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Latest from The Velvet Hammer

There used to be a club called Mr. Lucky that was directly across the street from the sonics arena at the Seattle Center. On April 19, 2004, at 2 am when the club emptied out into the parking a large fight broke out involving two dozen people. Security more or less let them go at it. Phuon Mensaveng was a 24 year old father no bigger than I. He was in the melee. A tall…
Well, it doesn’t feel good. After all – the plaintiff trial bar is supposed to be made up of the most progressive lawyers that there are. We are fighting for civil justice – a good and noble cause. This all starts up (again) 6 days ago. I notice that the slate of officer candidates for a subgroup of a national lawyer organization that I’m in – is all male. I google them to double check…
Once upon a long time ago in the 1980s and 90s, I became friends first with Curt and then Ana Warner. Ana and I were very close. We used to talk daily and went back and forth to each other’s homes all the time. Our children overlapped with Jonathan and Noelle being roughly the same age. Then the twins were born – Austin and Christian. Because of their three babies, I began to see less…
Postscript: I intended to only share this with my family. But after an evening of thought decide that being real to me – means sharing not only the good and bad, but also the humiliating. Because there is comfort in knowing that we are all in this thing call being human – together. May 13, 2021. I’m walking to home depot. Along the perimeter of Central Park West. Return call from Rosemary. She is getting…
From: M Sent: Friday, April 30, 2021 11:23 AM Hi Joe, Karen, and Ray:Despite our failed mediation, I am still confident we can get this resolved.  After mediation, I ran several different settlement numbers through the L&I formula to show S’s carrier how much each settlement number would yield to J.  As much as you want to get paid, I’m sure your focus is getting a reasonable amount in J’s pocket.  Hopefully that information will…
While other attorneys were taking classes on trial practice, this mommy lawyer learned the art of direct exam from watching the best interviewer in the world. Started watching the Oprah Winfrey Show when Cristina was born in 1986.  Finished two children and nine years later when I started working full time again. Earlier this month, Oprah interviewed Meghan and Harry.  She did not disappoint.  The session provides a wonderful lesson on Direct Exam.  1.     …
Have taken hundreds of defendant driver depositions.  Used to have a checklist to make sure I didn’t forget the basics.  Lost that checklist at a few decades ago.  Now as a mentor for young attorneys, have reconstructed one which am sharing with you.  Disclaimer: this is not an outline.  Lawyers love outlines because we think if we prepare everything perfectly, everything will go perfectly.  When an outline is strictly followed, there is no room for…
Am trying to show empathy to our new associate who has been working long hours. Encourage him to make sure to take a day off. During firm meeting raise the issue of not working too much . Then Stritmatter crashes the party. Strit: I’m going to derail this conversation. My father and I worked 7 days a week. That’s how I was raised. Work comes first. If you want to be a great lawyer you…
Trial day 7 Part of a trial lawyer’s worry – is the concern that without a clear cut case, pounding on damages may be too much.  Perhaps jurors will be pushed over the edge into voting against liability.  But while looking at the dynamics from all directions is always a worthy exercise, we are in trial and there is no time to be faint of heart. Mr. P went through torture ending in death.  We…