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Latest from The Velvet Hammer

Am trying to show empathy to our new associate who has been working long hours. Encourage him to make sure to take a day off. During firm meeting raise the issue of not working too much . Then Stritmatter crashes the party. Strit: I’m going to derail this conversation. My father and I worked 7 days a week. That’s how I was raised. Work comes first. If you want to be a great lawyer you…
Trial day 7 Part of a trial lawyer’s worry – is the concern that without a clear cut case, pounding on damages may be too much.  Perhaps jurors will be pushed over the edge into voting against liability.  But while looking at the dynamics from all directions is always a worthy exercise, we are in trial and there is no time to be faint of heart. Mr. P went through torture ending in death.  We…
Trial day 4 October 15, 2020   Did I tell you that Steve F. got in trouble yesterday.  Almost enough to satisfy me.  But not quite. In the middle of damages opening. Tell the jury that the defense expert doctor is going to say the Decedent did not feel pain after he was burned.  Steve is hopping up.  Objecting on top of my sentence.  We aren’t calling any such witness – he charges.  Judge Parisien…
Head over the bridge to Bellevue.  Enter the parking garage.  The gates are up.  A sign is taped over the ticket machine. Free parking.  Slide into a spot.  Walk a few feet to the entrance.  It is all so clean and perfect and sterile as heck.  Miss the cracked sidewalks, scores of people, and general dishabille of King County Superior Court at 3rd and Stewart.  Even the long and twisty security lines.  We are set…
By far the biggest challenge in our covid trial is the mask situation. Never mind that we are in a convention center conference room. Or that the jury is spread out across the ballroom floor. This is from my trial diary – day 1. The defense lawyer is a distraction.  Or rather his facemask is.  It is dark blue with a design that looks like either big diamonds or a faux Louis Vuitton print.  Can’t…
Two months ago we file a dozen tort claims with the city and state. For peaceful protesters who were hurt by the police or in Summer Taylor’s case – killed – while protesting for BLM. We then need to wait 60 days before filing the suit. Instead of having down time, we begin drafting the complaint. I have the great role of being the boss of all and hand out assignments. Lisa – history and…
7:30 am Get up. Take out Nala. It’s cool outside. Mountain air. 8:00 Eat raspberries. Clean up and pack. 8:45 Cristina, Sol and Liam come from little cabin to big one to say bye. And take away a bike. 8:50 Dance while Liam bangs on piano to the Latin drum beat. They finish. Say goodbye. 9:00 Firm meeting – give covid protocol update. 9:25 Leave firm meeting. 9:30 Zoom mediation with Keith Kubic. 2:30 End…
The new client’s brother had a list of news media reporters who had left their numbers. My first job was to get that all handled as quickly as possible. The issue of timeliness in the news has dramatically changed over the past decade. When I first learned how to work with the media, Sue Evans media consultant, used to advise us not to immediately take a reporter’s call. To get the messaging straight first, sometimes…
The media wants his story. Collect a list from his relatives. Call first reporter. Tell her 11:00 tomorrow. At my office. We will have social distance protocols in place. She says no can do. We are still in phase 1.5 and they cannot come inside for a story. Hmmm. Outside the office is an ugly parking lot. Puzzle for a second. Look at weather app. It will be raining tomorrow. Tell her we will do…
With the exception of cell phone videos, has there been any change in the 50 years since Marvin Gaye wrote What’s Going On. Mother, mother There’s too many of you crying Brother, brother, brother There’s far too many of you dying You know we’ve got to find a way To bring some lovin’ here today Father, father We don’t need to escalate You see, war is not the answer For only love can conquer hate…