4 words

I rush from the courthouse with purse, computer bag and handy firm reusable shopping bag flapping against my sides.   I'm late to a perpetuation deposition of a doctor.  My co-counsel Matt and I, planned for this contingency earlier in the morning.  He would start the deposition and possibly finish it if I couldn't get there on time.  But things are looking ok as I run on my tip toes since I don't have time to throw on my walking flats.

I only need to rush for about a block.  Reach the Bank of America building which I will always think of as the Columbia Center, and take the two elevators up to floor 72.  Go strait to the conference room where the videographer is all set up, the court reporter ready to go.  I say hi to Marvin the defense lawyer.  Matt and Dr. Seroussi tell me they want to talk to me for a minute so they walk with me to Matt's office.  Have a brief discussion.  Go back to the room having decided that Matt will go ahead and take the deposition and I will assist if necessary.  We all squeeze in.  Matt's paralegal drops off a file.  He introduces me to her and I shake her hand.   Deposition begins.

At various points, I type up questions on my computer and show them to Matt who asks them.  I consult with him.  He finishes.   Marvin goes for about half and hour and the doctor needs to leave but we're not done.  I ask Marvin how much longer he's going to go/drone and he says at least another hour.  To which I say something like - good grief, or you got to be kidding me or, something equally incredulous but not nasty.      He starts justifying the length in a humorless defensive way and I say whatever.  We then work out the logistics of how to schedule the remainder of the deposition.

Remember now,  I came here directly from court.  I am in very cute prim and proper shoes, a black jacket and skirt and white shirt.  My hair is tied back and I have been interacting with everyone in the room for the past almost two hours.  As we begin to pack up, the court reporter comes up to me and says the 4 words that I have been hearing my entire career.  I never know exactly when they will come.  I never know who will say them.  I thought as I grew older they would fade away.   They are most commonly asked by women who are older than me like this reporter.  But once a judge said them to me in open court.  I've never heard them directed at one of my male colleagues.  Not once.

I should be immune to these words.  I shouldn't let them bother me.  They seem more disparaging today, because I've just spent two days in trial against skilled women defense attorneys.   I might not like the side they are on, but how cool is it that these women are so excellent at their craft.  So respected, feared, yes disliked too.  To go from that to this.  I guess that's why I am so disappointed.

So what are the words? Are. You. A. Lawyer.