Week 2 2019

To Do and Not to Do

To Do and Not to Do

The past week has been great, yet it was substantially busier than week one! It is beginning to become abundantly clear to me why it is critical to stay on top of your workload. It seems like everyone—partners and associates alike—has to juggle a large caseload at any given moment, and not miss important deadlines with clients and the court. My week started off continuing to work on a memorandum assessing an opposing party’s compliance with the federal rules of civil procedure for partner Mike Holt. That was an interesting project, and I was glad to tie it up by mid-week. I also researched and wrote the legal standard portion for a response to a plaintiff’s motion to amend a complaint to add punitive damages in a product liability case. This was my first time working on an actual document to be filed with the court.

On Tuesday, Grace, Paris, Eric, and I attended our first seminar on motion practice taught by partner Dan Gerber. Dan gave us the “to-dos” and “not-to-dos” of motion practice in both state and federal court. Dan’s advice was helpful in preparation for our motion workshop that we had on Friday. Grace and I were paired up to argue against each other, and then swap sides. We were assigned to argue on a motion to compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration clause in an employment agreement. The issue—which was entirely hypothetical—was whether actions taken by an employee arose out of his employment, so as to require the legal action against his employer to be decided in binding arbitration.

On Wednesday morning, I got to the office a little earlier than usual to attend a mediation with partner Josh Lerner. I enjoyed sitting in and seeing how mediation typically goes. I had a warped expectation that both parties would be conversing in the same room. (I blame TV for making me think that). I found it interesting how the mediator “floats” between two rooms to ease both sides to “meet in the middle” and reach an agreement. This particular mediation was a settlement negotiation for a breach of contract dispute. It was quite interesting to see how much the parties moved from their original positions.

By Friday morning, Grace and I were prepped for our motion practice workshop; we argued both sides and received immediate feedback afterwards from Dan. I enjoyed doing this because it gave Grace and me an opportunity to learn by doing. I am a “hands-on” type of learner, so I am excited for all the seminars and workshops to come! In my (slim) free time, I was able to get some work done on the Summer Associate Writing Competition assigned to us by partner Steve Klein. As I am sure, Week 3 will only be busier, so I was glad to get some of mine completed before the weekend started. Next week we are going bowling on Tuesday, and I am looking forward to getting to know more of the firm outside of the office! So far, I am loving the fast-paced environment of the firm. Deadlines, upcoming motions, etc., all keep work exciting! Plus—as an added bonus—the learning curve is high!