Friday, February 11, 2005

More Rain Today

The weather turned during the week and now it's pouring rain - the school parking lot was jammed with parents running their children to class, carrying Valentine's Day goodies in bags and projects, and holding the hands of the too-young. Me included. I do love the rain despite the traffic mess. I accept that Southern California can't handle rain. People die whenever it rains. Don't know what it is about the water on the roads and hillsides, but it seems to exceed earthquakes as far as damage goes. We bolster buildings and freeways for when our earth rocks, and forget about how the extra water will flow through our cities. Every year the rain seems to take So. Cal. by surprise.

Rain reminds me of sprinting into movie theaters, standing under a tree's limbs as a makeshift cover and waiting for the break so I can walk to the next museum, tea at a table next to a window while staying at an inn and watching my lover sleep still. I think of quilting for my new baby and being sad that Papa wasn't around to enjoy him, I think of running in the mist to my blind date's car with a thought that maybe this was the guy, the ONE. I think of typing on my computer, a story, a bit of a novel, late, late into the night and listening to the rain tap the windows. There's so much promise in the grayness.

I used to love the mood that would fall on Loyola Law School's campus when it rained. More students filled the library and there was a kind of joy that permeated the air. I liked to sit at the large tables and study, periodically looking outside the huge windows next to those tables, the water creating streams running through the open areas in between the lecture halls. We were all working so hard, getting so ready for that big, bad world. Being lawyers. Again, so much promise in the darkened skies.

I thought about those days when I watched this late-night program last night - the host had ripped on lawyers and got the audience to say, "Thank you, Lawyers." The thing is, the host was thanking the lawyers for a series of cases brought on by members of the public - a few people probably spurred on by greed. The laywers didn't come up with those cases, they were not solely responsible for getting the skewed judgements. The clients that asked to bring the cases are the ones who bear responsibility, the juries that agreed with those clients, and the judges that approved the results did. A case doesn't live due to lawyers alone and it's ignorant to point fingers at the lawyers - we're easy cannon fodder because people don't want to take responsibility for their own shortcomings.

Don't get me wrong, I'm okay with bashing lawyers for realistic items - the high billable hour requirements which prevents lawyers (especially women) from having real lives (especially the lower-end working lawyers), the old-school, good-old-boy system that remains firmly in place, the antagonistic trial system that often prevents settlements from taking place, clogging up the courts and furthering aggression between opposing sides, the higher-than-normal tendency of jerks to become lawyers (they're at the law schools from the get-go). Fine, bash away. But don't bash lawyers for cases the public dreams up, for having a system that allows people to have their "say in court." The blame for the ridiculous, high-cost cases lies squarely on the shoulders of the clients.

There's more...but I have to take A's homework to school. In the excitement of the rain, he forgot his backpack. Such the rain.

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