who have gotten defensed recently.
  • And of how quiet they are.
  • Think about all the lawyers who ask me to work on their client’s cases – even though they know I don’t always win
  • Think about how Steve N brought me in to settle or try a case that resolved last month for a very large but secret sum. 
  • Think about the case tried 2 months ago with Steve H that Allstate is whining about.  They need to hurry up and pay that verdict and our fees.
  • Wish this case had turned out as great as those cases.
  • Think about what a crappy company Allstate is and how that complicated this trial
  • Second guess whether should have followed Brad’s advice.  Taken a covenant and  tried liability later against Allstate who claimed the acts were intentional and not covered.
  • Eeny meeny miny moe.  Should have taken his advice or not or should have or not…
  • Mentally bang head against wall
  • Begin to receive slew of condolence emails and inspirational emails. 
  • Don’t answer any of them.  Yet.
  • Read most important email from most important mentor:  Karen, I am proud of you because you tried the case.  You learn and get better with each trial and, most importantly, the defense knows that you will try the case.  That fact raises the value of all of your settlements (probably doubles) for all of your other clients.  Tom (Chambers)
  • Read email from Janice Kim instructing me to go watch a movie as soon as possible
  • Email back and forth with Rick Friedman about trying hard cases
  • Put Nala’s leash on and leave office at lunch time with no intention of returning.
  • Get in car and don’t get lunch.
  • Noelle sends me number to call.  Call it.  She is at the Rome airport.   Gives a progress update.  On her way to study abroad in Sienna.  Love you, Bye.
  • Drop Nala off at home.
  • Drive to Salvation Army thrift store.  Look at all the bits and pieces of old stuff.  Find a pretty antique silver tray.
  • Drive across the street to Pacific Galleries.  Very large antique store.  Look at all the bits and pieces and don’t buy anything.
  • Drive to Home Depot and get some more pink annuals for the deck pot.  While at Home Depot Cristina calls. 
    • How are you doing
    • Am pissed off.
    • Are you okay
    • Am not upset.  Am pissed.
    • That’s the same thing.
    • No.  Am angry at that jury.  They were wrong this time.
    • Are you at a thrift store
    • Hahaha.   How do you know I did that.
    • You always do.
    • Really
    • Yeah.
    • Why do you think that is
    • You want to be around poor things.
    • Hahaha.
  • Total cost of retail therapy $24.67
  • Drive home.  Alysha is in the kitchen.  She gives me a very nice big hug.  Needed that.
  • Take Nala out again.
  • Hook iphone up to speakers on deck.  Pandora set to Aretha Franklin.
  • Dig in flower pots and transfer the plants.
  • Look at emails on iphone.  Still pouring in.  Frank Schoichet says he has 4 rules of cases not to take against police officers.  Rule #1 – no alcohol.  Now he tells me.  Click off phone.
  • Can’t click off brain.
  • It is Thursday which means Queen Ann Farmers Market.  Get bag and drive up the street.  Park.  Buy kale, carrots, snap peas, strawberries and raspberries.  Go to falafel stand.  Take home dinner. 
  • Back in kitchen, read the rest of sappy Danielle Steele novel on kindle while eating falafel.
  • Sweep front porch area and pick up the few leaves that have dared to drop there since yesterday
  • Feel slight guilt for not being at office.
  • It is now 5 so would have left anyway yet still feel guilt.
  • Throw on running gear and out the door with Nala.   
  • Run up the hill and wind through the neighborhood. 
  • Agitation is not helping the run much today.  Feel like weights are tied to ankles.
  • This is what goes through mind
    • Despite all the sweet emails from lawyer friends saying this is a good result- know for a fact – it is not.
    • Allstate offered $20K to settle.  We barely bettered it.   That doesn’t make it a win
    • Under-estimated the impact of alcohol
    • The jury was too old
    • They were heading towards a defense verdict.  Felt it on Tuesday and have no doubt
    • If that sudden emergency instruction had been given, for sure it would have been a defense verdict
    • There’s nothing to appeal
    • Hope client is feeling better
    • This sucks
    • Wonder who the presiding juror was
    • At least it only took 2.5 days.  Not 2.5 weeks. 
  • Home by 7:30.
  • Look at Fandango – movie is playing at 7:50
  • Hit the shower and leave house at 7:47.  There are 20 minutes of previews anyway.
  • Go down usual route and come to stop.  Traffic backed up due to graduation ceremonies. 
  • Make it to movie theater by 8:05.    Was aiming for 8:00
  • Get popcorn and diet coke.
  • Previews are still going. 
  • Watch Fast & Furious.  Janet’s right.  Action movie is the way to go
  • Come home.  Still stewing but not as much
  • Do load of laundry. 
  • Take Nala out.
  • Turn on schmaltzy Pandora channel – I will always love you (Whitney Houston).
  • Write this trial diary entry. 
  • And call it a day.

 Photo:  Rainbow seen from my bedroom window