January 18, 2008

This Choked Me Up A Bit

I resolved a case just a few weeks ago. The case involved the proceeds from a life insurance policy; my client was the wife of the man who died and the other party claiming the right to the proceeds was his employer. It was threatening to turn into a bad situation. My client was very much in love with her husband, after many years of marriage, and she valued the life insurance not just for the money but because it represented the fact that her husband cared for her and wanted to provide for her after he was gone.

So, after more fighting than I thought was strictly necessary to reach this result, the other side agreed with my proposal to split the proceeds of the policy equally. Even after my firm took its fee, it was still more money than my client had ever had at any one time in her life. It was a great pleasure knowing that I'd be getting this woman some money to make her life more comfortable and secure, especially now that her husband was gone and his former employer had tried to put her through the wringer.

Today, the settlement check cleared and we distributed funds -- always a happy day, because we like paying our clients as much as we like it when they pay us. So I was taking a deposition for much of today, and this client came in to pick up her settlement check and the other evidence in the case (which is hers, after all). When I got back to my desk, I saw a little gift bag with a jewelry box and a note in it. I opened up the note and it read:

Dear TL,
This is just a token of my appreciation for all the hard work you did for me. These belonged to [my husband] and was one of his favorites. So, please wear them in good health. Thanks again for all your hard work. Sincrely, [client].

In the jewelry box was her late husband's favorite pair of cuff links. I admit they aren't quite the style I'd have chosen for myself, but that's hardly the point. I'll wear them with pride.

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