Ode to my Lawyer

Updated: Jul 13

My lawyer "Z" in the court room

A Seriously (but not always serious), Cool Lady

...the bodies of the belligerent that met the wrong edge of her sword lie strewn about the court room. A gleam of light excitedly follows up the length of the cold steel blade as it comes to rest on her shoulder.

For but a moment all is still. Presuming that they were undetected, a figure rose suspiciously from behind a row of seats in the gallery. The veiled denizen vaulted over the row of seats then lunged for our heroine, trying to close the distance between them; with mouth agape revealing their vampire teeth.

Just as soon as the disfigured vampire touched the ground crouching to take a final lunge, it's eyes bulged with anger and confusion as the heroine's sword settled almost imperceptibly on the other shoulder. The vampire simply fell in two pieces, sliced perfectly in half from head to toe. "To presume is to assume and to assume makes an ass out of you, not me!" she said in an even tone, the distain in her eyes was oddly tempered by compassion...

Okay, maybe metaphorically that's how it went down, in my mind anyway. But my lawyer kicked mega butt.

She takes a good picture, don't mess with her though!

This is the wonderful lawyer who took over and fixed all the mistakes I made after my being a self-litigant for 2 1/2 years. We will call her "Z" - Just in case she kicks my ass for using her name without permission.

Hiring a pro and learning the flow...

So being a smart ass and self-representing, and somewhat poor-ok pretty poor; I actually met "Z" through a different route. When you go through court, especially in the beginning, you get to waste lots of a poor Judge's time and taxpayer's money on nonsensical conjecture and officially get bupkis done. The (budget) solution? Unbundled Legal Services (in Canada at least). More specifically getting a draft order drawn up as a stand-alone service. The SMARTEST thing/habit I ever got done court-wise/learned.

To digress, "Unbundled Legal Services" is a way of getting specific legal services and/or tasks without the expense and commitment of retaining a lawyer. Even coaching too. More often than not, said services are non-litigation services, meaning they won't go to court for you unless you come to a more formal, traditional retainer-type of relationship. The link in the first line of this paragraph explains it nicely too.

Anyway, I first met "Z" through this arrangement. She drafted me an order for a set price, which was her idea, and it worked. It helped me lead the court appearances and served as my opening submissions - basically the 'what' in the ' what the heck are you hoping to accomplish' here. DO THIS.

Why She Rocks

Many reasons, which we will get to in short order, but first, she's a real person. She has a super cool husband and two beautiful children that she adores, so she really feels for children. She does what is best for them, in the legal arena, naturally because she is a deeply devoted mother.

With her boy

She has such a great sense of humor, which is why she isn't an arrogant jerk (like 2 out of 7 of my ex's lawyers were) despite years in the law world. She can laugh at my silly melodramatic rants and at herself. She has this amazingly kind way of telling you when your idea is plain-stupid all the while not belittling you.

She has emotions and a soul. Rare in my estimation, for a practitioner of her stature. She doesn't pretend to be invincible in her dealings with you. 'Modesty' and 'lawyer' rarely, if ever, occupy typographic real estate when describing litigators. They do in her case.

Where she really shines is litigation. I had the preconceived notion that a 'good 'lawyer' was an aggressive one; a prick of such monumental proportions that would make your opponent urinate at the sheer destruction of their reputation in the public's eye. I was wrong. "Z" is incredibly patient and even kind in the court room. Her M.O. is to make the Judge's job easier and making less, not more, controversy. Even when the opposing party tried to provoke her, she kept her cool.

During my emotionally-intense trial, while my ex was spitting out lies on the stand faster than a rapping politician, 'Z' took a cup, filled it with water, and handed it to her! Then, when liar liar pants-on-fire ex-battleax started with her crocodile tears, 'Z' again stood up, retrieved a box of tissues and handed it to her! She could also be incredibly firm, frank and forward-calling out my ex in ways that still make me shudder.

Now, don't get me wrong, it wasn't these actions specifically that won the case for us, but it didn't go unnoticed. When 'Z' addressed the court, she was heard. She had friends everywhere she went. Her combination of kindness, respect, tact, organization and calling a spade a spade didn't win the case; they crushed it by a landslide.

Keep it in the Family

Her family is quirky and cool. Yes, I met them. Her immediate household is fun. Her husband is super intelligent and talented, yet personable. He put together intricate YouTube videos where he built huge Lego sets piece by piece with stop motion along with their son. Some took him weeks to do. Likes his beer and sci-fi too. A very cool guy.

Her kids are adorable, especially the little one. Her dad is such a character, mom an accomplished woman whose cooking makes me hungry at the thought. The whole family helps each other whenever there is a need. I always laughed when they squabbled with one another in an incomprehensible central-European language.

Thank you

'Z' has practiced law around the world and now works for a Legal Regulatory Body instructing fellow lawyers on how to behave (in so many words). She even had her own firm. I was her last litigating client.

I am humbled to have had the privilege of her help with my case in my time of need. I am further humbled that she took me on as a client. I will never forget it .

Thank you - You rock!

Shiny Things

This time, just one resource: "Unbundled Legal Services" - Even if you live in a country or region that doesn't specifically have this structure, you can use this as an outline of a proposal to lawyers in your area.