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William C. Altreuter
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Friday, January 09, 2004

I guess we are always busy in our glamour profession (at least, I hope we are) but there is a distinct rhythm to it, and sometimes we are crazier busy than others, and January is one of those times. Naturally that means that January is the time that we pile on a little extra to fill our days, on top of the trials, and motions, and depositions that we put over into the new year starting some time around Thanksgiving, which is why I teach, and promise articles, and commit to bar committee assignments and whatnot. Because, really, if you are a litigator, what you live for is the endorphin rush that comes from being under the gun. We like it when it's like this. There is a scene near the end of The Wind in the Willows when they are planning to re-take Toad Hall where the Mole is busying himself with the equipment: "Here's a sword for the Rat, here's a sword for the Mole, here's a sword for the Badger. Here's a pistol for the Rat, here's a pistol for the Mole, here's a pistol for the Badger." Right now that's what we're doing, getting ready for a hearing.

The form my Discovery class takes is one evening of lecture, which must be pretty dull, followed by mock depositions for the remainder of the term. I find these fascinating, and the students get a bang out of it too, once they get going. Last night was our first go at it. There is always someone who is meticulously prepared, and someone who wants to dive in and wing it (that would have been me, if a class like this had been offered in my day), and then a lot of students who want to dive in, but hold back and kibitz instead. It gets better as we go along, and the kibitzers get their nerve up, but right now I am pretty happy with the class. They seem like a bright group, and they pretty much all participate, and they seem to all be thinking. So, crazy busy though we are, I am getting that endorphin thing, and I love that.

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