Your day begins when you walk into your office and there is someone sitting at your desk. You recognize the person sitting behind your desk as he is trying to use your computer's mouse as a telephone:
Hey John, how's it going? John? John!?!
Ohh... Hey. How's things?
Well, they're going alright. How about you? Everything all right?
Why do you ask?
[Awkwardly pauses] You're at my desk.
John, let me show you to your office.
Each and every day I see attorneys that are well past code date, and in my office there are no less than five of these types. When the younger attorneys in my office escape to the bar our conversations frequently cover the latest happenings with the elderly counselors and promise not to be like them when we grow up.
We don’t want to be the punch line for the new generation.
These are the attorneys that have served "the cause of justice" several days too long and are presently a menace to all of those who come in contact with them. You know type: Sporting a bitchin toupeè, on the verge of being totally senile and still being paid to perform legal services. Frankly, I think the ABA needs to get some sort of age limit passed in order to prevent the law clerks from getting the heebie-jeebies.
Just so we are clear, I'm not talking about my partner who cant figure out his blackberry or your partner that can't figure out the nuances of Google Searching. These are the types of people you will find in the hallway attempting to open the elevator door with his keycard thinking it is his office or wander into the wrong office for a conference call (like discussed above).
Certain activities and actions should automatically trigger a message to these elderly counselors at law need telling them that there services are no longer needed:
1. The bad toupee makes you look 20 years younger (but yet that only qualifies as a "fertile octogenarian"). If you are sporting the hairpiece in the first place, you are likely not a spring chicken and that's fine. But when I show up at the office and completely do not recognize you sans toupe (pronounced toop), maybe that is nature's sign that you need to be enjoying retirement instead of mistakenly hanging up on the judge's chambers. Your hair has retired, why don't you?
2. You sleep at the office by choice. Everyday. I understand that napping at the office happens, especially when your daily schedule isn't as taxing as it used to be. But why are you sleeping at your desk? There's an attorney that I see do this and when I walk into the office in the morning, I always check to make sure that she is still alive. I don't get paid for this. AND I DIDN'T GET MEDICAL TRAINING IN LAW SCHOOL.
3. Deadlines are now on your schedule (with a motion for leave to file instanter attached). You've got an appeal due and you've waited to begin the research and writing process until after the deadline has passed. In order to compensate for your scheduling woes, you've demanded that your secretary work until the wee hours of the morning organizing 5 boxes of random case files. And then you make her write the brief (while you sleep at your desk). This is malpractice waiting to happen. Please stop this.
Frankly, this entire column is a plea to you, the wise old attorney, to enter retirement. Because I don't want to be the one that finds you after you've gone to meet Judge Rehnquist at the chambers in the sky.
Please. I don't have the funds for counseling. And if I'm late for court, I might just leave you there.