New Year’s List

     I don’t make New Year’s resolutions because, obviously, I’m perfect.
     But not everyone’s perfect. You may be, but look around you.
     See what I mean?
     So I think a much more logical New Year’s list would be “Would-It-Kill-Yous.”
     Ooh. My spellchecker is not liking that Yous. Clearly, though, “Would It Kill Yous” is the plural of “Would-It-Kill-You.”
     Would it kill you, spellchecker, to allow me some creative license?
     Would-it-kill-yous are resolutions for other people. A lot of people need them. Think of them as charitable acts. And, as with the best kind of charity, they should be donated anonymously.
     A few examples to get you started:
     Would it kill you to use a breath mint, shower, and stop patting me on the butt? (NOTE: This is just an example. It doesn’t apply to anyone I know.)
     Would it kill you to start patting me on the butt. (NOTE: Again, an example only. Although I suppose I could use it….)
     Would it kill you to keep my desk neat? (NOTE: This is a superior alternative to making a resolution to keep the desk neat myself.)
     Would it kill you to give me a raise? (NOTE: This is a superior alternative to making a resolution to work harder.)
     Would it kill you to gain some weight? You’re too skinny! (NOTE: This is a superior alternative to making a resolution to lose weight. All you want is to look good in comparison to those around you.)
     Would it kill you to work less and enjoy life? (NOTE: Effort, like weight, is relative. There’s more than one way not to look lazy.)
     Would it kill you to watch where you’re going?
     Would it kill you to get to the point?
     Would it kill you to pass a budget on time?
     Would it kill you to figure out what customer service really means?
     Would it kill you to listen to me rant and rave and explain why you’re a worthless human being without getting all sensitive and insisting there’s nothing you can do to be the least bit helpful even though that would cost less time and effort than arguing with me? Of course, I don’t mean me in particular because I certainly wouldn’t want to offend you since you’re doing the very best that you can….
     (Pant, pant, pant.)
     Did I mention this “Would-it-kill-you” thing can be very therapeutic?
     Try it. You’ll like it. Would it kill you to try it?
     
     CLASS ACT. If the idea hasn’t hit you already, it will after you take a look at In Re: Katrina Canal Beaches from the U. S. Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit. The idea is: there needs to be a better way to resolve class actions.
     Let me summarize the result so far in this case as described by the court: the plaintiffs got a $21 million settlement.
     And it’s possible that none of it is going to go to the people in the plaintiff class who got blown away by Katrina.
     Let me repeat that: none of it!
     This is because the costs of litigating the case so far and the cost of administering the settlement could eat up the entire $21 million.
     The defendants, by the way, aren’t paying anything either. The settlement is for the limits of insurance policies.
     The ruling says lawyers for any class member can also ask for fees and class counsel waived their fees “while retaining the right to seek ‘enhanced costs.'”
     I’m picturing a lot of spam email in legal circles promoting fee enhancement. (“Does your fee impress your lady friends?”)
     But have you spotted the ultimate irony yet?
     That’s right (for some reason, I’m assuming you’re right) – the appeals court reversed approval of the settlement, so everybody gets to continue litigating and piling up those costs.
     Sigh.
     Would it kill you to do something for some plaintiffs? Anything?

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