Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Just drifting through.

We do not finish all the cases we start.  Sometimes the firm and the client parts company.  Sometimes our strategies no longer appeal to the client.  Sometimes the client cannot follow the firm's advice.  Sometimes the client has other issues.

I once represented a client with attachment issues.  He didn't care much who he was sleeping with.  He was not loyal or connected to any particular woman.  He thought his kids ought to live with him but he gave them no good reason to and wasn't particularly concerned if they didn't, and they didn't.

I learned that those attachment issues extended to every other facet of his life, including his ability to follow through on our advice when the going got rough.  When the going got rough, he just got going.

Good bye.  He wasn't that invested in the first place.

He was kind of the accidental tourist of the divorce world.  He spent the next several months bouncing from pillar to post and, without rudder, without plan, without cohesive strategy that he could stay committed to, I understand that he got battered something awful.  Opposing Counsel was pretty good to begin with.  This now former client made Opposing Counsel's job that much easier.

As best I could tell, he wound up disappearing.  He paid his child support somewhat timely, but he wandered off to the far corners of the world, kicking up the dust in some other lonesome hovel. 

Sometimes I remember him, like now.  I think of him blowing from place to place, unattached like a dust mite. 

I'm really rooted to place.  I haven't moved more than 12 miles from the place I grew up.  So I really can't fathom having no attachments, no strings, no ties that bind the heart.  That is my antithesis.

Sometimes we don't finish the cases we started.  Far more often than not, we do.  Course corrections, when necessary, can be a good thing. 

But to say farewell to a client who can't commit, who can't follow through, whose shiftlessness rules his life, to this day remains unsettling. 

Michael Manely

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