September 21, 2004

Not feeling the love, today

I appeared for a conference and for argument to oppose a motion this morning in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. I prepared most of the day yesterday for it and took the 5:56 train this morning so that I would arrive at the office with plenty of time to get my documents organized and be calm and happy. It was pretty damn dark when I left the house this morning with not even a hint of the sunrise. Winter's coming, no doubt about it.

This was a motion I expected to lose, by the way. It was to vacate a default judgment where the defendant had not filed an answer to a complaint and been out of touch for something like 9 months. Nonetheless, this is the kind of situation that a court will bend over to alleviate because the courts have a bias in favor of deciding a case on the merits, rather than on default.

And I did lose. But not before getting a rather nice compliment from the Judge who told me that my arguments were "forceful and skillful" and that I had been a "real gentleman". He also, even though I had lost, awarded my client $1,000 in costs in opposing the motion. Do you know how rare that is? To be awarded costs when you lose the motion? That's the first time for me. So the day wasn't a total loss. I walked out of the courtroom with the knowledge that I have a lot of credibility with the Judge and that is a fabulous thing for my clients. Credibility with the court is everything. If you have it, a judge will believe your representations and give you the benefit of the doubt. If you don't have it, you are in for a whole world of trouble.

So now, I'm pretty beat. Feeling a little drained. I have a meeting in 30 minutes and then a meeting after work. I'm just waiting for the Advil to kick in and I ought to be good to go.

I saw that Mr. Green has hung it up, or at least is taking a break. Blogger fatigue? I don't know. I think that some of this is cyclical for people. I feel a little burned out today but I feel that way about everything.

Last thing and this amused me. I was on the subway going down to Court and this young man looked at me up and down and asked me, "Lawyer?" I admitted that I was and we then had a very pleasant conversation.

Posted by Random Penseur at September 21, 2004 03:27 PM

Congrats on the $1000, but more importantly, the respect of the Court.

Have a relaxing night.

Posted by: Peter M. at September 21, 2004 05:59 PM

congratulations on your....loss??
aahhh - you know what i mean.

Posted by: standing naked at September 21, 2004 09:14 PM

Yep, seems the Judge saw you as an honest broker and threw a bone to yer client just for having shown character and a good judicial temperment somehow. Would've been nice to witness.

All rise for Justice Pensuer!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at September 21, 2004 09:26 PM

Thanks, y'all. It was actually a lot of fun even if I did lose. Oral argument is, while draining, really a good time.

Posted by: RP at September 22, 2004 11:16 AM

Oral arguments were the few bright spots in my 5-year litigation career. It is nerve-rattling, but a real rush, win or lose (but especially win!) I admire you for sticking with it. Transactional work doesn't usually offer similar experiences (closing a deal, while nice, isn't quite the same as arguing in open court). Congratulations on a job well done.

Posted by: JohnL at September 22, 2004 02:34 PM

Ah yes.... Well done on earning the esteem of the Southern District. Now... if you managed to stop Judge Braun over in NY Sup from screaming at people - I'd consider you Master of the Universe!

Posted by: Stimulant at September 22, 2004 05:42 PM

Congrats on impressing the Judge! Awesome!

I'm not surprise, though. :-)

Posted by: Amber at September 22, 2004 09:54 PM
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