Dream of: 24 November 1997 "Sensitivity"

A spacious conference room, probably in a convention center, had been set up for a legal class. Perhaps 200 people were sitting at long cafeteria-style tables, looking toward the podium at the front of the room. I was still standing, getting ready to take my seat, when I decided that I would first like to talk to Truman (a Fort Worth lawyer who was a bankruptcy trustee), who was in charge of the class and who was sitting with several other people at a special table at the back of the room.

I walked up to him, and started to walk around behind his desk, and approach him from the side, but then I decided it would be better to stand right in front of him. I wanted to ask him his opinion about one of my former bankruptcy client. Once I had his attention, I began explaining the situation.

I told Truman I had recently heard that one of my clients had filed an appeal of part of their bankruptcy case. My work on the bankruptcy case had already been completed and I was no longer actively involved with the case. However, I now wondered if I should once again become involved. I was especially concerned because I had heard that the former client had appealed the case not just one time but 58 times. I had never heard of such a thing before. I didn't know the exact subject matter of the appeal, but I thought it had something to do with a cat which the debtors had owned. I also knew that I might have a relevant letter in the clients' file concerning the cat. Thus it was even more odd that I had never been notified of the appeals.

I asked Truman if he thought I should become involved in the appeals. He was non-committal. He didn't seem to want to take a stance on the issue. From the way he was acting, I began to infer that he thought I might be better off to refrain from becoming involved in the matter. When I suggested that I might just forget the whole thing, he gave a knowing look as if that would be the best course for me to take. Satisfied with his input, I began looking for a place to sit.

I knew my seat was up toward the front of the room, but since the lecture had already started, I decided to sit in an empty seat near where I was in the back. Once I had sat down, I noticed that Truman seemed to be checking the roll, looking at each seat to see if the seat was occupied. I realized when he saw my seat empty, he might mark me down as being absent. But surely he would remember that he had just talked to me, and realize I was simply sitting in another seat.

The woman behind the podium had already begun her lecture. I laid a white legal pad in front of me for taking notes. At first I just concentrated on listening to what she was saying, and I didn't write anything. It took me a few minutes to even remember the subject matter: intentional torts. I knew that in previous lectures we had already studied many intentional torts such as assault and fraud. I found the subject rather interesting.

Suddenly the woman gave three elements of what sounded like an unusual tort. I quickly wrote down the three elements. The first one was "care" and the second one was "sensitivity." But I made a mistake and wrote "care" down twice. I had to scratch out the second "care" and replace it with "sensitivity." I had never heard of this particular tort, and I tried to focus harder on exactly what the woman was saying.

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