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Thursday, October 16, 2003

Disappointment

I spent a long, long time getting ready for a hearing yesterday morning. It was a big case in federal court in New Orleans, and I had immersed myself in a peculiar area of Louisiana law to prepare for my argument. This was going to be my first chance to argue in court, on a $3.5M case no less. (That's the peculiar thing about working for a big firm with big institutional clients -- you get fewer opportunities to appear in court early in your career, but when you finally get the chance, you play for big dollars.)

The bad news was that I didn't even get the chance to argue, after staying up well past 1:00 a.m. preparing demonstrative exhibits and studying the cases. I was to follow another attorney for our side, who got cut off by the judge before I got the chance to speak. Apparently, the judge wasn't in a mood for lengthy arguments that day (and rightly so), and the case was so complex that my part got jettisoned. I was completely crushed, to say the least.

The good news is that the first words out of the judge's mouth were that he agreed with one of the legal positions that I had worked so hard to brief. So, I lost the chance to persuade him at argument, but I won at least one issue for my client through my writing. Nevertheless, I would have really appreciated the chance to get the experience. It was a long trip home; I was exhausted physically and emotionally.

Oh, well. I got a couple of good meals out of the trip. The other attorneys have been shuttling back and forth to NOLA so often that they're sick of it, but I was hell-bent on good food.

 1:39 PM

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