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Making Choices

I still can’t decide whether I want the new iPhone. One of our lawyers handed her new phone to me and it just confused me more. Maybe if I understood the features, it would entice me to choose to upgrade.


See, I think the features even confuse me more! Plus, it seems too big and now I’m told that people are having trouble with the phone bending. Which brings me to the blog topic of choices.

Sometimes we call it, “If only I had (insert choice)”. That thought takes me back to one of my law school choices.

I was becoming acutely aware that I was losing hair. I even started the “mirror thing” by constantly checking with a hand-held mirror, to see if I had lost more hair. That’s when my haircutter suggested that I lighten my hair. Supposedly that would make my hair look less fine, which was code for balding. That, and people start making jokes about your hair like, “I guess you have summer hair… Some are here and some are gone”. Now, the Internet is the new joke place, right?

Internet crying

Anyway, that was my motivation for my color choice. So I gave the “go-ahead” for the lightening of the hair. Soon the hair dyeing commenced. When it was done, my hair color had moved from my brown God-given to  some kind of unidentified, never before seen red. The lady said not to worry; that the red would wash out and it would turn more to blond.

Six weeks later… they were still calling me “Orange head”. It had lightened to an out of this world color. My bad choice.

Looking back, I still shake my head at the memory. As you read this, do you blame me or the hair person? You’ll notice that this story is told from my point of view.

In auto accident cases, psychologists say that you should always tell the story from the point of view of the person at fault. Jurors more easily place blame on that person. That means that if you tell the story of the case from your client’s perspective of getting hit, jurors may put blame on your client. They should have been more careful; or gotten out of the way; or not travelled down that road that day. Blame falls on their choices rather than the person who caused the crash.

So as I sit here typing today, perhaps I should have told my hair story a little differently.

So the hairdresser said, “you really should change your hair color”. I started to shake my head no…

And for our pic o’ day, some perspective:


The Storyteller

In a span of a few days, I saw the word raconteur. I don’t think I had seen it before. So, when I did not know what it meant, I was reading on my kindle and could highlight the word.  I learned it meant storyteller. The next two times I realized that part of the story was being a raconteur. I always hear that a good lawyer is a good storyteller.  So, for the blog today, how about a bit of being a raconteur. (Source)

Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement. When his plane
arrived, there was a limousine there to transport him to his home.

As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver.

“You know” he said, “I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would
you mind if I drove it for a while?”

The driver said, “No problem. Have at it.”
“Billy gets into the driver’s seat and they head off down the highway.

A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.
The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone.

The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and got out of his patrol car to
begin the procedure.
The young trooper walked up to the driver’s door and when the glass was rolled down
he was surprised to see who was driving.

He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor.
He told the supervisor, “I know we are supposed to enforce the law but I also know
that important people are sometimes given certain courtesies.
I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person.”

“The supervisor asked, “Is it the governor?”

The young trooper said, “No, he’s more important than that.”

The supervisor said, “Oh, so it’s the president.”

The young trooper said, “Not, he’s even more important than that.”

The supervisor finally asked, “Well then, who is it?”

The young trooper said, “I think it’s Jesus because he’s got Billy Graham
for a chauffeur !!!!!


And for our DID YOU KNOW: Years ago, clans and tribes that wanted to get rid of unwanted people without actually doing harm to them would burn their house down. Doing so would obviously cause them to move away. Hence the expression to get fired.

And for pic o’ day, this one makes me laugh every time.

A Great Day

A Bible Employment Story

In 1791, Philadelphia carpenters went on strike to demand that their employers reduce their work hours to 10-hour workdays. Their banners read “from 6 to 6”. In 1864, the eight-hour workday became a central part of demands of the Chicago labor movement.

Ford Motor Company became the symbol of a caring employer when, in 1914,  it took the radical step of doubling its workers’ pay to $5 a day and cutting their work shifts from nine hours to eight.

This brief bit of history shows that a fair wage and a good working environment has been on the mind of employees for a long time. Thursday’s devotional in “Our Daily Bread” recites the Bible passage of Matthew 20:1-16 , which is the story of employees agreeing to a wage, and then being angry about their agreement.

The story is about an employer who hires employees to work in the vineyard. They agree to work for a denarius, which was considered to be a day’s wage. They were happy for the work and happy for the fair wages.

The landowner/employer went into the marketplace and found more potential workers. He hired them on the spot and they immediately went to work, which was a few hours after the others had already begun working. They so wanted employment that they went to work without a firm agreement on their wages.

Later in the day, the landowner hired more looking for work, and they basically worked a half-day. At the end of the day, it was time to be paid. The first group were paid their agreed full day’s wages. They were happy. They were happy until the second and third group of employees were paid the exact same amount… a full day’s wages.

I enjoy that story because from a legal perspective, it is a Biblical story about an employment contract. It’s also a story about being happy with your state of affairs, until you start comparing to everyone else. An old story with modern lessons.

For pic o’ day, I went with a picture that makes me appreciate what I have. I don’t enjoy flying… but at least I’m not flying with Amish Airlines!

Law Library Cleanup

Because of our law firm growth, we are making preparations to move the Richmond office. That means going through “stuff” including what to take or what to throw out in our the law library.

Technology has sure changed when it comes to legal research. Not only do you no longer need to travel to a local law library for research; you also rarely look at hardcover law books. Everything including codes and statutes are on the Internet, or are accessible through online research subscription.

I have been throwing out many of our old law magazines or scanning old articles to our system. The following quotes came from some past dusty “Trial” magazines. In the back of each magazine is a section called “Hearsay”. The following were some of the recited quotes with their background stories, from those old magazine articles:

Yes I stole the bottles but not this chocolate.” Words from a 19-year-old shoplifter who was apprehended by police, after shoplifting two bottles of liquor. In his mind, chocolate is a whole lot worse to steal than alcohol. There certainly are some jurors who would recommend a higher sentence for chocolate!

Please change the lunch menu! You and only you can sustain or overrule this request.”   Words from a letter that was read in open court by Judge  Donner of Miami, at the conclusion of a trial. It had been written by six members of the jury who had just served; who wished to thank the Judge for their opportunity to serve, but to also point out a plea for better midday meals.

Probably the most expensive McDonald’s salad ever sold.” Words uttered by Judge Robert Freedberg, after he affirmed the conviction of Pennsyvania resident, Dawn Higgins, who was found guilty of littering. She had thrown her lettuce leaves from her McDonald’s salad out of her car window. Then, after failing to initially appear in court, she was found guilty in absentia and fined $173.50.

It doesn’t come very often that a good man comes to your doorstep.” Neighbors complained about the noise that was coming from Lorna Dudash’s house in Oregon, causing the sheriff’s office to send a deputy out to talk to her. After the deputy left, Dudash called 911 and asked that the “cutie pie” officer be sent back to her house so that she could ask him for a date. He did return, but apparently didn’t have much sympathy; He then arrested her for abusing the emergency dispatch system.

For pic o’ day, since we are working on some technology upgrades, I thought that this would be in the same spirit!



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