Vacation is Over; Time to RUMBLE!

Howdy, Strangers! 

Yes, it has been more than a month since I posted.  Mea culpa!  Mea culpa!  Let me assure you, my time has not been ill-spent.  July started with a week-long stay-cation with my kiddies—that special time for all working parents, after school ends and before camp begins—and ended with a week-long trip to South Dakota for document review and making a menace of myself to opposing counsel. 

I’m on my way back to South Dakota now for more fun.

Why travel to South Dakota to be a menace, Fran?  Can’t you can be a menace from Connecticut or New York?   

Good questions!  I can be a menace from Connecticut and New York, and frequently I am.  I’ve come to realize however, that the power of menace, like gravity, is inversely proportional to distance:

                       M = 1/d

 As a result, to be most effective, a litigator has to show up sometimes.  And not in the sense that "eighty percent of success is showing up." (Allen, W.).  Rather, you have to step in, assert your authoritah, and take the advantage in the fight.

I am not suggesting that you should trespass on someone’s property or be a jerk.  Never be a jerk.  I will tell unflattering stories about you if you act like a jerk.  And never do anything that places your professional ethics in question.  BUT, we litigators have a lot of arrows in our quivers, and we must use them.

For example, if you are involved in a dispute among business owners, do not forget that your client has rights to review business records under state law and/or the operating agreement.  Don’t wait for discovery responses to show up -- go get what you need.  And do not let opposing counsel give you any jive about needing to set a time that is convenient to all counsel.

Also, get out there and start interviewing witnesses.  Employees may be off limits if the employer is a party, but vendors and customers aren’t.  Subpoena documents from them too, while you’re at it. 

So, why am I going to South Dakota today, when I just got back 2 days ago?  Because in this case my adversary needs to know that I am ready, willing and able to march into court.  It is a long walk from Connecticut or New York, so I need to show up in South Dakota to get my message across. 

Good thing the kiddies are in camp!

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