While I and some other people were at the Logan Street House, I received a phone call: Louise's pleasant voice was on the other end. She was calling me from Dallas; due to a bad connection I couldn't hear her well. It sounded as if someone else speaking Spanish was also on the phone and almost everything Louise said became confused with the other person's voice so I couldn't tell exactly what Louise wanted. She did want to talk with me, however, and I had the feeling she wanted to see me again. Finally I said, "I can't hear you. You're going to have to hang up and call again."
She didn't want to do that because she was afraid she would lose connection with me. But finally she hung up. I walked into the next room where I thought we would have more privacy if she called again. The phone rang and I picked it up.
I thought it was going to be Louise; instead, a fellow on the phone said his name was Joe Smith. He said he was in Cincinnati for a court hearing we were supposed to attend today; I was supposed to represent him as his lawyer. I said, "Oh no. Was it today?"
I remembered I had agreed to represent the fellow in Cincinnati on a criminal charge; but I wasn't even sure what he was charged with; I felt embarrassed. I had been completely negligent in handling the case, even though he had already paid me $150. He was quite upset about the matter.
It was about 10:30 a.m. He said he had already gone to the hearing; I asked him what had happened, but he didn't want to tell me. Finally he said something about another lawyer helping him. I had the feeling he still wanted me to work for him on the case. I asked him if the judge had reset the hearing and he finally told me the judge had done so.
After we talked a while longer, I discovered the fellow was sitting in the room with me. He was black, about 30 years old. I took some notes on a notebook. On one page of the notebook I had written the name of another fellow – a Ronald somebody. I asked my client if he knew who the man was. He said he didn't know, but he had heard his name before.
I deduced that my client had been in an auto accident and the man named Ronald was representing someone else in the accident. In my notes I also had written down part of a California statute which the man named Ronald had given me. The statute said something about people in litigation getting together before trial to see if they could resolve the problem. I told my client that the three of us needed to meet to see if we could come to an agreement.
I was particularly concerned about what had happened in front of the judge that morning when I hadn't attended court. My client said the judge had said that they couldn't very well do anything if all the parties weren't there. I knew I was probably in trouble with the judge, but I didn't think it was that serious.
I wanted to continue representing the man and didn't want to return the $150. However, I wasn't licensed to practice law in Ohio. That was going to present a problem. I thought about representing him anyway, but I would be practicing law without a license and could cause be sanctioned. Maybe I could simply obtain the judge's permission; no, I didn't think that would work. I might have to find another attorney to represent my client in front of the judge; or I might even have to try to become admitted to the bar in Ohio. I was unsure what I was going to do.
Actually I didn't plan to represent anyone else. I was in the process of leaving my law practice and was finishing up some left-over business. That day I had decided to get busy to conclude some matters.
The Logan Street House in fact reminded me of the Law Office in Waco. Several secretaries were running busily about the House. I finished with my client, walked over to one of the secretaries and asked her if there had been any calls for me.
There was a massage from the man named Ronald. I figured he had also been at the hearing in Cincinnati and was calling me about it. Louise had called twice and left her number. I was unsure whether I should return her call. I might just wait. But I thought since she had gone to all the trouble to call me, I would like to talk with her.
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