Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Thursday, February 27, 2014

So the other day I was driving over to pick A up after work when I see, from the corner of my eye, a car pulling out of a lot to my left coming right at me. Neither of us were moving fast-- I was coming up on the light at Chippewa-- and I could see that the driver of the other car was plain old not looking at me. Her head was turned all the way to her left until the crunch, which happened as I tried to swerve away from contact. We both pulled over. It's about 10° out, and neither car seems to have been more than scuffed. She says, "I'm so sorry-- I wasn't looking," so I have the admission I need. She said, "I didn't mean to hit you," so I said, "That's a relief; it would be worse if I thought you were hunting me down with your car." She said, "So now what do we do?" and I proposed exchanging cards rather than waiting around for the Buffalo cops to meander over. We double check our cars-- no damage- then, in the time honored card swap move we each hand over to the other. This is usually a fraught moment. People see that I'm a lawyer and they get all flinchy, but this time, as I accept hers I see that it has a gold star on it, and I read, "United States Secret Service". My tortfeasor, it turns out, is a Criminal Research Specialist for the Federal heat. "Great," I said. "We're each other's worst nightmares." She laughed, and we moved on. The following day I called her to confirm that the Swedish Batmobile was unharmed. She expressed relief, then added, "You're a kind of an interesting person." "What do you mean?" I said. "Well, you do this kind of law," she said, "And you teach, and write a lot..." So there you have it. She Googled me, and did a pretty thorough job of it. Hi Deborah!

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