I lost the entry I was typing because I hibernated my laptop and when I tried to reboot it, it hung on me. Internet Explorer 7 takes up way too much RAM and I guess the battery factor counts as well. I don't know.
Anyway, I discovered something about my LA-in-charge today that shocked the living daylights out of me. It's nothing scandalous and completely normal; it's just one of those OMG PERSON X KNOWS PERSON Z WHAT A SMALL WORLD!111! kind of things. All I can say is, I can't ever look at him the same way again. It's just so...bizarre.
Also? He abandoned me in the office and went off to wherever and I couldn't find jack shit on restraining orders regarding distance and so I went to look for him to say that I was of no help, but I couldn't find him anywhere. And it was like, 7 already. And I was damn tired. And I had modules to sort out. So I called him on his cell and he was all, "I'm not in the office right now, but you can go back for the day and I'll see you tomorrow. Thanks for the help!" He added something about bright and shiny tomorrow but I can't remember what it was.
ARGHHHH. I wanted to murder someone. Imagine if I did not have his handphone number. I'd totally be waiting for him to come back so that I could get back to him about the thing he asked me to do and who knows how long that would have taken? Ordinarily I wouldn't really mind staying in the office and stoning but like I said, I was tired and I had modules issues to sort out, and for some reason the office was darker than usual which made it damn depressing, and I WAS THE ONLY INTERN LEFT. Last week was still okay 'cause Kenneth was around for me to bitch to, but today? Everyone had already left. It was so sad. And whilst I was scanning through my Lawnet search results for anything remotely relevant, I kind of fell asleep for a few seconds a couple of times.
It was a rather long day in court even though the trial did not proceed. Parties went into chambers first thing we got there. I sat in the court room and talked to the client, which was very entertaining. There were some media people, mostly if not wholly from Chinese newspapers (I was damn surprised at how sloppily one of them dressed, this woman in, like, some grubby t-shirt, grubby jeans, and SLIPPERS, oh my god) and they actually thought the plaintiff was the client's FATHER, who showed up after a while. How hilarious.
Anyway, in the end the matter stood down after chambers and we spent the rest of the afternoon attempting to negotiate a settlement. Hearing was adjourned to Tuesday 2.30 p.m. What the fuck, right? I think it's most likely going to settle. Which means all the insane getting up work done was for nothing.
Seriously, this shit could've been avoided if the defendant had just taken the deal during mediation. 'Cause my side was very willing to let the defendant keep her money in exchange for an injunction, but for some reason that wasn't enough for her, hence the whole trial madness. And now it looks like it's going back to the same starting point plus a stronger ground for us to negotiate terms in the injunction that will favour the client, which is good, but it's still retarded. Because this whole thing should never have gone to the trial stage. And I can't even begin to describe the amount of paper that's gone into this case.
Anyway, all that shit aside, whatever happens I do sincerely hope that the client finds the closure or relief he is seeking. I've got to know him a bit over the past few days, especially in court during the downtime (which was 80% of the time at least), and he really is this super nice, very decent, very kind, very generous, very reasonable and intelligent and level-headed person. I really feel sorry for him, having to go through this whole ordeal. He's a lot more well-to-do than the average person and yet he's completely down-to-earth. I'm totally the lowest on the food chain amongst his legal team; hell, I'm not even officially or significantly part of his legal team. And yet he talks to me, he ran his thought process with regard to the case by me, he doesn't treat me like an intern.
My opinion of this case has changed drastically since the first time I read the pleadings, because getting to know the client has made the case real. Initially it was just a couple of pleadings and affidavits, more court documents that waste a fuck load of paper; but after talking to the client, I realised that it's so much more at stake than that. He is a real person with real problems; he is not just another High Court decision, nor is he a faceless, abstract Plaintiff in an application for an injunction.
There is a point to all of this, you are helping someone at the end of it. I followed my LA-in-charge and my mentor everywhere they went today, including sitting down with the client and explaining to him the terms of the proposed settlement, and I think I learnt more about the profession in a span of a few hours than I'd ever learnt in law school. When someone has been backed into a corner with nowhere to turn, he really has nowhere to turn. Without law, how is he going to seek redress? Without lawyers, who's going to help him seek redress? Who would want to pay expensive court fees and lawyer fees if they can settle their shit by themselves? It's the people who have no choice but to seek legal advice that are desperate enough to bear the expenses.
And, you know, I was rather moved and inspired by the trust the client has in his lawyers and the obvious sincerity and effort his lawyers are putting in to help him to the best of their abilities. My mentor looks scary, but he's so nice (case in point: I was carrying my shoulder bag which contains my laptop charger, my own laptop, and my LA-in-charge's laptop because he had to carry this heavy-ass box of files. We got into the lift, I almost lost my balance 'cause his laptop which was slung over my right shoulder which also supported my shoulder bag was DAMN HEAVY, and my mentor took his laptop from me. And he's like how senior lah) and, I don't know, sincere, for want of a better word because it's late and I'm very tired. Maybe I got lucky because this client's case has actual merits and he has many things on his side, but whatever it is, it showed me that there is a point to the work that is done, to the long hours, the sacrifices we make.
It's, yeah, it's a good thing. For every one lawyer that runs away with his client's money, I'm pretty sure that there are ten fighting like mad for theirs.
And not only that, just listening to the conversation between the LA and his boss, my mentor, gave me a few insights as to how to advocate properly and professionally. It was damn interesting. And I'm a bit worried because I'm very female, i.e. I get emotionally attached to things and to people rather easily. In fact, I'm already slightly emotionally attached to the client and I've only just met him. So, yes, something has to be done about that.
So that was my day in a nutshell. Going back to court later on in the day to see what happens. Most likely there's gonna be a settlement.
You know, I really did want to give the client some human-to-human advice when he was running his thought process by me, but I kept thinking about how advice given by a professional in a non-professional setting on which has been relied to the detriment of the person relying on it can get the professional into toruble, and so I didn't really say much. It's quite sad, right? Thinking about liability and getting into trouble and whatever. Ironically, sometimes it does stop you from being a human being, or at least, the human you ought to be.
I'm damn sleepy. I would like to bitch about the modules registration process though. I don't know why it is, but the leftover modules are crappy. I don't know why they put two Criminal-related modules in one semester. That makes absolutely no sense. I don't know why exchange students get priority over third years, THEIR OWN STUDENTS, either. It's fucked up, IMO, and I honestly do not have a single module that I have to take, or else. Personal Property Law is the only thing that comes halfway close, as does that Law and Economics intensive module. All my must-take-or-die modules are in Semester 2 (e.g. Law of Restitution - so exciting, can't wait for Semester 2!) and I'm supposed to have 5 reserve choices but I only have 2. And I don't want to be stuck with some shit module that I don't want to take. I probably cannot get Law and Economics 'cause there are only 9 vacancies left, but it just so happens that my 2 reserves are also of limited vacancies.
Can I please murder someone? This whole thing is a pain in the ass.
And I'm really super falling asleep.
The LA was doing even worse sai gang than me on Sunday - he was binding. Haha. The sai gang ain't gonna stop until you become partner, I think. Or senior associate. Bleah, how depressing.
But I'm looking forward to work. Yes, I'm nuts.
I need to sleep.