I was asked by a significant partner with whom I actually enjoy working to help out on a multi-million dollar appeal. Fabulous. Actually supervising me on this project, however, would be the schlumpy Neanderthal partner we charitably call “Mr. Procrastination.” Not fabulous.
Round one was post-trial motions, all-nighters. Round two, the initial appellate brief, was when he waited until the weekend before I was to try my first jury case (yes, pro bono, but still) to come up with edits and expected me to work all weekend. I lost at trial, by the way—and believe I actually committed malpractice with how unprepared and exhausted I was.
Fast-forward to the reply brief in the appeal. Knowing partner’s tendencies, I got him a draft within days of receiving appellee’s brief. And an extension. We had eight weeks to reply. My thrice-weekly reminders that I’d need his comments/edits were futile, of course. As you could probably expect, I began receiving frantic calls on a Sunday, less than 24 hours before the brief was due to be filed. He had finally read my draft, and it needed to be completely rewritten. I was pissed.
Finally, after six years of practice, I had enough of this crap. I pointed out that these revisions could have been made during normal business hours at any point during the prior seven weeks. I pointedly noted that he hadn’t even read my draft before that weekend, had he? I noted that I don’t practice this way—that we were jeopardizing a significant client and a multi-million dollar, high profile appeal by doing shoddy, last-minute work that is, frankly, malpractice.
I expect I’m due to be fired any time now. Mr. Procrastination told me it would be his mission to drive me out of the firm.
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