Career Advice | Courthouse News Service
Monday, November 27, 2023 | Back issues
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Career Advice

Here's an odd question that appeared on Reddit the other day:

"I am a 4th year attorney practicing in the Northeast, but I grew up in the South. I want to take the bar exam of my home state and need advice on how to explain to my bosses why I am doing this without any negative impact on my career here. I may have the opportunity to go back there next year, but I may also stay right where I am. I'm concerned that they will think I am just biding my time before I leave."

Hmm. Sounds like this guy is biding his time before he leaves.

Well, maybe not, but on the surface, this doesn't seem like a very difficult issue. You wait until you get the opportunity to go back, and if you really want to go, just go and take the bar exam then.

Why is this hard?

I don't know, but naturally, there were a fair number of responses - none of them the least bit helpful.

My favorite (and apparently the favorite of Reddit readers) is from a lawyer who inexplicably says his "grandparents are thinking about giving the county an easement, and I'm pretty sure my dumbass sovereign-citizen cousin is going to jail now that he's fired the public defender, and I'm not going to keep pro hac-ing in for this shit."

Don't look at me.

So what can we learn from this exchange?

The obvious lesson is: Don't go on Reddit for career advice. All of you should know this.

If you don't have any friends, try "Ask Amy" or Judge John Hodgman. They will treat you with the seriousness you deserve.

But there are more interesting, deeper issues here.

If this lawyer loves the South so much, why is he practicing law in the North? What is he not telling us?

Does he think he can go back now that a statute of limitations has run out?

Are those seeking vengeance upon him now close to being deceased ("next year")?

Has that ex-girlfriend announced an engagement?

Someone may want to alert the authorities in the South.

Favorite headline of the week: "Court To Decide If Autopsy Counts As Health Care."

Finally, I thought, there's hope for care of the underinsured dead.

Of course it turned out I was disappointed by another tantalizing headline. It seems that lawyers for a hospital were arguing that an autopsy was health care so that the lawsuit against it for messing up an autopsy would be for medical malpractice rather than plain old negligence.

And if it's medical malpractice, then the plaintiff - at least according to the defendant - didn't meet the Texas requirements for that kind of suit.

Which brings us to a fascinating legal ethics issue not addressed in the news story: If the hospital here is being defended by counsel provided by its insurance company, is there a conflict of interest?

It's not exactly in the best interest of malpractice insurance companies to create a precedent that says medical care continues after death.

Does grave maintenance count as health care? Is medical care eternal?

Health insurance costs in Texas could skyrocket.

You gotta have ... The best part of the autopsy news story, though, is this paragraph:

"After an appeals court ordered the hospital to release the heart to Carswell, a separate forensic biologist said it contained no human DNA - either because of the way it was preserved, or because there was a 'real possibility that the heart submitted was not human,' according to court documents."

So the deceased may have been an alien!

The hospital's next argument will be that an illegal space alien is not entitled to health benefits or access to Texas courts.

Expect to hear calls for building a wall across the sky - that we'll make the Martians pay for.

You heard it here first.

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