Thursday, May 19, 2005


The Idea

Tonight I had one of those wonderful moments when the ephemeral Idea that has been eluding you for weeks suddenly bubbles up to the surface and you realize you have latched onto the perfect argument - the one that you know is virtually unassailable. It is a buoyant - even exhilarating moment.

For a week I have been struggling to write a motion to dismiss. I knew it made sense, intuitively; I had some good arguments; I had researched the heck out of it; I had received positive feedback on my first draft.

And yet I was struggling. There was something missing. Some connection I wasn't making.

And to make things worse, I was crushed for time. I was feeling the pressure of a hundred responsibilities bearing down on me. My deadlines had deadlines. It was a bad scene man.

I was supposed to give the partner a draft today, but was still unhappy with my product. She graciously gave me more time - until tomorrow afternoon, even offering to read it on Saturday if I couldn't get it done in time for her to look at it on Friday. I felt relieved, but I was still discouraged that the Idea I had been chasing continued to elude me.

Encouragement came in the form of an associate who stuck her head in my door and said "you won! You won your motion!" I was baffled. My motion was sitting in front of me - a half-baked, incoherent, poorly constructed creation taunting me from my computer screen as I sat despondently amidst piles of lexis printouts, digests, encyclopedias and statute books.

I stared at her blankly wondering if somehow I entered a fissure in the space-time continuum and I was witnessing a moment in the future when my sad little motion would rise victorious from it's humble origins.

"You won! You won the motion to dismiss!"

I was still perplexed. She waived a document in front of me. "It's the order from the motion you wrote on tortious interference. It was granted."

Suddenly, it was all clear to me. A motion I wrote in October of last year had been granted. I took the papers from her and read through the judge's Order. It was like my own thoughts coming back to me. My heart suddenly felt light again. It's the first time I've really "won" anything as a lawyer. And I knew it was my hard work - my research - my arguments - that had carried the day.

I smiled and turned back to my computer.

About two hours later, the Idea came.

And it was perfect.

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