Curmudgeon’s Perspective

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Tomatoes, Squash, Associates and Weeds

Each spring when I plant my garden, I have great expectations for all the vegetables I’ll be harvesting. By June, the new plants start to look a little like the pictures in the catalog, but here and there I encounter a few "volunteers" from last ...

Otto Sorts - September 24, 2013
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It’s a New Day

It's gone now, but I remember the coffee shop across the street where we used to gather in the mornings to brace ourselves for the coming day and generally shoot the shit with each other. It was a shifting set of players from nearby law firms. ...

Otto Sorts - July 16, 2013
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The Last Lawyers to Starve

Every year, law schools crank out twice as many baby lawyers as there are job openings, and every year we hear that the traditional market for lawyers is shrinking. The United States already has more than 1.2 million attorneys, and somewhere ...

Otto Sorts - June 25, 2013
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Cue the Zombie Lawyers

I sat in court recently listening as the plaintiff’s monotonous lawyer droned on about trivial irrelevancies. I watched the judge pretend to pay attention while most likely checking his Twitter feed. The few others in the room nodded off ...

Otto Sorts - April 1, 2013
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The Myth of Multitasking in the Legal Labyrinth

The other day I overheard my grandkids talking about me, and lawyers in general. The older one was trying to explain what it is lawyers do by repeating a comparison I'd once made between myself and Indiana Jones: “See, when you go to court, it’s ...

Otto Sorts - January 24, 2013
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Dress for Excess

The other day, Oriella, one of the young legal secretaries, wore these sandal-type shoes with long leather straps wrapping up to mid-calf. I thought they looked pretty, and a little sexy, and remarked on them to one of the older partners. His ...

Otto Sorts - October 23, 2012
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Where the Sidewalk Ends

Shel Silverstein's writing had a profound impact on me and my family. Thumbing through his classic Where the Sidewalk Ends recently brought back some nice memories, and then set me musing in another direction. My own "sidewalk's end"—retirement ...

Otto Sorts - July 6, 2012
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Don’t Push the Red Button

There’s a scene in "Men in Black II" where Agent J (Will Smith) tells Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones), “Don’t push the red button.” Of course, he does. The car he’s driving suddenly transforms into one that flies, and the steering wheel is replaced by ...

Otto Sorts - June 19, 2012
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Life Is Complex and Uncertain

Everybody's talking about project management for lawyers these days. And I think it's about damn time! Early in my law career, I had a conversation with a client that convinced me of its merits. He was quite a bit older than me and had ...

Otto Sorts - March 7, 2012
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Sullied by the Practice of Law

It rested on the credenza of his corner office looking battered and well-used, not unlike the lawyer behind the desk. “My daddy carried that to court for 20 years, and gave it to me when he finally retired. I carried it for 30 more, and had it ...

Otto Sorts - January 31, 2012
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