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Weird Sh*t in My Life #219

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 6, 2011 in The 3L Life

As a 1L, there was the miraculously timed fire alarm when I was late for CivPro.

As a 2L, there was the random phone call from an expatriate in Mexico asking me for legal advice.

Now as a 3L, there was… a kitteh trapped in an engine :crack:

A few weeks ago I started jogging with a classmate to recover from exam-induced sedentariness. And with my Intellectual Property class stretching into the wee hours of the night Mondays / Tuesdays / Thursdays, that meant running on the illuminated gym track next to NCCU Law instead of the nature trail by my apartment.

We’re walking back to our cars afterwards and I notice I’m parked next to Co-Counsel. I also hear a very loud and very distressed-sounding “meow” coming from the front of her car — sufficiently loud and sufficiently distressed-sounding that, rather than a cat, I suspect one of my classmates is crouching behind the passenger side trying to play a prank of some kind :beatup:

I look around the vehicle and don’t see anyone behind it.  I look inside and don’t see anything moving. I look under and don’t see any thing at all.

Then I hear another meow.

Even though I’m a dog person and generally despise cats,1 I’m a big ol’ softie when it comes to animals in general so I was determined to figure out where this thing was at and make sure it wasn’t hurt.

Pretty sure kittehs don't come standard

Our security staff rolls up (as I’m on the ground looking like I’m about to boost someone else’s car) and I calmly explain there’s a cat somewhere. The officer gets out of his vehicle, looks at me like I’m crazy and need to be hauled in to jail… then hears a meow too.

Given the shape of this part of the lot, neither of us can get a good enough vantage point to figure out where the sound is coming from.  So the officer leaves to go get a stronger flashlight while I tell Co-Counsel there’s a cat in her car somewhere.

Then I kneel down by the passenger wheel, start looking around the wheel well with my keychain flashlight, and notice I can see inside the engine compartment itself… where I discover an orange-and-white striped cat looking absolutely pitiful :surprised:

Co-Counsel and Luca come down and Co-Counsel pops the hood, at which point we realize it’s a baby kitten that has somehow climbed so far into the engine compartment that it couldn’t get back out. There were too many cables and hoses to lift the kitten out from the top, but after some gentle nudging backwards it was able to move again and climbed down out of the car.

It ran across the parking lot so fast after it was free we didn’t even realize it was out of the car until we heard the same meow from 100 paces away. And the trio of us became kitteh-savers for the day :spin:

So that’s how my Monday went down :) I actually had a bona fide law entry ready to go for tonight, but it’ll have to be saved until later this week — have a great night y’all! :D

  1. When you come home to your dog, it says to you “You come home and you feed me, take care of me, love me — you must be a god!”  When you come home to your cat, it says to you “You come home and you feed me, take care of me, love me — I must be a god!” []

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And litigators do this everyday??

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Sep 18, 2010 in The 2L Life

Ugh.

That’s how I felt after today’s (9:00am) 2L Opening Statement Competition for the Trial Advocacy Board. This annual event is similar to the competition the T.A.B. used for determining who made the 1L Trial Team, and is held in tandem with the 3L Closing Argument Competition for figuring out which lucky folks get to represent NCCU Law for the law school’s official TYLA and AAJ teams.

The facts for the 2L competition were total garbage. It was an old TYLA civil case, as opposed to the criminal cases usually done in the past. It had a dead judge (the victim), his money-grubbing whore of a wife (the Plaintiff / my client :beatup: ), an equally money-grubbing incompetent of a doctor (the Defendant), the list goes on.

Oh, and my client’s claim? She’s suing for wrongful death, since her husband died from taking nitrates and Viagra at the same time because the doctor spent a whopping 6 minutes with him when he sought medical help (just enough time to diagnose the judge… with a cold).

The Defendant’s defense? My client’s lawyer-boyfriend killed the judge by beating him over the head with a trophy :crack:   Or in the alternative that the judge was contributorily negligent for taking nitrates and Viagra simultaneously.

Needless to say I’m not happy with a case I’m not convinced I could win if it were a real trial.

Then on top of it I let myself get sidetracked with other stuff (CLE, Constitution Day, poker night, etc) so I don’t actually write the opening until around 2am this morning.1 After we got the facts over a week ago.

Stupid of me, I know.

But I get it done and think it’s pretty good, so I’m happy-ish. Then I grab a reasonable amount of sleep under the circumstances and even eat a full breakfast before the competition, so all is right with the world.

Until I actually get to school :beatup:

I’m the last competitor to go, and the 1.5ish hours spent waiting is just enough time for my nerves to go into full-blown panic mode. My hands are freezing. I’m sweating profusely.2 And I have a splitting headache.

Compounding the anxiety: the best of the best 2Ls are in this competition. There are my friends Top Gun3 and Luca,4 who both edged me out in the 1L Closing competition.5 There’s Co-Counsel, among the 4 people who beat me in the 1L opening competition. Most of the 1L trial team is here. Even Madame Prosecutor is making her first T.A.B. competition debut, as well as my friend EIC.

I pace the halls for about 20 minutes and manage to relax a bit, and when it’s actually my turn things go fairly well…

…until about 3 minutes in, when I completely forget one of those key bullet points I was supposed to bring up…

…and since it’s not vital to the opening, no one notices it was missing…

…including me.

The problem? About a minute later, one of the bullet points (that I remember) makes sense only if mentioned in reference to that earlier bullet point (that I forgot). So my eyes bulge out of my head around the 4-minute mark as it dawns on me that I forgot, and I completely screw up the flow of the ending to wedge it in, at which point I start talking a-mile-a-minute because I just know I’m going to end up losing points for running over the 5-minute time limit…

I talk so fast, in fact, that I finish right around 4:20. With a whole 40 seconds left on the clock :beatup:

It was rough.

And I still have a headache.

After last year’s two performances, I was looking for some vindication this time around. We have to wait all the way until the end of March to find out where we finish so it’ll be awhile until I know if I got it, but at this point I’m just glad it’s over :)  I’ll post the video for y’all as soon as we’re allowed to see them :D

Until then have a great night!

  1. “Write” is a bit of a misnomer. I write the first sentence and the last sentence (ideally something pithy for both), then just jot down key bullet points that I can talk about extemporaneously on trial day. Remember that, because it’s an important point in a couple paragraphs… []
  2. While in a suit :sick: []
  3. First in our 1L class []
  4. “The only man Vito Corleone feared. And vice versa.” []
  5. Interesting side note: all 3 of the finalists for the 1L Mary Wright Closing Argument competition are alumni of N.C. State University, with our respective majors in chemistry, philosophy, and computer science. At least we all got our money’s worth :D []

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