Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Potpourri

Ok, I'm smitten by this wedding video.

What's not to love, especially the gerberas and sunglasses. I'm even now a Chris Brown fan, in spite of his domestic violence charge. Obviously and coincidentally, he posted a video apology on his website just after the couple posted their video. I'm hoping for a "remix" video with the JK wedding entrance dance and Chris Brown.

Next, my "little" brother-in-law became a financial pundit this week in the Petrey family ancestral burg's paper the Daily Midway Driller. Read his column here. Dan had previously been a broker with one of the big brokerages but broke off to start his own firm with a friend, Mestmaker and Petrey Wealth Advisors. Dan also got some nice press in Bakersfield with a business section article about their "leap of faith."

I was reflecting on last night's picnic and have concluded that in our media and entertainment age, the social grace of relaxing communally in the park with friends, neighbors and family is becoming a lost art. It is about just sitting in that folding chair, watching the kids play, talking to the old folks and meeting a good friend's second cousin twice removed. I resolve to picnic in the park more.

I've been reading the book The Four Hour Workweek, not because I want to work four hours a week (that's patently absurd for any solo attorney with overhead i.e office and staff), but because I want to have four more really effective hours a week. It has helped me to rethink a few things and to focus a little more. And, it's a fun book to read.

There's rarely a dull moment in a small town law practice and my current "diversion of the waters" case is beginning to heat up. I'm learning everything I always wanted to know about hydrology and then some.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Can a law office be a place of healing?

Today in church Cathy Gibb talked about her experience this year in running the costuming department for Valley Musical Theater's production of The King and I, and that she had discovered that it was a place of refuge for cast and crew. She related how she grew and came to know that it was important for her to respond to others in such a way that the costume room became a place of healing. I found myself wondering whether a law office could be a place of healing?

Certainly, there are times when I know that people have left the office feeling more whole than when they came in. Knowledge is power and even when it's not, just having answers can be very calming. But there are other times when it's clear that the unique style of verbal violence that lawyers wreak on the world is just that, violence. And, there is nothing healing about that to our clients. One of our local judges, Judge Sparks, has often spoke of the primary role of lawyers as conflict managers.

Some of my fellow lawyers would argue that there is no role for "healing" in law, and that even if a law office could be a place of healing it shouldn't. What do you think?

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