Before I start back up with the Big Bend story I have to mention something that has been monopolizing my time and thoughts for the better part of the last four weeks.
I got a client in mid-April that everyone in my office, including a couple of lawyers who have been practicing for over 20 years, agrees is the worst and most difficult client any of them have ever seen or heard of. Put it this way - if it was any worse I would be bearing physical scars.
This whole imbroglio has been my toughest early test by far. Not only did I have to make sure I got all of the legal shit right, I had to babysit and keep a lid on this crazy person. I also had to manage my own emotions. My client could not be reasoned with, could not understand logic, refused to accept my explanations (even after the fifth, sixth, seventh time), thought I was conspiring with the other side to screw him, called me 6, 7, 8 times a day or more. On my cell phone. On the weekends. Then I had to put up with verbal abuse by this client. This after I took every call, responded to every email, patiently answered every question, followed up on every instruction and was even nice about it. Oh yeah, I also took his shitty case in the first place - where he never once paid the amount of rent listed in his lease, when he did pay it was not once on time, he failed to carry insurance required by his lease until several months in and made unauthorized improvements to the property - and I was only able to go to the eviction and unlawful lockout hearings (which turned into more of a bench trial) and got him a $6,034.00 judgment!
The end result is that I passed this test. I handled myself extremely well with this client and many people who have been present have commended me, including the lawyer for the other side! I also handled the technical courtroom stuff very well. Thanks in large part to Matt K and allBilly I had a very positive first experience in a courtroom setting and now I feel comfortable there. I almost fucked up by not proving up attorney's fees with my own testimony, but I asked to reopen testimony during my closing argument and the judge allowed it. (Incidentally, to my knowledge I've never heard or read the speech used to prove up your own fees at trial, but somehow I gave that speech perfectly. I have no idea how.) I got what can only be called a sweeping victory against very long odds and I feel damned good about it.
* This is the same case where I was dealt my first significant loss a couple of weeks ago that I blogged about.