The perplexed man sitting in front of me held out various pieces of paper constituting the mess left to him after the sudden withdrawal of his attorney. I stared at what he had brought, dismayed. In my business, we often assume that the serial retention of counsel signals what we reference as the PITA client — i.e. “Pain In The A@@” client. Not so this time. Instead, the attorney bolted on the heels of an interim suspension which seems likely to be quickly followed by disbarment.
I gently laid aside the documents and discussed the status of the man’s case, as well as my view of the attorney’s conduct. I silently thanked my mother, my uncle Bob who was an attorney, and all my mentors for giving me the moral basis that has kept me walking a fairly straight path for sixty years. The gentleman listened, expressed his gratitude for my time, and left my office. My shoulders sagged. Oh how the mighty have fallen. And there, but for the grace of God, go I.
I’ve made court appearances on two cases, prepared an account of the disgraced lawyer’s conduct for the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, and had lunch with one of my favorite people on the planet, Pat Reynolds. Work sits next to me on the walnut, glass-topped desk in my comfortable auxiliary office in Liberty. I have a luscious cup of coffee and I just nibbled a square of chocolate.
It’s the eighteenth day of the twenty-sixth month of My Year Without Complaining. I’ve resumed counting my blessings. Life continues.