The Grinch Returns

So Christmas is over.  This is a bad thing for people that deal with me.

Around the holidays I become a nicer person.  I genuinely love the holidays and have long-believed they’re a time when we’re just a teensy bit better to the people around us.  For me, that means I get friendlier with opposing counsel and clients as we come up to Christmas.  I smile more, I’m more likely to grant an extension of time to respond to something, I don’t harp on the bill being unpaid as much as I normally do.  All in all, I’m Kris-fucking-Kringle of the local legal community as we build up into the holiday season.

But Christmas is over now, and I’m back in the office, and I’m in a foul mood because there are no more Christmas cookies or carols.  It’s a rainy, wet, cold Tuesday morning in my corner of the world, and my heart has shrunk three sizes back to its normal, withered, blackened state.

It’s time for people who have become acquainted with my only since December 1st on to realize how much of an unforgiving prick I am.

Take, for instance, the responses to these Requests for Admissions.  I received them last week and told opposing counsel, in a cheerful manner, that I’d take a look at them and we’d talk about whether they’re sufficient or not.  They aren’t.  You can’t just say “denied” on Requests for Admissions and not give a reason, and you can’t just say “denied as previously stated.”  These aren’t sufficient answers.  And saying “we haven’t completed our discovery” isn’t sufficient either, because the parties that are supposed to be answering them are the client, not the lawyer.  So I’ll have to discuss the sufficiency of the responses with opposing counsel.

In front of the judge.  Because fuck’em, the spirit of the holidays is no longer in my heart and the first thing I did this morning was file a motion for the court to determine the sufficiency of the responses.  Then I mailed out the notices of deposition for their clients.  And my supplemental discovery requests.  Because fuck’em, the Elf on the Shelf is no longer lurking around my office spying on me, Santa brought me my bottle of bourbon for being a good boy, and the smell of cinnamon no longer wafts from my ass when I fart.  Christmas is over, the Grinch is back.

The other dipshit who’s claiming innocence in his client underpaying the settlement payment by about $200 after weeks of negotiating an amount to cure the default under the agreement?  The poor guy who asked for the end of today to find out what happened and get the funds to my client?  I sent him a joyful, jolly email before leaving the office last week confirming we’d accept payment of the deficiency and cure the default if it was received today in certified funds, prior to 5:30 p.m..  He acknowledged the same, and our phone conversations were relaxed and collegial.  His prior dealings with me have all been “Aw shucks, let’s just get the money in, alright?”

At 5:31 p.m. today I’ll be filing a motion to certify our default under the Settlement Agreement and have judgment entered on the same so we can take his clients’ house.  Over a couple hundred bucks.  Because fuck’em, I wrote the language allowing us to do this into the original settlement agreement, and the Whos down in Whoville have shut the fuck up for another year.  Happy New Year, pay the fuck up or get the fuck out.

I’m a professional Grinch.  This is what I do the other 364 days a year when the snow isn’t gently falling and nobody is fixing me a cup of hot cocoa while we listen to Bing Crosby croon.

Today, the first day back in the office, is where those poor souls who only got to know me while I was possessed by the spirit of goodwill towards men learn that I’m less Saint Nick and more Krampus when it comes to my job.  So, I’d like to ask everyone today to join me in a moment of silence for the SOB’s whose phones I’m going to start ringing in the next twenty minutes and introducing to the new me who isn’t warm and fuzzy.

Happy holidays.