Saturday, January 26, 2013

Week 8

Bits and pieces from week 8 of the legal internship.

There is a supermax security prison about 45 mins north of Montreal. From what I've heard, it's the highest-security facility in all of Canada.

How to get things done:
  • > "I need copies from the court file, can you call and ask how soon we can have them?"
  • ... later ...
  • < "Um... they just told me the lady who does the copies has a 2-week backlog, and a rush will get you the copies in 'a couple of days'."

  • > "Well, I'm filing my appeal Monday, so fax them a letter saying you'd like the copies and someone will come tomorrow to pick them up."
Leave of appeal must be submitted in 2 copies at the court, and every party must be served a copy. Which means you'll need: 1 original, 1 court copy, 1 copy for your own files, 1 copy for opposing party, 1 copy for the children's lawyer if the kids have a lawyer.

Printing out 150 pages in 5 copies and putting them together into a court-ready package will take you about 3 hours.

Don't start drafting a letter at 6 PM thinking you'll get it done by 6:30. You won't.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Week 7: The busiest one yet

Quick recap: for the past month and a half, I have been doing my mandatory legal internship at a small family law firm. Having started in early December, most of my time there to date fell right in the holiday season, so things were rather quiet.

Now, it seems business has picked up, and boy, there's a lot to do.

MONDAY was quite uneventful; I don't remember exactly what I did, probably helping our resident power-lawyer prepare some exhibits. (The young, no-nonsense, geddit-done-I-don't-have-time-to-waste type).

TUESDAY tldr: paperwork, run to court, had lunch at 4.

Tuesday started with a run to the local print shop, to have the exhibits bound. We usually staple them, but this was close to a hundred pages of financial documents. All tagged, in yellow tags please, and printed in triplicate with backs. The bailiff will be picking it up as soon as I'm done, so please hurry, it has to be served today to the other party. And while I'm at it, why not get photocopies of this 50-page document, in triplicate please.

Went, bound, came back, was ushered into our conference room for our scheduled training session for one of the legal databases we use. It was a waste of time.

Next thing I know, I'm being given 4 new motions to serve by fax (to the other party), so triplicate, true copy, fax cover sheet and backs. As I'm sending out the first fax, bailiff shows up, and I'm like "Crap, he's supposed to pick up two packs of exhibits, and I've only got one ready!" (the other one was still in the triplicate-true-copy-cover-back-fax pipeline).

So I'm rushing to make photocopies, true-copy-stamp them, put together with the 50-page document, only to realize I've got the wrong motion, go back, copy the right thing, put together, hand to bailiff, who asks me if I've got 2 backs, and I'm like "WTF nobody told me you needed two backs for the bailiff!". Back to the copy room to photocopy the back, realize the printer is receiving a fax so is tied up, lose my mind, print copy from computer, send bailiff on his way, WHEW.

Of course in all this commotion the copy room is a mess and I've still got 3 docs to fax. This was eventually resolved, and I give all the documents, properly put together and stapled to Power-Lawyer, thinking I can finally take a breather.

"Are you going to court now? I need these filed TODAY. You better call a cab to get to the courthouse." It was around 2 PM. I hadn't had lunch yet. It takes less than 30 mins to get to court by public transit. I resignedly grab the court work and head out.

All this to say that I had lunch at 3:45 PM that day.

WEDNESDAY Asked to stay later to help with preparing exhibits. Left work at 10:45 PM, which was not great cuz I was supposed to accompany another lawyer to Valleyfield the next morning.

THURSDAY Woke up at 5, took the metro at 6, the 485 bus at 6:30, arrived at Fairview at 7:09, picked up by the lawyer and she drove us to Valleyfield. We were back at the office by noon, and I was pretty much out of it the whole day. Everything was fine and dandy until about 6PM, when, just as I was starting to enjoy my impending freedom, my maitre de stage slapped me with an emergency research assignment for tomorrow, because Power-Lawyer was told by a judge that her client was going to be ordered shared custody, and she had until tomorrow to change the judge's mind.

I was luckily allowed to do the research from home, sent out search results at 9, asked if they needed anything else, reply only came an hour later, but by then I was already asleep.

FRIDAY Had to go to court at 9 AM because Power-Lawyer was still caught up in St-Jerome, get a txt asking if I'll be back in time for the consultation I was supposed to sit in at 10...

I did make it, if you're wondering.