1. Did you ever think that you’d be a star? If yes, doing what?
I used to tell my mother that when I grew up, I was going to be “rich and famous.” And we used to joke that she was going to live to be older than Methuselah, and we were going to be roommates in the old folks’ home. Well, I’m not rich, I’m not famous, and although my mother lived to be nearly 89 years old, she missed Methuselah’s record by more than 800 years. So we never did get to be little old lady roommates. Failure on all three counts, although I did have the 15 minutes of fame allotted to me by Andy Warhol during the six years that I litigated Conservatorship of Wendland. I don’t miss being chased around by reporters in search of an out-of-context sound bite.
2. Tell us about the last time you had a romantic dinner.
These days, I’m really enjoying trying out new recipes and dishes here in the home I moved into this past September, and serving them to my boys. Sophie advises and assists. We often light the fire and enjoy talking together as we linger over our meal. They give me input on which dishes they like or don’t care for as much. Who needs romance when you have two sons as handsome, intelligent, and supportive of their mother as mine are?
3. Tell us about your worst job interview.
Law students are encouraged to secure summer clerkships with private firms as a way of gaining experience and networking. Many lawyers begin their careers with the firm where they served as a law clerk, and that was the case with me. I worked part-time throughout law school and settled in as a new attorney with the firm where I had been employed part-time during my last semester and the following summer while I studied for the Bar Examination.
In search of such a clerkship between my second and third years of study, but pregnant with Mattie-Boo, I borrowed a suitable navy blue maternity dress from my sister for interviews. I met with the then-District Attorney of San Joaquin County. We talked over a cup of coffee in the basement of the Courthouse where he blew cigarette smoke in my face as I responded to his questions about my background. That eliminated his office as a potential place of employment.
The next day, I was interviewed by a private practitioner in a small community adjacent to Lodi. He was a big guy with a big appetite for hunting many different kinds of prey and a huge desk. As I sat opposite him, I was distracted by the stuffed ducks and geese dangling from the ceiling. Some of them appeared to be swooping toward us. That attorney was the embodiment of the term “blow hard” and called me “honey” during the interview. I decided at that moment that I would live in a cardboard box under a freeway before I would work for him . . . or anyone like him. Later, in private practice, I defeated him several times. Once he slammed the door of the courhouse so hard as he exited that the judge came back onto the bench to see what all the commotion was about and sent the bailiff to investigate. And, in fact, he once verbally assaulted me during a deposition. As I walked out of his office behind my clients, I could feel his breath on the back of my neck, observed his wife staring at the parade in horror as we passed her desk, and truly feared that he was going to physically strike me. From the outset of the deposition, he appeared inebriated, but I wasn’t sure until he flew into a tirade, during which I told my clients to go quickly to the parking lot, and, after making the record, I followed them. I learned later that afternoon that he had been in the restaurant next to his office imbibing during the lunch hour. Remarkably, he is still practicing law in this county, although, in my opinion, he shouldn’t be.
4. Tell us about your stupidest date.
I went on a single date with a guy who turned out to be into swinging. He kept calling me for weeks afterward, but I just let the calls go to voice mail until I started dating another guy who happened to be at my apartment one evening when the swinger called. I’m not exactly sure what the new guy said, but they had a talk . . . and the swinger never dared call again.
5. How much in common do you think you should have with a romantic partner?
At least more than children, a mortgage, and regularly scheduled trash pick-ups and oil changes.
6. Tell us about a favorite meme that you loved but no longer posts.
I was a regular participant in Friday’s Feast. I thought it was a clever, fun way to get to know other bloggers.
7. How did you get into blogging?
I used to build/maintain static websites. In early 2005, when Terri Schindler-Schiavo’s family lost their legal battle to keep her alive, I was so outraged and disappointed that I felt the urge to write about it. That was the genesis for this site which was originally entitled “Robert’s Legacy.” After a couple of years, I began writing about other topics, renamed this site and spun Robert’s Legacy off as a separate site devoted to the case I litigated here in California that dealt with many of the same issues as Terri’s. The prime difference was that, unlike Terri’s family, my clients prevailed. But lost their son and brother, nonetheless, when he contracted pneumonia.
8. Do you share all your fantasies with a significant other?
What’s the point of having fantasies if you spoil the fun by telling people about them?
9. What change in your life would you like to happen this year?
I will be having surgery on my right eye on February 22, 2010. If that goes well, the cataract and astigmatism will be gone, and I will have 20/20 vision in that eye without the need for any correction. So please cross your fingers and say a prayer for my surgeon.
Click here to see the list of other participants and read their responses.