Few things in life feel as satisfying, in the short run, as a well-timed blow below an asshole’s belt. The problem is those joys often prove fleeting, mostly because, as the old saying avows: “What goes around comes around!”
Every lawyer I know has a personal nemesis, an adversary whose prowess at getting under one’s skin leaves his victims musing about automatic weapons. Mine is an attorney I privately refer to as “Mr. Head”: Mr. Dick Head, to be specific. The unethical bastard disavows his oral promises whenever it suits him, intentionally twists his adversaries’ words beyond recognition, and even (I suspect) destroys relevant documents.
Much to my dismay, I’m presently embroiled for the third time opposite ole’ Mr. Head. He’s representing the plaintiff in a suit filed against my client a few month’s ago. As far as I can tell the case has no merit; but Dick’s not the type to let such a piddling detail hold him back.
Shortly after he filed his complaint, I e-mailed Dick to suggest he didn’t have a cause of action. I also offered him an informal opportunity to show me I’m wrong, with evidence, and made a settlement offer which I urged him to consider in the event he found no proof. He responded … by serving a stack of written discovery on me. With the package, he included a sworn certification that he’d mailed the discovery three days earlier than its envelope’s postmark indicated. He also ignored my prior e-mail and settlement offer.
I couldn’t resist taking a shot at him. In my responding letter, I derided him for his false certification and attached a copy of the postmarked envelope to document my assertion. I also enclosed a copy of my previous e-mail, “reminding” him of my offer to resolve the matter informally, and then formally withdrawing my settlement offer. That’ll teach the asswipe a lesson, so I thought.
Whether I taught Dick a lesson currently seems beside the point, because what goes around has now come around. In a classic example of “Murphy’s Law,” my printer breathed its last the same day my responses to his discovery demands came due. I obviously couldn’t ask him for an extension, so I instead sent my secretary to a photocopy store to print the documents, make copies and mail them.
The trouble with utilizing a photocopier at a retail establishment lies in the machine’s prior users. One never knows what the last person might’ve left on the exit tray. In the future, my secretary’ll make sure our copies don’t get mixed up with remnants from another user – a caution she admittedly failed to take with Dick’s discovery.
The correspondence I received from my adversary today was short and to the point: “In accordance with my ethical obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct, I am returning herewith what I assume to be attorney work product and/or mental impressions of yours which you inadvertently included in the defendant’s discovery responses.” The enclosure consisted of a single color photocopy, of a naked woman flashing the largest fake boobs I’ve ever seen!
Touché, Dick Head!
Printing and photocopying available