Thursday, June 18, 2009

First Day in Court

We conquer several major firsts in our lives. Although some of the first seem intimidating, once we conquer our fears and accomplish the task, in time, our fears ease. In time, not overnight.

My first day in court was two years into practicing law. Actually, I take that back. My first say in court was before I was even licensed to practice, but at the time, I sat in the back of the courtroom and performed last minute research.

My first time appearing before a judge was in Santa Rosa Bankruptcy Court. I began working for a bankruptcy attorney and my first day on the job was also my first day in court. She called me over the weekend to tell me about a motion I needed to argue on Monday. I saw the motion for the first time on Sunday night. I was to drive two hours to Santa Rosa the next day, to argue a motion I had only seen the night before. To add salt to the wound, I was to argue it alone, without my supervising attorney there.

In the end, the motion was granted. But the entire courtroom knew this was my first time. For starters, I checked in with the Trustee instead of the Court Clerk. The Trustee was kind enough to direct me to the Court Clerk. Then, when my line item was called, I spoke before I got to the podium. Finally, I had no clue that I would be arguing the motion to the Trustee, first. I guess Santa Rosa does things differently. So I was not prepared to state the reason for the motion, not was I even aware that they were calling my motion.

Talk about trial by fire. 

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