Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Giving It Up

This is a season of sacrifice, and your humble Contributor has joined, with his usual fervor, in this penitential period.

From his Spartan practices in years past, many expect he has been surviving these last five weeks on little more than a few crumbs of stale bread and a few sips of lukewarm water each day -- all with a seemingly happy demeanor. It is true that a fast of this severity would be typical and even welcome in these quarters. But, this year-- after some soul-searching -- your humble Contributor decided to take it up a notch.

No, not self-flagellation -- except in a figurative sense -- for like most penances, the underlying thing is left standing -- chastened, to be sure, and sorely tried -- but still intact. No, he sought a more draconian denial -- one that would shake and, perhaps, bring down the very foundation of the unholy edifice itself. Therefore, he resolved to give up all artifice, all falsity, all bullying, skullduggery, and underhandedness; every from of deceit, conceit, contumely, calumny, chicanery, perjury, and treachery -- that is to say, every tool or trait of a person successfully engaged in the law.

It were as if a great painter had cast aside his brushes and palette, and abandoned his art to a digital and monochromatic sparsity -- relying only upon his fingers and one small jar each of black and white pigment. Banished would be the lovely landscapes, fairly bursting with color and intensity -- the gracefully sloping hill; the majestic, cascading cedar; the sparkling and fluid stream; the bright and varied sky -- indeed, the artful advocates' very depiction of squalor and degradation. Replaced with, at best, a scale of gray.

Now, since that ashen Wednesday, clients have flown south to escape the chilling effect, billable hours rest in the single digits (on one hand), hourly rates have plummeted to the value of the kina. He might have at least collected the two dollars for a notarization had he not asked for proof of identity. Face it: the easy wink and nod have given way to a steady-eyed, tic-less countenance.

But, the end is in sight. Come Easter Monday, your humble Contributor sees himself restored inside the hallowed well of the court and holding forth thusly:

"Your Honor, nothing could be further from the truth! My client has been grossly maligned, by this, this -- just a moment, your Honor, I have take this call... No. No. Tell him that the offer is an insult and an outrage. Tell him we're taking this one to the mat. And, tell the client to wire another 50k."


Blogger Ned said...

Hard to imagine, an attorney without artifice. A sacrifice indeed.

One in every 285 people in the U.S. is law-trained and the rate of lawyers is growing at seven times the population rate. If this continues, by the year 2074, everyone in the United States will be a lawyer.

Which reminds me of my favorite lawyer joke:
Why are scientists using lawyers in experiments rather than laboratory rats?
1. There are more lawyers than rats.
2. The scientists tend to become attached to the rats.
3. There are some things even a rat won't do.

3/17/2005 06:44:00 AM  

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