Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Legality of Legalness

I know a lot of lawyers. I mean, a lot of lawyers. Probably more than is healthy for most people. It's good to know a lawyer, for those times when you want to know if you can sue the a-hole doctors who misdiagnosed your abdominal pain so that a month later you wind up in the hospital getting your gall bladder out, and your gall bladder by now is so infected it's twice the normal size and your routine surgery takes twice as long all because the emergency room doctor sent you home yesterday when she should have had you admitted instead. Not that that's ever happened to me. (But if it had, the answer is yes, I can sue the initial emergency room doctor but I will have a pretty lousy case. And I'm lazy. So no lawsuit.)

So, it's good to know a lawyer for things like that.

I keep telling my husband he should get a scales of justice
tattoo because not only is he a lawyer,
but he's a Libra! How awesome would that be! But he
refuses because he is a (sexy) stick in the mud.

But I know a lot of lawyers, which is my burden to bear through life. How did this happen? I have no idea. My father makes his living as an expert witness for personal injury lawsuits, so he knows a lot of lawyers. Then, my roommate here in New York went to law school while we were living together. Then, my husband decided to go to law school and now he's a lawyer.

Lawyers are like ants: where there's one, there's bound to be more. So for each of the lawyers I know, they, in turn, know a whole colony of others. My life is a swarm of lawyers.

I wish I knew this many doctors. I could actually use free drug samples, easy access to prescription pads, and advice on this random dry patch I've had on my left knee for as long as I can remember. How do I need all these lawyers in my life? How does that help me, ever?

(For the record, I know one doctor. One. And while she was extremely helpful last summer when my son cracked my head open and I had to get staples IN MY HEAD, she has yet to give me free drugs even though last month I went to her baby son's surprise bris as a witness to the little man joining The Tribe. So, basically, she's useless.) (And yes, that was a surprise bris.)

So, yesterday I got a pre-summons questionnaire for jury duty, which means my nerd lawyer of a husband is all a-twitter with excitement. The law is, to him, what pop culture is to normal people. He gets excited about Supreme Court decisions the way other people get excited about American Idol. He talks about landmark cases the way I talk about Quentin Tarantino movies. He brought this book with him on our honeymoon. Our honeymoon! Blue skies, bright sunshine, pink Bermudian sand, and my groom with his nerd book. He might as well have worn a fishing hat, black socks pulled up to his knees, and loafers. He wouldn't let me have a Star Wars-themed wedding, but he brought an almost textbook on the honeymoon. Know what I brought? This book. This is a book that says, "I'm on my honeymoon and can't be bothered to think real deep thoughts for real long chunks of time, kthxbye."

(Photo from

Of course my nerd husband gets excited when I get called for jury duty. It means I have to come home and talk with him about his favorite subject (the law) rather than just doing what I usually do when he comes home from work, which is to smile and nod and occasionally repeat the last two words he just said so it sounds like I'm paying attention, while in my mind I'm riding behind Gael Garcia Bernal on a motorcycle across South America. No, with jury duty I'll have to pay attention to things so I can come home and regurgitate them to the nerd I married. When my questionnaire arrived he actually studied it then pop-quizzed me on it.

"Is it federal or state court?"
"How the f**k should I know?"
"What does it say?"
"Here, look and see for yourself."
"It says U.S. District Court. What do you think that means?"
"I think that means if you don't drop it you're sleeping in the bathtub for the rest of the week. I don't care what it means. It means I'm going to jury duty soon. Now STFU and let's watch some reruns of last season's True Blood before the new season starts."

LinkBlah blah opposing counsel blah.

I know people generally hate jury duty, but I kind of like it. It's hours and hours to catch up on my reading, and lord knows I have enough of that to do. Thanks to Barnes & Noble's Free Fridays on the nook, I have dozens of e-books to read. DOZENS. Even ones I don't particularly want to read. They are free, and I'm a Jew, and I will take pretty much anything if it's free. So I have a nook full of books I might never otherwise give a second thought to, but because they were free I now have to read them all. HAVE TO.

And anyway, in my mind all court is like TV court, a point that gives my husband no small amount of agita, which he totally deserves for making me help him study for the Bar while I was pregnant with our child. To me, jury duty is like getting to be an extra on "Ally McBeal" or in the movie Chicago, both of which ARE TOTALLY HOW OUR AMERICAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM REALLY WORKS. Trust me, I have any number of attorneys to back me up on that.


Marinka said...

I loved being on jury duty. Especially the part where everyone had to rise when the jury entered the courtroom. It was a real letdown when I returned to the real world and no one got up when I entered.

And I think you should sue your husband for not getting that tattoo. It'd be a slam dunk. Especially if I'm on the jury. Wink, wink.

Meredith L. said...

It's a plan, Marinka.