Lawyer convention drama

Livin’ the Glamorous Life – Another Hollyball Tale


Wake up at 6:45.   Laze around.  Tonight is Hollyball.  Wonder what else is on schedule.  Open calendar.  “9:00 a.m. hold for Court of Appeals Argument.”  Whaaaaaaaaaaa

Text John 7:27 – is there an argument today.

Texts back 7:29.  Yes at 9:30 at first & union.

Try not to have a holy cow fit.  The word “hold” on a calendar is used when we are not certain of a date so hold it until confirmed.    The world hold threw me for a head fake.

Text John 7:34. Send me the files.

He does.  I read them.  Garth wrote them.   I know the issues very well and there’s not much case law.  Still… brain must go into warp speed.  And does.

7:55 – 8:20 –  get ready, feed nala, take her potty, grab some fruit, head out, mentally bounce through issues, calm down.

9:00 – park, look at breakfast options in “fresh” deli part of lobby.  Reject pre-packaged muffin idea.  Go to convenience store which has lemon luna bar.  Wolf it down.

9:15 – ride up escalator to appeals court.  Look up case.  We’re number one on docket.  Go thru security, let them dig through purse,  high heeled booties set off buzzer.  Get the once over treatment from the guard.

9:30 – say hi to Rory the defense lawyer.  COA commissioner enters.  We rise and begin.

10:00 – we finish.  Have not broken a sweat.  Enjoyed the adrenaline.  The positive endorphin rush from fighting for clients.

10:30 – back at office.  What else is on calendar.  Take a peek.  Oh great.  Another set of meetings double booked.  Sign this.  Sign that.  Draft that.  On the phone with 3 computer screens going.  Another typical day.

2:30 – leave.  Proud of self.   Goal was to leave by no later than 3.  Push self out of door with a little help from Nala.

2:35 – get home.   Take Nala potty.  Walk up to front door.  Leaves are everywhere from dratted street level neighbor’s maple.  She hasn’t raked them pretty much all year.  Which means I have to.   Can’t help it.  Get blower out and blow them back onto her part of the sidewalk.  This means they’ll be back on mine later tonight.  Still feel temporarily satisfied.

3:00 – throw on work out gear.  Do a few more emails.

3:15 – head out door with Nala and run around wind blown neighborhood.

4:30 – back home.  Holy heck.  Am done  two hours before hollyball begins.  This is a record.

4:35 – feed nala, move laundry from washer into dryer and start a new load.  Turn on Pandora funk 70s-80s channel.  Loud.

4:45 – shower.

4:50 – look at clock.  Still feels too early.  How long can it take to get ready.  Dink around.

5:15 – use hair dryer.  This device is used perhaps once a month for about a minute just to get things going.  Today actually dry most of hair with it.  Let’s discuss hair.  First of all, there are going to be people at the hollyball who have spent the afternoon at the salon.  My hair on the other hand, has a bit more…natural…character.  As you  may recall, it caught on fire last month.  And I used scissors to chopped off roughly 1 to 3 or 4 inches depending upon which side was less burned than the other.  In addition, Joy, the only person who has ever colored my hair, moved at least temporarily to be with her sister back east several months ago.  This means hair has some silver bits and pieces floating around.  Which I suppose adds to the whole holiday sparkle theme.

5:25 – hair is dry.

5:25 – 5:35 – put on some eye makeup.

5:35 – do not have a personal shopper or dresser.  Am just a wee bit not a Kardashian.   Have an outfit in mind.  Hopefully it will work out.  This does not involve a designer label like YSL, Gucci or Prada.  First, comes the velvet leggings by BCBG.  Have had these for three years and wear them rarely.  So they’re in good shape.  A few months ago bought BCBG tux jacket at super sale.  90% off or something like that.   Cost almost as much to dry clean as it did to buy it.  To tie everything together, last week went shopping with Cristina for a sparkly top.  Tried Nordstrom and other decent stores.  But there was nothing quite right.  Had aha moment – forget the grown up stores.  Let’s go to the teen stores.  Forever 21 to be exact.  Cristina found sparkly shirt.  $12.99.  So today, put it on.  Its a little  big.   Quite low in the front.  Consider tying straps up more.  Looks bunchy so don’t.  Put on tux jacket.  Sleeves too long.  Tailoring would have dwarfed the purchase price.  Roll up sleeps in an 80s way.  Inspired by the pounding funk.  Zip up velvet tassle booties.  Vintage prada satin party bag have had for about 20 years.

6:00  – 6:30 – voila.  Am done.   Take picture.  Post on FB.  Steven comes to get me.  Arrive at four seasons.  And hollyball the night away.

Photo:  selfie with Nala




Partying with VABAW – all bar dinners should be like this



Shellie and I walk into the Triple Door on 3rd and Union.  Late as usual.

Hi.  Hi.  Hug.  How are you.  Hand shake.  Hi.  Everyone is smiling.   Am here to support Ada Ko Wong who is president Elect of VABAW (Vietnamese-American Bar Assn of WA) on its 10th year anniversary.

We figure out where our table is.

And then it’s time to start.

We sit and are joined by Tam Nguyen.  We don’t know him yet.  He is going to be the star of our evening.

Normally bar association dinners are…  Well, they are exactly like you would imagine them to be.  The food is bad.  Talking heads reign supreme at the podium.  And everyone politely claps even as they yawn .

This is not your typical bar dinner.

The presenters are in traditional Vietnamese garb instead of business suits.   Ada is in a mint green flowing gown.

A law student speaks about her VABAW scholarship that placed her in a clerkship in Ho Chi Minh (fka Saigon – but still considered to be Saigon by many – including Tam).  All followed by a fashion show of clothing primarily made of scarves.    I like the horse head one the best.

We clap in delight.  Occasionally lean over each other’s quickly emptying plates to whisper how fun this all is.  But the best part of our evening is our table mate Tam.

Tam is not a lawyer.  He and his family own the Tamarind Tree restaurant in “Little Saigon” as well as Long Provincial down on 2nd & Stewart.  Up until a year ago, Tam also was a pharmacist.  Shellie and I ooh and ahh.  We love the Tamarind Tree.  Particularly sitting outside in the summer.  Shellie says – I’ll take a vegetarian pancake.  My mouth waters.

Tam tells us that he goes to Vietnam once a year.  About 13 years ago, he went to his former neighborhood.  There sitting on a stoop was his best friend from grade school.  Drinking rice wine.  Unemployed like so many.  Ill.  His family’s assets confiscated by the communist government.    His friend had two young girls.  They were unable to go to school.  Only those who had money could send their kids to school.

On his way home Tam worried over the plight of his old friend.  Then had an epiphany.  He conceived of a charitable organization.  Enlisted the help of his best friend, an engineer.  They applied for 501c3.  Obtained charitable status after more than a year of  hassle (the IRS wanted to know where the money would come from, how would it get delivered, and other details for over a year).    The Vietnamese children’s scholarship fund was born.  Each year elders or Buddhist monks in the various provinces are asked to identify children in need.  Then the charity pays for them to go to school

How many children have you helped over the years, I ask.

Thousands he grins widely.


We are absolutely riveted by Tam’s stories (“I was a boat person”), experiences, and humanity.    We are all beaming.

We take down Tam’s email address.  It is long.  Are you on facebook, I ask.

No, Tam shakes his head.  Who has time for that.

So I struggle to thumb type his address into my phone.

Shellie and I need to leave before the fashion show ends.

That was totally worth it wasn’t it, I say, as we head to the parking garage.

Totally she nods.

We drive a mile south to go watch a friend perform at the Comedy Underground in Pioneer Square.  Are joined by one of her associates and another friend Bob.  Laugh.  Bob walks us back to our car.  Which is a good thing.  Because a few feet into our journey, we have to side step two drunks yelling and swinging fists at each other over twenty bucks.

Photo:  Shellie and Tam Nguyen


Lift off for Taos in Sonoma


Steve Gursten:  I’d like you to consider joining the TAOS group.

K3:  What kind of a group is it.

SG:  Plaintiff lawyers who have become friends and share advice.

K3:  Steve thanks for asking.  Honestly, I belong to enough groups.

SG:  This is unlike any group you belong to.  We are small but geographically diverse.  This is a real personal group where we are friends.

K3:  That’s really nice of you Steve, but due  to my schedule I’m not sure if I have time.

A couple months pass.

Diane Gober:   Hi Karen – Steve and I would like to invite you to attend the TAOS meeting in Sonoma this fall.

K3:  Hi Diane and Steve – Um…That is so sweet of you.  But.. I don’t drink wine.

DG/SG:   No problem there is so much else to do there.  You will love this group.  It is wonderful.  We have such great times together.

K3:  Can you share the list with me.

DG/SG:  Sure here it is.

K3:  (Impressed).  I know a lot of people on your list.  What a great group.  I’m not sure about Sonoma.  It looks like everyone is a couple, I don’t drink wine or play golf, or spa, and am a vegetarian.    Maybe I should wait for the next meeting. 

DG:  Oh of course you’ll fit in.  Not everyone is a couple.  You can sightsee and go on hikes.   I always order vegetarian options.

This goes on for a few more weeks.  DG is optimistically indefatigable. 

K3:  Okay Diane and Steve – I’m coming and will bring my daughter.  Thank you so much for inviting me.

DG/SG:  You will have a great time.

Am then bombarded with menus, venues, directions, options,  notices of whose attending, and loving emails of friends greeting friends.  Diane may be the best party planner I’ve ever known.

A few weeks later:

SG:  I found a great way to introduce you to the group.  I’d like you to speak with me on blogging.

K3:  Don’t want to steal your thunder.  This is your time slot  to speak.  Am content to be the newbie, sit back and watch.

SG:  No I insist.  This will be fun.  As a matter of fact – let’s blog about our talk to Taos on blogging.  My blog is (see the Blog section) 

And before we know it here we are.  On our way to TAOS in Sonoma.

Photo:  Cristina and I on a bumpy prop plane bound for Sana Rosa.  She’s typing volunteer lists for the SCIAW Greenlake Walk & Roll Oct 19.   I’m typing this blog.

Running the decrepit sidewalks of New Orleans


 Out the revolving door of the Sheraton onto Canal Street.  Run across two lanes of traffic, the street car in the middle, two more lanes of traffic and reach the other side.  It’s late in the afternoon.   A nice assortment of unfortunate ragged souls line up against neon lit buildings.

A woman’s high pitched yelling penetrates my headphones. Have gone just over a block.  She is ahead of me to the left.  Crying.  Her male companion and another man are fighting.  As in fists flying boxer style.  The other guy is a big brute and a much better boxer.  I keep running towards them.   Cristina would not be happy with me.  But it is a wide sidewalk.

 The little guy goes down.  Woman yells.  Little guy gets up.  Big guy says you want more.  Woman yells stooooop.  Little guy wants more.  Excited bystanders come bounding over to get a better look.  I keep going.   The next building down is the custom’s office.  A guard is on the steps watching them slug it out.  As I approach, she decides it’s over and looks the other way.

And this is the good part of town.

Am heading for the riverfront.  Have to pass several intersections to get there.  This normally wouldn’t be too much of a problem.  But there’s something missing – the bulbs in the pedestrian lights.  Try to figure out if can go or not based upon the traffic lights.  This is a bit of a guessing game.

Get to waterfront.  There are fences and tarps everywhere.  They are fixing it up.  A cruise ship is docked at one end.  Am going the other way.   The water is not that lovely to look at.  Brown water rarely is.  But there are no cars.  Pass a group of happy hippie kids with rings in their noses who are lounging on the water’s edge getting high.  Reach the end of park, by the flea market in the french quarter.  Travel past the tourist section.  Into the residential district.  Very few cars here.  Like it better than the Garden District which ran yesterday. That district is nicer, but too busy.  And the sidewalks are even worse than here.

Actually there is no such thing as an actual sidewalk.  Bits of brick, slate, mud, or concrete chunks pave the bumpy, pock filled, hazardous way.   Sometimes with tree roots growing up out through and around them.  Looking like giant petrified tentacles.

A woman passes by on a brown bicycle with big white wall tires.  Workers are excavating a building.  A man is walking his two dogs.  The aged bassett hound turns and lift his head up towards me.  His sad left eye is opaque from a cataract.

The houses are generally ramshackle.  Some have given up completely and fallen into total disrepair.  Some have been revived quite nicely.  Others are painted brightly in garish colors.  Like tangerine orange, with blue and green trim.   Gates are rusted.  Or covered with paint that still shows the rust.  There are no straight lines.  Everything is crooked or bowed.  Mardi Gras beads slung over banisters.  A super-sized mask pinned to a screened door.

My eyes are focused downards almost always.  Watching out for holes and puddles and other booby traps within the broken bits of sidewalk.  Then of course, it darts out from under the car scurring across the sidewalk.  Disappearing under a garbage can.  One big fat rat.  Gross.


Neighborhood taverns dot street corners.  Rumpled patrons hanging over the bars.   Round the next bend, and there’s a coffee shop.  A preppie dude is sitting on the ground in front of it.  Earbuds in.  Talking on his cell phone.  Typing on his apple computer.  Look inside the windows – more of the same.

Weave in and out of all these little streets.  Back onto river trail.  Cross the non-pedestrian lighted intersections.  Through the revolving doors.  To the elevator.

Guy from AAJ convention is chatting with me on the way up.  Says he is going to go for a run too.   But in the gym.

Photo:  From yesterday in the Garden District.

The honor of introducing Rick Friedman as WSAJ’s trial lawyer of the year


The most coveted award of our trial lawyers association is the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award.

This year it is extra special.  We are at Couer d’Alene at our annual convention.  The Brandeis bust we usually use, is to be forever replaced.  With the Tom Chambers bust.  Tom is in the audience.

Am given eight minutes to make the presentation.  Have gotten background information from Rick’s brother Ken.  As well as photos from Janet of his office.

Here is the PPT:  RickFriedmanTLY2013.pdf.

WSAJ will be providing the video and will upload that later.

What is interesting about the PPT is how many slides there are.  However, don’t feel rushed or that there are too many during the speech.  Several of them are montages, quickly flashed to show the breadth of his verdicts and book writing.

Congratulations Rick.  And thank you Tom!

Photo:  From the PPT.

AAJ San Francisco – mashup days 1 and 2


Wake up from semi-conscious state just in time to glimpse the wreckage of the Korean jetliner still at the airport.  Shuffle off the plane.  It is 9:30 a.m.

Find limo driver.  Follow him to car.  He wants to talk.  I want to zone out.  Good manners kick in.  We talk the whole way.  He is quite delightful.  If we had more time, I could probably recite his family tree for you.

Arrive at Hilton. Room on the 9th floor Tower 2.  Nondescript, neat and fairly quiet.  Throw bag on bed and put away everything right away. Because that is what always do.

Rush down to ballroom where Belli seminar is on break for lunch.  Grab horrid lunch.  Blech.  Eat it anyway.  Give hugs and kisses to Gary Pillersdorf and Janice Kim.  Sit in corner, put finishing touches to powerpoint.   Metaphors, similes, analogies and allegories.  My fault for choosing a new topic.   Couldn’t recycle anything.  Save to thumb drive and give to Linda Atkinson.  Eventually give speech.

Back to hotel room.  Go for run.  Meet M and D (can’t tell you their secret identities) for fantastic dinner at Greens at Fort Mason. Try to get cab.  No cab.  Go back inside restaurant.  They call a cab.  Cab takes about half an hour to get there.  We could have walked back.  But it was too cold.

Back to hotel room.  Work on next PPT.  Go to sleep.

Wake up.

Grab horrible breakfast.  They are now 0 for 2.  Eat it anyway.  Finish PPT.  Go to meeting number 1.

Time for lunch. Should have learned after the first two times. Worst meal yet. Vow not to eat another thing made in the hotel.  Chit chat with various friends.

Go back up to room and change out of comfortable black tunic/leggings/sandles.  Put on very fitted gray dress and heels.

Clip clop down tower 2 thru lobby and get lost trying to find continental ballroom.  Find it.  Give speech on spinal cord injury.

Am late for next meeting.  Clip clop up and around and down long hall.  Arrive at almost the end.

Rush back to ballroom area.  Give speech on powerpoint.

Am late for next meeting.  Clip clop up and around and down same long hall but farther.  Arrive at almost the end.  Mel Orchard is there.  Show him the super duper convention attendee blog .  He laughs and punches me in the arm.

Go back up to room.  Throw on run stuff and head out.  Make it back.  Clean up and go to opening reception.  Fail at first to realize it is not in the hotel.   Walk to Exploratorium.   Apparently there were buses, but was oblivious.  Chit chat with friends.  Hang for a while with Pat LePley.    Eat a very bad hors d’ouvre.  Pat bails on going to dinner with me and Stewart Casper’s family.

Look for Stewart.  Can’t find him in mass of people.  Decide to take a cab to dinner.  Go outside and there’s Stewart.  He has another lawyer with him who will take Pat’s place.  Bill Bloss.  Also from Connecticut but is currently staying in LA because is on the team of lawyers representing Michael Jackson’s Estate in a wrongful death trial.  How cool is that.  Dinner is at Gary Danko which is the opposite of horrible food.  Extremely delicious.

Bill and I share a cab but I tell the cabbie to take us back to the wrong Hilton.  We walk back a mile or so and he tells me more tidbits about the trial.  As we are about a block away, one of the friendly neighborhood derelicts comments on Bill’s “pimpin’ summer suit.”  Bill doesn’t think it’s funny.  So hide my smile.

Photo:  Gary Pillersdorf doing his thing at the Belli seminar with Linda Atkinson looking adoringly on.

Todd’s amazing speaker intro: sings, stomps and plays the harmonica


Am at Burlington for Vermont’s annual convention.  Todd Schlossberg comes up to the podium to give my introduction.  What he does next is the single best introduction I’ve ever witnessed at a trial lawyer seminar in my whole entire life.  Am not exaggerating.

Afterwards, ask the audience if anyone knew he could sing, play, or write music.  Only one person had a clue.

So if you are tasked with the job of introducing a speaker.  I dare you to top this.



Fargo – Yah


Head jerks forward.  Eyes open.  Where the heck am I.   Are we still in Minneapolis.   Can’t figure out if the plane has taken off.  Or is landing.  It hasn’t taken off.  Thirty minutes later we bounce down in Fargo North Dakota.

Alan the Executive Director of the trial lawyer association has texted me to call him.  I do.  The airport terminal is clean, new and small.  At the landing by the escalator, a big tall blond woman is hugging another big tall blond woman in greeting.  They appear to be sisters.  Talking in a language that is definitely not English.

No one’s waiting for me.  Walk outside.  There are five cars.  At the far end of the roadway sits a solitary van.  Covered in ads.  Look at phone.  No call back from Alan.   Raise my arm.  The van doesn’t move.  Raise arm again.  The van moves an inch then stops.   Still not sure if it is a cab.  Raise arm one more time and wave.  The van creeps forward.  The driver seems a little amazed that he has a customer.   Ask him to take me to the Holiday Inn.   Turns on the clicker.  It starts at $4.50.

Am looking out the window.  It is dusk.  There are no hills.  We approach an area that has some low rise buildings.  The tallest announces itself to be the Holiday Inn. Hand over $13.00 and a tip.

Check in.  The clerk says turn right then right then left.  Or is it left then right.  Can’t remember.   The room numbers are in the 400s but am on the first floor.   Looking for 171.  Now the numbers are in the 100s.  Back to 400s.  Criss cross the pool area a couple times, rolling luggage.   There’s a pirate’s ship in there.  And two ping pong tables.   Finally find the room.  Pull out ipad.  Hit Fandango.  There’s a movie theater close by.  It is 9:15.  Call downstairs.

Is it safe to walk to the theater at night.

As in creepy people safe or getting hit by a car safe, he says.

Both. I laugh.

No creepy people, but you have to cross a road.

He offers to drive me one way so will know how to walk back.

Get lost twice walking to the lobby.  Adam is standing in the middle of it.  Waiting for me.   He invites me to get into the front passenger seat of the van.  He is from Minnesota.  He has a slight build and slightly greased dark hair.  Not the best complexion.  Is in his final quarter of hotel and restaurant management.  Has an interview to potentially work at the Four Seasons in Maui.  If only he can get the job and his girlfriend will agree to move.   What a dream that would be.

The theater is two blocks away.  After popcorn, diet coke and two hours of movie happiness, I run in the wind.  Through the parking lot of the sleepy theater.  Past  the McDonalds.  Get lost inside the Holiday Inn Express which is the wrong hotel.  Find a janitor who points me  to the correct regular Holiday Inn.  Where I get lost again.  Spend more time lost in the hotels than outside.   Find 171.  Finish powerpoint for the speech and it is just about 3:00 am.

Wake up at 7:30.  Lie there til 8:30. Hustle.  Make only one wrong turn before arriving at the conference.

A man is walking towards me beaming.  It is Alan.  His phone went dead last night.  He stayed out late.  Michael Freeman (speaker after me) was out with the group at the Lucky Seven last night.  He was so fun.  Not many speakers hang out with us like that, Alan says.  I am of course a case in point.  Anyway, he got home late, charged his dead phone.  And at 6:00 am it restarted itself off and woke him up.   Beeping with my message (“I’m here)  from the night before.    He slaps his head with his hand.

Don’t worry about it.  I didn’t mind walking from the airport to the hotel.  He isn’t sure if I’m joking.  I wait a few seconds.  Then laugh.

It is 9:10.  There are two large trays of giant cinnamon rolls.  Have been trying to reduce morning sugar intake.   At least they are baked not fried.  The choice is frosted or pecan glazed.  Do calculations in head and choose frosted.  Turns out to be a good choice because there is almond paste in there.

The speaker before me finishes early at 9:15.  They take a break.  I plug in my computer before the tech guy can get there.  Mark the attorney putting on the seminar, greets me.  We met sometime around 2004 or 2005 at an AAJ car crash seminar in New Orleans.   Alan is fairly tall and big.  Mark is bigger and taller.  He is twinkling around me.  Buzzing actually.

Dave Bossart, a hall of fame lawyer, comes and gives a hug.  Have heard him speak many times around the country.   He is twinkling too.

Am eating the cinnamon roll in between saying hello.

Break ends.  Mark gives an introduction.  And then says – let’s give her our traditional North Dakota Welcome.

Am thinking – do they say something quaint from the movie.

The room rustles.  Chairs are pushed back.  They give a standing ovation.  Before the presentation.

This is the nicest welcome have ever received.  Usually am greeted by a polite semi round of applause from those who are not glued to solitaire or the news on their laptop.  Or more typically – expectant critical stares.

The glow of being appreciated before have opened mouth, carries me through the next hour and a half. Finish.  Dave gives two more hugs.  Michael F is next.  More hugs.  The only bad thing is, am leaving in an hour.  Should have stayed longer.  But it is mother’s day weekend, and need to get home.

Walk down the hall to the lobby.  It is 11:30.  There is a luncheon in a banquet room.  Filled with women with short white puffy hair.   In front of the door, the sign reads:  Goodwill Bridge Club.  Reach the front desk – can you call me a cab.  They give me a look.  Remember the shocked look on the cab driver’s face.

We have a van and can give you a ride, they say.  They check their books.  No problem in ten minutes.  Walk back to room.  Mind wanders and lands on the Morrow case I tried a few years ago.  Against Holiday Inn for a dangerous courtesy bus – in Seattle.   Will not mention this to the van driver.

Do not get lost.  Change, pack, return to lobby.

Kip is putting stamps on a box.  Just a minute, he says.  And walks me to the van.  Tosses my bag in the back and has me get into the front passenger seat.

Kip asks if I’ve seen the movie Fargo.  A long time ago, I say.  How many times have you seen it.  He says too many times to count and laughs.

His hair is light brown and buzz cut.  He is another big one.  With freckles.  He has been to Seattle once.  Saw Pike’s Place.  Mainly he goes to Oregon.  His uncle lives there.  He loves to fish.  He caught a sturgeon on the Columbia River.  Have you ever seen those – they are scary looking.  Prehistoric, he says.   In fact, I have a picture of one of them on my phone.

We are on the elevated entrance ramp loop to the freeway.  He pulls out his phone and starts scrolling through it.  I’m watching the edge of the ramp.  He manages to stay on the road.  Here it is!:  he announces proudly.  Hands over his phone.   Yep.  There he is.  Holding a sturgeon.

Did you eat it, I ask.

When I was a girl, one of my favorite fairy tales was about a prince who was turned into a carp.  I can feel the fear of the prince.

Nope, threw it back,  Chip says.

Arrive at the airport.   Chip hands over the suitcase.  Thanks, I say.  Yaaah, y’betcha, he grins.  I say bye.  He waves and tells me to come again.  Have turned and am walking into the building.   He yells – and make sure you see the movie Fargo again.


Convention day 2: Party like a rock star


Give the speech.  Go for a run.  Have the spinal cord litigation group meeting.  Smile at the Phoenix Suns wheelchair basketball crew demo.  Go on our field trip.  Gawk at the brand spanking new disability center.  Apparently flirt (according to Cristina) with the very handsome fitness coordinator.  Barrio Queen for dinner with a lively group of 12.  Arrive back at the hotel at 9:30.

But wait.

It is New Lawyers Party night.  In case you’re wondering.  This doesn’t mean you have to be  a new lawyer to party.

Am still wearing purplish skirt and lacy top from this morning.  Cristina is in black jeans.  We must change.  It is club night.  So Cristina puts on boots, shorts and a lace top. (Oh to be 22).  I toss on smaller black skirt and sparklish top.  Grab disco bag and off we go.

Arrive with only one wrong turn 15 minutes later to bumping club Axis.  Cristina starts laughing and says – it is a club.  Well, of course child.  Plaintiff laywers know how to throw a party.

Enter loud techno, packed joint.  She wants to scan the crowd first.  No way.  Drag her onto the floor and off we go.  The music is so loud we cannot hear each other talk.  We are laughing and dancing like we usually do when we go out to clubs together which is pretty much never.  Unless we are on cruise ships or at lawyer parties.

The women behind me are wild and crash into me a couple times.  Cristina is texting and dancing and taking very bad pictures of me.  A nice looking man glides up to us and offers to take our picture.  Oh this place is very fun.  He stays chatting with us.  His father is a lawyer who practices in Guam.   He on the otherhand practices in New York.  Not sure how we hear that actually.  Because club is thumping.  Eventually I say – this is my daughter.  And you can see him about fall out.  Cristina is laughing.  He says goodbye.  What did I say, I wonder…

We dance and dance. Oblivious until Darin joins us.  We met him on the plane ride over.  He does something involving class actions.  Cristina shows him a picture of her uncle Carl.  Because he looks like uncle Carl.   He probably can’t hear what she’s saying.  I don’t know why we are trying to talk at all in there.  In fact, I pretty much rupture Cristina’s ear drum trying to holler something to her.

Here is the movie clip:

I could stay til the very end.  But the daughter is tuckered out.  So we leave, make it back without a wrong turn.  And realize as we open the door to our hotel room.  That our ears are still ringing.

AAJ convention day 1 – arrival, the Bohms, Whitney and Talking Tom

talking-tom-thumb-455x562-17170Suitcase is packed.  We are out the door on the way to the airport. Cristina says – did you see the weather report.  Um, no Robert said it was in the mid 70s.  Seems a cool front is blowing in so minus that by at least 10.  I’ve packed shorts sandles, and a short skirt to give my talk in.   Oh great.

We land, get the rental car.  And drive in our red Chevy Aveo thru the Marie Antoinette style mansions lining the road to the historied Biltmore where the convention is.  Get lost but finally find registration.  They don’t have me down.  Which is fine because my law partner has become ill.  So I check in as Paul and Cristina takes over Mary Elizabeth’s spot.  Back to our car we go to the Bohm’s house.

Robert, Georgia and their doggies welcome us to their charming villa.  We talk.  We eat.

In the middle of it all, Cristina says Whitney Houston just died.  I think she’s joking but not quite.  She isn’t.  We look at FB and Twitter for more details.  Am on verge of tears.

Sarah the new associate joins us.  More talking.  More eating.  Finally cannot stall any longer.  It is 10:00 which means it is 11:00.  Which means haven’t figured out a speech for tomorrow or done a powerpoint.

Which means, must play with ipad.  Haven’t done much with it yet.  Just got it.  Noelle started loading it with apps last week when I saw her.  Now it is Cristina’s turn.

Have you heard of Talking Tom.

Why no, daughter I haven’t.

You haven’t. Really


So up Talking Tom comes.  And we start talking to him.  And then we have him become us.  And well, there must be trial uses for such an app.  We investigate for 15 minutes. Click here to see the fruit of our efforts:

Yes ladies and gentleman, this ipad app has enormous trial potential.

But for now, it’s time to get down to business.  Must figure out PPT for speech.  So can focus all attention on Robert’s chocolate chip pancakes in the morning.



Check out a recent interview by Super Lawyers about my blog. Yes, I'm a lawyer. But I'm also a human being. I have a doggie named Nala, three daughters, eat brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts for breakfast, and wear jeans as often as possible when not in court.
Favorite Quotations

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
— Nelson Mandela

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've to say, and say it hot.
— D. H. Lawrence

Why slap them on the wrist with a feather when you can belt them over the head with a sledgehammer.
— Katharine Hepburn

Truth, when not sought after, rarely comes to light.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Hold fast to dreams For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird That cannot fly.
— Langston Hughes

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.
— Jane Austen

Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality. — Edgar Allan Poe

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn't you, at any time? And you would achieve nothing! — Margaret Thatcher

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
— Dr. Suess

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
— Abraham Lincoln

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. — Desmond Tutu

True eloquence consists in saying all that is required and only what is required. — La Rochefoucauld

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. — Aesop

The thing you fear most has no power. Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free. — Oprah Winfrey

If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative. — Woody Allen

The soul never thinks without a picture. — Aristotle

To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. — William Shakespeare

Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. — Muhammad Ali

Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. — Stephen Hawking

It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. — Apache proverb

People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost. — Dalai Lama

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.
— Anne Frank

Learn to laugh; it is a discipline to be mastered. Let go of the everlasting burden of always needing to sound profound. — Richard J. Foster

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. — Albert Einstein

Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain. — Helen Keller

Remember that lost time does not return. — Thomas á Kempis

If thou faint in the day of adversity thy strength is small. — Proverbs 24:10

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense. — Gertrude Stein

It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom. — Albert Einstein

The right of trial by jury shall be preserved. — 7th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

I'd rather die on my feet than live on my knees. — Ludacris

And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.
— Erica Jong

Words are chameleons, which reflect the color of their environment. — Judge Learned Hand

You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefullness, But still, like air, I'll rise. — Maya Angelou

The moment that justice must be paid for by the victim of injustice it becomes itself injustice. — Benjamin Tucker

He who keeps his eye on results cannot give himself wholeheartedly to his task, however simple or complex that task may be. — Howard Thurman

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. — Mahatma Ghandi

Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum. — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it emotionally. — Flannery O'Connor

We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles. — Jimmy Carter

To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul. — Simone Weil

It is not the level of prosperity that makes for happiness but the kinship of heart to heart and the way we look at the world. — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

It is high time that the ideal of success should be replaced by the ideal of service. — Albert Einstein

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference. — Elie Wiesel

I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. — Bill Cosby

The time is always right to do what is right. — Martin Luther King Jr.

I had rather attempt something great and fail, than to attempt nothing at all and succeed. — Robert Schuller

It is very easy to break down something. You can take a stone and throw it through that window; that is easy. Try fixing it, and that takes longer. It takes longer to help someone who has been broken. That’s the work you’re doing. — Desmond Tutu

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. — Annie Dillard

Mine honor is my life; both grow in one; Take honor from me, and my life is done. — William Shakespeare

To straighten the crooked you must first do a harder thing – straighten yourself. — Buddha

A thought is an idea in transit. — Pythagoras

Fall seven times, stand up eight. — Old Japanese proverb

No generalization is wholly true, not even this one. — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

Of what use is eloquence? He who engages in fluency of words to control men often finds himself hated by them. — Confucius

There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. — Martha Graham