Monday, March 29, 2010

A Little History Lesson

South Carolina's embarassment of a Senator, Jim DeMint, thought that Health Care Reform would be President Obama's Waterloo.

Shockingly, DeMint was correct. That's right; Jim DeMint got something correct.

Sort of.

Health Care Reform is a modern equivalent of the Battle of Waterloo. Only, DeMint was incorrect about who was playing which role at Waterloo. DeMint assumed Obama would be playing Napoleon to DeMint's Duke of Wellington. But he got the roles reversed. Obama is the Duke of Wellington and DeMint was cast in the role of Napoleon.

But that is not the end of the story. On the afternoon of June 18, 1815, Wellington had held off Napoleon . . . gaining something of an advantage. But two armies had not yet arrived at the battlefield. The Prussian Army of Field Marshal Blucher and a French army under Marshal Grouchy were both rushing to Waterloo from the Battle of Ligny two days earlier. Whomver arrived first would decide the Battle of Waterloo and the fate of Europe. History shows us that Blucher got there first and finished off Napoleon, saving Europe from the tyranny of Napoleon.

But today it is still late afternoon of June 18. Obama has met DeMint and gained the advantage on Health Care Reform. But the battle remains in doubt as Obama and DeMint each as an ally rushing toward their aid at Waterloo. Today, the role of Blucher is being played by South Carolinian Vic Rawl and the role of Grouchy is played by Mark Rubio.

If Rubio should arrive at Waterloo, America will lose. But if Rawl makes it, America will win and Jim "Little Napoleon" DeMint can be forced into his well deserved exile on St Helena Island. (That's near Beaufort.)

Let us do all we can to help Rawl's march to Washington . . . or Waterloo or wherever this analogy goes from there.

Monday, February 1, 2010


It is inevitable. As surely as the sun will rise, someone will ask "How is business?" And the eventual answer, no matter the chit chat that takes place, is always "Busy."

I am always busy. No matter who is asking, I am always busy. The truth is, I have plenty of work to do, but when I went out on my own I made a promise to myself that I would set a schedule and stick to it. I do not see potential clients outside of my posted business hours. I am a little more lenient with rules when it comes to actual clients, but that is very dependant on the circumstances of that client.

I also make myself take time off at least three times a year: the first week of May, the first week of October, and the last two weeks of the year.

So why do I always tell people I'm busy? Because it seems successful to be busy. Successful lawyers are busy lawyers and I want people to know I am a successful lawyer. I do not know where I even learned this but it is now a habit, an automatic habit. But I am not frantically busy; I am never so busy that I do not have time to chat or listen to a story or help with a problem. And I am definitely not too busy to consider a new client matter. I may been once upon a time, but I left that life behind.

So how much business has gone elsewhere because I made it seem that there was no more room on my desk for a new file because of a casually overstated schedule? Did my response to a seemingly polite query make me seem frantic and overwhelmed and send a potential big file elsewhere? I see it all around me in colleagues who are always rushing to and fro. It seems a pandemic among lawyers.

There is a balance to be struck between the go-go lifestyle people expect of successful lawyers and a balanced yet successful lifestyle that leads to greater fulfillment. A lot of it has to do with appearing relaxed and confident. And whatever appearance we adopt tends to become truth to both ourselves and others. So slow down and relax; you passed the bar and you know what you're doing. Don't let people think you are overwhelmed or frantic (unless you are, in which case you should seek help), but instead appear relaxed and confident. You can always tell them you have too much on your plate to give them the attention they deserve once you hear what they want from you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Apparently I forgot to do something yesterday. So here is a belated Advanced Sheet #4. A little one.

The Supreme Court issued one published opinion yesterday.
James v. Anne's Inc. is an appeal from the Worker's Comp Commission. Employee was injured on the job and awarded worker's comp. Employee asked the Commission to prorate the award of their life expectancy despite employer's (Let's be clear, the employer's worker's comp carrier; the employer wouldn't care) objection. The Commission declined to prorate stating it had no authority absent employer's consent. The Circuit Court affirmed and the Supreme Court affirmed. Not much there to read but read it anyway because Justice Beatty wrote a wonderful dissent in which Justice Waller joined.

The Court of Appeals issued two published opinions.
Adams v. Rhoad is a cross-appeal from the Probate Court regarding attorney fees after an attorney was disbarred during the pendency of a will challenge. The Court of Appeals reversed the award of attorney fees to the disbarred attorney and remanded the case to the Probate Court. You can skip this one without missing anything.

Madden v. Bent Palm is an appeal of an award from the Circuit Court regarding interpretation of a contract. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Circuit Court but modified the award upward. Again, there isn't much of importance to be learned from the opinion so read it for pleasure.

Guess the Courts weren't interested in writing new law this week. Maybe next week.

Monday, January 25, 2010


It is an acronym for either "What You Say You Will" or "When You Say You Will." As in "Do WYSYW do WYSYW do it.

An exhausted mind trying to save a reminder for what I intend to be a blog post at some later date. For now, sleep beckons.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yesterday Was A Holiday

That means we have a special Tuesday Edition of the Advance Sheets. The Supreme Court released three published opinions today.

State v. Navy is an appeal from General Sessions of the defendants conviction for homicide by child abuse. The Court of Appeals reversed the Trial Court on the grounds that the defendant's oral statement and 2nd and 3rd written statements given during interviews at the police station should not have been admitted. The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals with regard to the 2nd and 3rd written statements but reversed the decision regarding the oral statement. The case revolves around the issue of custody: was the defendant a suspect and was he in custody at the time he made the statements. A must read for everyone.

I love the name of the this next one. Only in South Carolina.
RV Resort and Yacht Club v. Billy Bob's Marina is an appeal from a special referee finding breach of condominium regime covenant regarding the collection of three charges collected from renters. The Court of Appeals affirmed the special referee's findings and the Supreme Court reversed. Go ahead and read it if just for a little humor.

Tobias v. Rice is an appeal from the Common Pleas Court regarding breach of contract. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court. The Supreme Court reversed. Read this case. It will not teach you anything new. It does not change any law or procedure. I'm not even sure what it means. Read it anyway. There is a consistent message in the three opinions released by the Court today.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pat Robertson

Pat Robertson had some hateful words for the survivors of the disaster in Haiti.

I think we should all recall the profit Pat Robertson made from his blood diamond partnership with Osama bin Laden that led to 9/11.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Irony! Still Not Dead

Mark Rubio, who is seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in Florida, has a plan for all that ails us: Disband the government he is desperately seeking to join.

Now why would you want to join a government you think should not meet or do anything? More importantly, why should anyone vote for you?