Tuesday, June 20, 2006
The best part about SOLOSEZ is the massive number of solo lawyers who post to it. That can also be the worst part, since the number of emails generated by the list can be overwhelming. I suspended delivery back in December, opting to read the archives online instead.
Before I sent yesterday's message about nystagmus to the list I changed my SOLOSEZ settings to deliver a daily digest instead - one consolidated message each day, instead of hundreds of individual ones clogging my inbox.
I did appreciate the few replies to my note, all of which were very encouraging. Several shared examples of trial lawyers in their own communities who manage with disabilities, some much worse than nystagmus. Another shared the story of an attorney, while not disabled, who suffered humiliation in the courtroom - his suspenders gave way while he was approaching the bench: "Hang in there, Brandon. Just be glad you aren't approaching the judge with your pants around your ankles like my colleague down here..."
I was surprised that each of the writers claimed to know someone with nystagmus, because the condition is fairly rare (only one per several thousand births in the U.S. from what I have read). They all suggested the condition is no big deal and should not cause me any problems in court, especially if I am up front with the judge and have confidence in myself. Another colleague has suggested some possibilities to "break in" gently and get comfortable in the court, such as certain types of hearings that may be done in judges' chambers or without parties present. One of the first things I intend to do when my job transition is over is find someone who will let me tag along to court so I can experience it myself and see if I can picture myself advocating for a client. I'm sure I could do it if I put my mind to it.
All in all, yesterday was a good day. The house is on the market now. After I got home from meeting a new client, I reheated a very nice dinner, put the kids to bed, and watched a movie on the couch with Jennifer. I finished the evening off with a nightcap of a few chapters from the famous Foonberg book on starting a solo practice, a book I will probably read and re-read a few times this year.