Dream of: 28 March 1989 (2) "Trying To Withdraw"

I have gone to the Fort Worth House Courthouse for a hearing in the case of Ms. Bell (a legal client). I didn't go to a courtroom, but instead I entered a large room which looked like the district clerk's office. The judge (probably in his mid 40s), dressed in a blue shirt, tie and slacks, was standing behind a counter. The opposing counsel, O'Connor (a Dallas female attorney), was already standing at the counter. When I walked up I identified myself to the judge and held out my hand. He grasped it firmly and shook it.

This was the first time I had been to Fort Worth on this case, although I had had several hearings in Dallas on the case. In fact I only recently found out that the case had likewise been filed in Fort Worth. Before I had become attorney for Bell about a year before, she had had another attorney, whose last name began with "J.", and he had filed the case in Fort Worth. I wasn't exactly sure why the case had been filed over here, but I thought it might have been filed here as a class action.

It now appeared that O'Connor would like to have this case dismissed and deal with the case only in Dallas. She briefly told the judge this, and he seemed in complete agreement. She also brought up the fact that Bell's former attorney was no longer on the case and that I was now on the case.

The judge pulled out a money order for $11 to which he had already signed my name and he presented it to me. He explained that I just needed to circle one or other of the words Plaintiff or Defendant at the top of the check. I hesitated to do so, but he said the money wouldn't have to be paid by me, so I circled.

I asked the judge if he would grant a Motion for me to withdraw as Bell's attorney if I prepared one. He immediately said he wouldn't. I explained to him that she wasn't paying me anything to represent her, as she had agreed to do, and that without being paid, I was unable to properly prepare the case. I explained that it was a complicated case and that she was in danger of losing her house. I said I would like to keep working on the case but that without being paid I was simply not going to be able to do an adequate job. The judge refused and simply didn't seem to want to discuss the matter further.

He dismissed both O'Connor and me. O'Connor walked out ahead of me and then I followed. I saw my reflection in the glass door of the office as I walked out. I was wearing blue pants, a white shirt and a brown jacket. Clearly my clothes didn't match, and these were the same clothes O'Connor had seen me in time after time.

As I left, it suddenly struck me that I hadn't even become the attorney of record in this case yet. In fact the only thing I had done here on the case was circle on the money order. I now regretted having done that. I shouldn't have even come today, but it was too late now. Still, technically I wondered if I were actually the attorney of record.

I thought about calling up O'Connor and inviting her out to lunch, just to talk. It might be interesting.

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