I hop out of my car (fine mini van, whatever) in the parking garage and hand my keys to the guys. Its valet parking, unless you have a monthly pass, which I don’t have. “How long will you be today?” He asks—he know that sometimes I’m there all day, sometimes its thirty minutes. “An hour, “ I say. He grins. “Two hours then.” “Never trust a lawyer, “ I tell him over my shoulder as I walk out of the parking garage.
I get a motion in the mail on a case that has been long closed, asking for a hearing—and somehow, my name is plastered all over the body of the motion. Somehow, this lawyer thinks I’m to blame for his client’s terrible decisions, decisions made long after we were released from the case. Because, you know, as opposing counsel, I really can control his client. After the fact. From far away. Magically. Looks like sour grapes to me.
I get an irate call from a random person who has our office confused with either CPS or DCS, and she demands that we investigate this case of neglect. When I try to explain that she’s called the wrong number, she’s furious, insisting that I do something, and when I try to explain again, she loses it, tells me she’s going to call all the press and let them know we’re failing at our jobs, and she’s report me to… some indistinct authority figures.
I lay my head on my glass desk. It’s nice and cool.
I smooth my hands over a slightly yellowed newspaper article in my office. It’s funny that my eye should land on it today, when its exactly one year since KC died. I remember her—seven years old, red hair, tiny, bright, and now, dead. She was a success story, all ending well, until random violence, nothing anyone could have predicted, found her family. I remember opening my email that morning. I was pregnant, really pregnant, and downtown for a hearing. I sunk down onto a bench and cried, and the next thing I knew, one of the judges had me back in her office, patting my arm, telling me it was okay.
One of my co-workers gets a package full of Godiva chocolates, and suddenly, we all can’t seem to remove ourselves from her office. She jokes that she is always going to have candy in her office from now on for the visitors, and next thing you know, the rest of us have set up a sign on her door that reads “Candyland” and we tape candy canes all over her door frame.
I scurry into a review hearing on what used to be one of my worst cases, until everyone magically saw the light. Almost a year later, everyone’s been sober and in therapy, and the kids are doing great. Parents are beaming and proud of their progress, and the judge is thrilled. Even in light of the progress, everyone is still realistic about what needs to be done, which makes me even happier.
I get a Christmas card from a kid. She told me we touched her life, and thanked me.
So you know, believe all those jokes. Never a trust a lawyer. We’re not human. We’re all jerks and liar and thieves, and we never do anything good or necessary.