Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sick of the Old Boys' Club today.

I'm going to begin this post by taking a deep, hopefully serenity-inducing, breath.


Are you still there? Me too. And I am still irate. Perhaps part of my anger is irrational, but the root that caused the irritation is certainly real enough.

First off, let's get a couple of facts clear.
1. I am a lawyer.
2. I am female.
3. I am still considered young (not even thirty) despite the fact that I have been practicing law for nearly five years.
4. I have blond hair.

My anger is based on an encounter with a judge and another attorney. It is irrational because I am supposed to have a thicker skin than this. I have been yelled at and chastised many times before by both judges and opposing counsel. Why should this incident make me so upset?

This morning, I ventured to another county to attend a hearing. At said hearing, I believed that the judge and opposing counsel "ganged up on me" because of the aforementioned four facts. While I believe that I made some good arguments that toed the line with common sense and common courtesy (not to mention the LAW), I did not prevail at that hearing. The result was not catastrophic. However, my emotions were wrecked as I walked out of the courthouse.

I was so angry, I wanted to cry. (Confession, there were tears on the drive home.) I wanted to scream (Yep, I screamed too.) While I had spent the better part of yesterday drafting, rewriting, researching and copying something to simply TENDER (that's fancy language for "give") it to my opposing counsel, the judge and opposing counsel found that to be inappropriate. Nope. It was more appropriate for me to go back to my office over ninety miles away, prepare a notice for the following week, then MAIL it to opposing counsel. Therefore, I would be forced to drive one hundred eighty miles round trip to accomplish something that I fully intended to accomplish on this very day. (WHAT ABOUT JUDICIAL ECONOMY!!!!????)

The substance of the motion is not relevant to this anger I feel still bubbling at my very core. Rather, it is the treatment bestowed upon me by the judge and my opposing counsel. While I may be young, female and blond, I am still a lawyer and have been around long enough to know how to do things in an effective manner. Furthermore, I just might know a tick about the law. Maybe. So perhaps rather than cutting me off mid-sentence to tell me that it was "inappropriate" for me to hand my motion to opposing counsel at that very moment, then smugly telling me that "I'm sure that you are very confident that you will win this motion, counselor," then making me walk to the TROLLS to file my motion, you should consider those facts.

The root of my anger is being a woman in what still tends to be an "Old Boys' Club." It still makes me incredibly sad that I do not get equal treatment in the courtroom as an older man attorney. I work very hard at my job, so when someone questions my intelligence and my integrity, it upsets me. The fact that I am a woman, or have only been practicing law for five years, should be irrelevant. I believe that courtesy should be extended to me as well. Introducing yourself to me and discussing the matter with me and showing me the order are all common ways that lawyers interact in court. Don't just shove the order at the judge and ask him to enter it when you haven't even shown it to me.

Or else I will go onto a blog and discuss your nose hair issues, other lawyer. Oops. (YEAH. YOUR WIFE NEEDS TO KEEP THAT IN CHECK.)


  1. I'm so sick of the Old Boys' Club. What is it about being female that suggests incompetence? Let's face it, we're not the first generation of chicks to learn the law. Even the oldest crotchetiest (is that a word?) judges have seen other women in the courtroom before. And other young attorneys in the courtroom before. And yet, I can't help but feel that they don't treat men like this ever. Maybe they do. Maybe I have a chip on my shoulder about the whole thing. But it still pisses me off.

    Sorry you cried. I hate doing that more than anything at all.

  2. I totally get it. I'm not even technically a lawyer yet but I've seen it happen over and over. Men are both pigs and total f'ing idiots.

    I will email you some good articles my kick ass woman professor wrote about being a female attorney. :)

  3. I am not a lawyer but I can testify to the same behavior in the academic freakin' unbelievable at this time and age.

    Crying and yelling is ok though. Cathartic. We need it and deserve it.