Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I have a temper.

Not a huge surprise there.

The thing about having a temper is that you despise your own temper and somewhat empathize with those that have one themselves. Especially when they're losing it and you can't help but watch them slide into histrionics when everything with you is just peachy.

That doesn't mean I'm making an excuse about having a temper. Nor am I excusing those that do. What I despise though, more than a man or woman with an uncontrollable temper, is those that exploit it in others. Those that goad, poke, prod and cajole (yes, cajole) someone into losing their temper, all the while sitting back and acting innocent. Once that person starts down the (insert phrase that is synonymous with "slippery slope" but much better than that phrase) of losing their temper they are lost to all the exit signs. It's sort of like watching the rapid scene in Deliverance (rapid scene...r-a-p-i-d...not the other scene starting r-a-p). e.g. you think things are a calm river and all of a sudden you end up in rapids and your friend goes T.U..

This seems nowhere more prevalent than the practice of law. (coincidentally the "other scene in Deliverance starting with r-a-p" is also very prevalent in the practice of law).

And it is often the hardest part of what I do (again, we're talking about losing the temper, not Ned Beatty's hindquarters. I don't know why I even brought that up in the first place). It's hard because I often can see the goading coming. I can see Them slowly prodding my client's thin skin waiting for the moment where the temper is lost and They can sit back and look at me and point and say "See?"

It's not like I just sit there. I would be as successful as I am if I didn't have some tricks up my sleeve. But sometimes you can see the train wreck coming and sometimes you can't do anything about it. And sometimes you just have to try to pick up the pieces afterwords.

But it's hard to do. Just ask Jon Voigt

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