Friday, August 19, 2005


Well, so much for my big day in court; it turned out to be quite anticlimactic. The parties decided to settle for a small sum in attorneys' fees, so all the attorneys did before the court was report this development. But, I must note that, even in this limited interaction between the attorneys and the Judge, it was eminently clear to me that the attorneys in real life were just as their briefs led me believe: one side's attorney was competent and clear; the other side's attorney . . . was not. Um, to the contrary, he was somewhat overblown and pompous.

This summer has definitely opened my eyes quite a bit to the realities of law. On the one hand, it's easy to sympathize with small-fish plaintiffs, especially in cases where those who have power egregiously trample all over the rights--civil, contractual, or otherwise--of those who have none. Don't get me wrong here; those kinds of plaintiffs need, and indeed are entitled to, as much sympathy, legal acumen, and justice as the system can provide. But on the other hand, there are instances where the smallest fish can frivolously generate enormous and expensive amounts of work, both for the defendant and for the courts, with only a small amount of effort and cost. The insurance fraud case I observed today is just one example, and I've heard of many more while working here at the court and for the Big Firm. In attempting to address and rectify some of the many inequalities that exist in our society today (i.e., the small fish getting run over by the big fish), our system of justice has inequalities built into it that run the other way (i.e., the big fish getting hit by the small fish's lawsuit). I always knew this on an abstract level, and I have even argued with GPG about this many times before, but I've definitely gotten to see this concept played out in reality this summer.


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