Let’s face it, Dahlia Lithwick points out: “the law offers a whole host of opportunities for wrecking the lives of others”. In fact, lawyers have been known to boast about the way they’ve spoiled the other side’s holidays:
Consider the perfectly timed restraining order, or the spontaneous motion for an order to show cause — or in fact anything that could bury the other side in research and paperwork the day before Christmas. Think about the possibilities for 11th-hour changes in the visitation schedule for the children — requiring canceled plane tickets and Christmas Eve court appearances. Or the last-minute effort to have a local crèche or tree deemed unconstitutional.
So Slate, for which Ms. Lithwick writes, is holding a contest in which lawyer-readers can submit “the meanest thing you’ve ever done to an opponent on the holidays”:
The best stories will be reprinted here shortly, and the Most Evil Attorney in the World will be showered with Slate paraphernalia. This contest is also open to anyone, anywhere with stories of hideous pre-holiday lawyer shenanigans, whether they were perpetrated upon you by counsel on the other side, by bosses in your law firm, or you merely heard about them from some sad-sack lawyer in a bar on Christmas morning.
All forced jollity aside, doesn’t this present bar authorities — forever fretting about the profession’s image — with a goal worth working toward, namely, find ways to revamp the practice of litigation to make such “hideous…shenanigans” rarer? (“Billable Horrors”, Slate, Dec. 13).