Something fun happened today. As I mentioned yesterday, I was interviewed by Mark Brown at the Chicago Sun-Times about the new “pet custody” statute that goes into effect in Illinois on the first of the year. The article was published today on page 2 of the paper and he selected a photograph of me with Filigree to use in the article. That’s a scan of it to the left. I included a link in my blog post from yesterday if you really want to read it.
Being a lawyer and a litigator has many high points. For someone with a competitive disposition, it provides an acceptable outlet for strategy and argument, and of course writing. The dark side of this profession is that lawyers transact in human conflict. No one wants to need a litigator. A litigator is a choice of last resort. Parties go to litigators when they have failed to resolve their own conflicts and they are willing to pay an extraordinary amount of money for a third party to champion their causes, a modern day trial by combat that is only slightly more sophisticated than that old method of Germanic law, and not necessarily better.
In family law, the stakes are very high. Parties often seek to assuage an emotional wound that can never be avenged by a legal outcome. The longer the lawyers and the court are involved, the more they will hate each other and the more strident they will become in their respective positions. This is not a value judgment. It is an observation developed over the last 15 years.
Family law is also an area in which lawyers can make the greatest impact. Ushering a person through what is usually the most traumatic experience of their lives without inflicting more damage is something that takes competence, intelligence, discipline, business acumen, a strong moral compass, and compassion. During the worst time of their lives, the clients are not at their personal bests, and the process for them is grueling and excruciating.
Sometimes, it is impossible not to be affected by the pervasive conflict.
Today is bitterly cold, too cold to ride. Like humans, horses should also not suffer rigorous exercise when it is below 15º outside, so the horses got the day off today and spent it huddled around their round bale in the paddock, with their earthy breaths rising in white puffs around them.
And I did not go to the gym…for no good reason. So, it is up bright and early tomorrow and I will run in the morning.