The opening statement was prepared and practiced, with a power-point presentation complete with video clips and highlighted documents. The twenty-three pretrial motions were briefed and annotated and outlined for argument. Dueling jury instructions were prepped and ready. And the cross-examination of the most crucial witness — the plaintiff — was prepared, again with video clips and documents. The high-tech exhibit presentation system was paid for and learned.
And then we got the case dismissed the morning of trial.
That's the way it goes sometimes. You prepare for a lot of trials that you don't actually get to do. It happened more frequently as a prosecutor, but it still happens in civil practice.
Now I'm at loose ends. My nerves are still all jingly-jangly. I still snapped awake at 4 a.m., as I have been every day. I'm still in trial mode — high-energy, vigilant, kind of jittery. Dump that on top of the unusually high anxiety levels that come with a depressive cycle and you don't exactly have a recipe for calm.
But this will pass. Suddenly my month is wide open. All the small projects pushed aside can be taken up again. All the firm management tasks can be addressed. And I can actually see my kids before they go to bed on some days.
I'm not chilling yet. But I will be soon.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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