Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tone and tenor


I am in the midst of the second of seven depositions in an ongoing case to which I am assigned. I obviously cannot write about the facts of the case for various privacy reasons, but I can share that it is a multi-defendant case, filed based in part upon events that happened back in 1998/1999. There is a simultaneous suit filed in California against multiple other defendants who were negligent in their care of this plaintiff.

It is not uncommon to have a case with complicated facts and multiple defendants in the medical malpractice arena, but it is somewhat uncommon to be dealing with attorneys from another state. In this case, there is associated local counsel, but the main attorneys for the plaintiffs are from the San Francisco Bay area.

Apparently the way attorneys practice in California is somewhat different from the way laywers in the Phoenix community practice, at least in my small sphere of experience, medical malpractice. For sure, the laws in the two states differ, but it's more than that: it's a difference in tenor, tone, and approach. The attorneys' questioning style, approach to discovery, and general demeanor are just a lot . . . edgier than that to which I have become accustomed. In keeping with that theme, they take the full four hours allowed by Arizona rules for each deposition, and they ask a lot of objectionable questions. That simply isn't the way it's (usually) done here.

Needless to say, sitting through long, contentious depositions for days is not exactly my idea of a good time. If I had to deal with attorneys like these on a regular basis, I might have to give serious consideration to other lines of work. I guess, if nothing else, being involved with the plaintiffs' attorneys in this case has given me an appreciation for the kindness and courtesy of the attorneys I deal with on a more regular basis.

It's a weird day here in Phoenix weather-wise: it's been overcast since I got up this morning, and it rained intermittently between noon and 2:00. We rarely get rain in May, and it's especially odd considering that we were having record heat (105-110 degrees) on Sunday and Monday. MM assures me that pleasant weather is forecast for the weekend--highs in the mid-80s--and I hope that's true because we have tickets to see The Police in concert at an outdoor venue on Saturday night. The concert will be a lot less enjoyable if it's raining or 110+ degrees out.

I took Sebastian for a little walk around the neighborhood this morning before coming to my first deposition. . . . just 15 minutes at a moderate pace, nothing major. Sebastian was very happy to get a walk! When I left for work, the boy was lying on the entryway tile, panting happily--he looked like he was smiling, actually.

Looking forward to seeing MM this evening for gym & dinner. . . . I love our little routines.


Emily said...

Okay, so reading depositions; not all that fun, but I have to say I just checked out your profile and you my dear are a woman after my own heart.... 16 candles, Clueless, Sense and Sensibility, quite possibly 3 of the greatest movies EVER made, in fact all three I could sit down and watch over and over again and would definately rank them among my favoritest of all time.... oh yeah...

Valerie said...

The Police! I am jealous. :) Have a great time! (P.S.--Plaintiffs' attorneys in DC are jerks, too :))