June 18, 2008

The Navy Doesn't Do It This Way And They're Got A Reason For That

A case I've been handling has given me a ton of stress recently. It's not just that the court has made bad rulings, although that's not helping. It's not just that my client is disorganized, but that's really not helping. It's not just that the case is of keen interest to the partners in the firm, although that does up the pressure somewhat. It's not just that the other attorney is a -- an unpleasant person, we'll just leave it at that to keep the PG-13 rating. It's not just that it looks like a bunch of documents have been mishandled and lost. It's not just that we've had to bring in some other attorneys who do things a different way than us. It's all of these things. It's the feeling that we've got about ten people who need to be involved in making something happen, and it all had to happen by today at the absolute latest, and so many of us have had to move heaven and earth to make it happen that we're all mentally exhausted. I think I've been eating more than I normally would recently because of stress from this case (and a few others but mainly this one).

When the Navy sends a ship out to sea, it puts a Captain in charge of that ship. It doesn't put a committee on the bridge. I don't have to be the Captain of every ship. Often, I like it when someone else captains the ship. But I like to know who the Captain is and I like to know who the XO is and who the other officers are and what their duties are. Here, it seems that the identities, contact information, and responsibilities of a whole lot of people involved in steering this ship are being kept secret, because -- I don't know why. There's no reason for it other than that no one has ever stepped up, said, "I'm the captain," and organized all of the people and all of their information into a single place.

It's not anyone's fault, in particular, which makes it everyone's fault. Mine, too. I, too, could have stepped up and taken charge. I, too, could have seen to it that all the details were just right. I didn't do that any more than anyone else did.

One captain per ship. No more, and no less. Lawsuits are not democratic procedures. That needs to be how we do things in the future.

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