Some defense lawyers can't be friends too...

Photo:  Me and the former friend back when he used to work for my lawfirm.

Photo:  Me and the former friend back when he used to work for my lawfirm.

Last week something unpleasant happened.

I lost a friend.  Not a great one.  But a friend nonetheless.

I met him when he was still a law student and was one of his mentors.  He clerked for our firm.   Then a bit later he worked with us for a year.  He stayed in our building after that, working for another lawyer who was renting an office from us.  We kept in touch.   His boss moved his office.  And we wished them well.  A bit later,  I heard  he had quit and decided to take a job with a defense firm.  No shame in that.  You gotta do what you gotta do.  Especially when you have student loans and the economy isn't that great.  Plus being a defense lawyer might be the opposite of what I do now, but I used to be one.  And my best friend in the whole wide world is one.  So am not prejudiced against defense lawyers.

Over the next year, heard some unflattering comments about how he was acting towards people he used to be colleagues with.  Figured he was probably trying to prove himself tough in his new gig.

Last summer ran into him and invited him to grab lunch one day.  We walked up to Tup Tim Thai and had a nice time.

My first experience with him as defense lawyer on a case was last week. I was in trial (still am) on another case.  Time does not stand still on other cases just because you are in trial.  He was covering for a lawyer I had been dealing with, who had gone on vacation.  John had emailed to confirm that a deposition would not be going forward because we had moved for a protective order.  Plus I had a conflict since I would still be in trial.

He sent an email telling us essentially - too bad.  Not only were they going forward with the deposition, but if we did not appear, he would "seek terms for the failure to appear to a properly noted deposition."

This threat was made without ever having spoken to me about this case.

Many years ago - mainly when I was constantly fighting Allstate - I would ask the court for terms.  In fact, the beautiful painting above my desk was bought with sanction money I was awarded by a Judge against Allstate.  Back in the day when Glenn Phillips used to work for them.

Maybe I've mellowed with age ... but I rarely ask for terms.  [Note:  there is a difference between requesting terms and threatening someone with the seeking of terms.] I save them for when someone's been really bad.  Otherwise, asking for terms isn't very nice.   Courts rarely grant them.  Plus you end up ticking off the other side.

His was a silly threat.  There was after all, a pending motion regarding the deposition.  Plus I was in trial and had a direct conflict.  There wasn't any basis to actually haul me before a Federal Judge who would then punish me.

Still, it was a threat.  From someone with whom I'd had a friendship for several years.  so, I unilaterally broke up with him online.  Have to say, it was a swift and easy process.  First I unfriended him.  Then I went on a twitter rant.  Here are some of them:

  • As I was reading his obnoxious email, I felt a PING in my heart. It was the string of our friendship breaking.
  • And so I did what any modern American would do. I unfriended him. Instantly on Facebook
  • This is the first time, I've ever ended a friendship emotionally and then confirmed by the delete key. It is somehow affirming.