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Op-Ed

Boredom response

January 9, 2023

You may be a lawyer in need of advice, but that doesn't mean you're getting a lot of sympathy. Social media can be cruel.

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

How do you feel about your job? Come on, you can be honest with me. I’m not listening.

I bring this up because I spotted this on Reddit not long ago: “New lawyer here. I liked the theory in law school but the practical concerns which underly everything I do at the litigation firm I work for has made me insanely bored and depressed. I don’t find this intellectually fulfilling at all.”

“New lawyer” may not have been quite prepared for reality by law school.

Be that as it may, some lawyers — or maybe most lawyers — seem to be griping about their jobs all the time. What I found interesting were the responses to New Lawyer’s post. There was quite a variety. Sometimes, there was variety within the same post.

The very first response came from “Miserable_Object9961”: “I think it’s both intellectually stimulating and terribly tedious.”

It depends on which personality is in control.

The comment was immediately followed by “SirOutrageous1027” who added: “Some jobs are more boring than others.”

This is both wise and not terribly helpful. New Lawyer probably already guessed that.

What followed after those opening comments was a fascinating study in the range of human empathy and disdain. There was also a range of helpfulness and lack thereof.

For example: “You should become a career law clerk if you can.”

Now there’s an exciting option.

And: “I think it’s extremely boring. I’m in property law and I absolutely hate sitting at my desk researching and writing all day long.”

This explains why this person is on Reddit.

There were even boredom fans — e.g. “Give me a nice, boring, easy routine and a paycheck.”

And then there was this: “My response is, no one actually cares if you can’t hack it.”

It’s so nice that this guy cared enough to say that.

Spiritual protection. The members of His Tabernacle Family Church, Inc., in New York better be good — their pastor is toting a gun.

I know this because a federal judge in New York has struck down a state law barring possession of firearms in places of worship for not only violating the Second Amendment but also the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Religion gets scarier all the time.

If you’re thinking this happened because some gun zealots in the congregation sued the state and/or the church, you’d be wrong. The plaintiff was the church and an armed pastor who thinks it’s fine that churchgoers come equipped with concealed weapons.

According to the ruling, the pastor “believes that, as the Church’s pastor, he has a moral and a religious duty to take reasonable measures to protect the safety of his congregation,” and this was part of his “view of the Christian scriptures and what they say about a pastor’s role.”

This is someone who knows how to put the fear of God in you.

I think I’m going to stay away from that church.

(Side note to comic book fans: Do you think this pastor has read or seen “Preacher?” That could explain this.)

Public privacy. The recent deluge of childhood sexual abuse suits in California is pretty depressing and awful and extending the deadline for filing them until the end of last year was certainly a good thing.

But there is one odd thing about them — a requirement that the defendants be sued anonymously.

I’m not criticizing this — you don’t want people publicly accused if they haven’t been convicted of anything (even though a lot of them should be publicly accused). But the “Doe” requirement has a serious flaw: there’s not much mystery about the defendants.

Two recent obvious cases in point: an unnamed defendant who was described in the lawsuit as an actor who starred in “Bonnie & Clyde” and an unnamed rock star who was then named in a public statement by the plaintiff.

And then there were all those mysterious Doe Archdioceses and Parishes. Wonder what church that could have been.

Privacy is a relative concept.

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