Why I Write About a Fictional Attorney

Me in my old law office, before the neurological shit hit the fan.

While looking through my old journals, it’s become painfully obvious why I’d rather write about being an attorney than actually practice law. 🙂

Here’s what I’ve posted so far and more from those journals:

Monday, January 1, 1996

Just 20 more minutes left in the first day of the new year.

We had a great time last night. We started off with dinner at La Trattoria in King’s Contrivance. We got there around quarter of six. Rick noticed that the guys behind the counter were running around, talking on the phone, all excited. They kept asking what time it was. Rick said he figured something was happening at 6:00. They kept referring to it. We finally realized that that 6 PM, it was going to be midnight in Italy.

They did a countdown and corks started popping. Next thing I knew, we had champagne and were toasting the new year with everyone else. We were the only paying customers in the place. The rest were employees and friends. Then, they served an Italian rum cake (panetoni?) that only get sent once a year from Italy. It was great.

We checked in at the hotel (the Marriott) around 8:00 and hit the comedy club at around 10:00.

My energy is really flagging and I have the trustee’s deposition tomorrow, or I’d write more.

This will be the first deposition I’ve done in about six or seven years. It’ll be interesting.

I’m trying not to get over-anxious. I keep thinking, what’s the big deal? Then, I think that if I miss an important scrap of information, I’ll want to kill myself.

Litigation really does suck. I don’t know what possessed me to try this crap again. Can I not be satisfied with a mundane, financially secure job? If not, why in God’s name not? What was I thinking of?

Thursday, January 4, 1996

The deposition went OK. Of course, I can think of all sorts of things I should’ve done differently. I shouldn’t have sat with the witness at the other end of a long table from the court reporter. I should have insisted on changing places at the table. I probably should’ve asked more questions about Mrs. X’s ability to request the trustee to sell assets, whether the trust could pay off the mortgage, whether the trustee would consider that advisable, etc., etc. But I think I got the most important info-the distributions, including the fact that she has received extra money from the principal since March 1990. A very significant fact. The trustees cited as the reason for the additional distributions the fact that Mr. X couldn’t cover the bills. (I suppose the thought of forcing them to reduce expenditures hadn’t occurred to him.) I should’ve asked why a regular distribution of principal would be considered “normal”. Oh, well. Just beat yourself up over and over, Mack.

I have to get ready for Mrs. X’s depo now. That should really be fun. Ugh.

I also have to do research for our Inns presentation. Hopefully, I can come up with something creative.

I also have to talk to my criminal client about his situation, which is not too good in my opinion. Fun.

Rick keeps telling me to close the office. I have to keep going for a little while anyway.

Meanwhile, I work on my writing. I have to work on chapter 5 of my story. Also, the short story.

It’s after 9 AM. I’ve got to get to the office.

Friday, January 5, 1996 (12:19 AM)

Will I ever be able to keep normal hours again?

I wanted to write, but I really am too damn tired.

Tomorrow-more preparation for Mrs. X’s depo.

Monday, January 8, 1996 (12:17 AM)

Mrs. X’s depo was supposed to be today. The Blizzard of ’96 has changed all that. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not going anywhere tomorrow.

The snow started Saturday night and didn’t let up until around 4:30, when the “snow cat” showed a measurement of 14 or 15 inches. It started sleeting at around 5 PM, then changed back to snow. Then, at around 7 PM, the winds began blowing in earnest. Now, after midnight, it’s snowing and blowing like crazy.

So, no depo on Mrs. X tomorrow. Well, it would have been nice. It might’ve helped to promote a settlement. But, then again, nothing really seems to be helping the case along those lines.

Tomorrow-or today, rather-I will write and prep for the depo, whenever it might take place. It should be of some use in preparing for the hearing.

Wednesday, January 10, 1996 (12:46 AM)

I have been so single-minded in my pursuit of the X case (preparation for the hearing, to be precise) that I have completely shut down almost all other facets of my life.

I’m not reading. I’m not writing. I’ve written no letters. I haven’t worked on my stories.

The depo is history, but the hearing may still take place. It depends on the weather. It depends on whether the roads are open. And whether the courts are open.

Every time I prepare testimony, I find myself revising it, over and over and over. I want to make it concise. I have to review it and edit it and review it again. Some of it may not end up being admitted.

The deposition would have been helpful.

I haven’t thought about other cases. I haven’t thought about the AG’s office. I haven’t thought about hobbies or interests. Nothing but this case.

If we lose, I have to file exceptions.

I can see why people don’t like litigation. It’s a meat grinder. On the whole, it really sucks. Perhaps, I finally learned my lesson. Litigation sucks. Period. The end.

Wednesday, January 10, 1996

No matter how hard I work, I won’t feel ready. That’s what it comes down to.

I still have work to do on Mrs. X’s cross. The trustee won’t be there, so I have to make sure everything’s covered in her cross. I also have to get the exhibits together. And I have to call Mr. X to prepare him in some way. And I have to call Ms. W about providing supplemental discovery to her.

And we’re supposed to have a snowstorm, starting tomorrow and going into Friday. And Saturday.

I never did that trial memo. It’s probably a waste of time and effort.

I should be prepared to discuss Reuter.

Exhibit markers. I can’t forget them.

Sue Palka just said the storm wasn’t going to be as bad as the last one. She made sounds like good news. Hey, Sue! It’s not good news for me. Anything less than paralysis and the damn courts will be open. And I’ll have to go to this damn hearing in the snow. Rats!

Plan, prepare and present. Those were the three words to remember in public speaking. I’ve always remembered that class. It was a three-day class offered through the EPA Institute for employees. We did three presentations in three days. They were videotaped. I remember I put my hands in the “fig leaf” position-clasped in front of my crotch. I’ve remembered it ever since.

Yeah, I’d like to see Mrs. X wait a while longer for her alimony. But also, I really don’t feel like driving in this shit! I am truly a lazy lout.

Quit griping. You’re prepared. Don’t sweat it.


PS: I actually did manage to finish the first draft of a new feature-length screenplay this month. Wow!

Plus there’s this. Click on “ACCESS RESULTS HERE” and you’ll see my name on there! (It’s on the bottom of p. 8 under “Short Screenplays”.) Yay! 🙂

Originally published at http://randomandsundrythings.wordpress.com on July 27, 2019.




New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website: www.debbimack.com.

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Debbi Mack

Debbi Mack

New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website: www.debbimack.com.

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