Coffee Talk: What’s the Strangest Thing that You’ve Experienced as a Result of a Case?


Coffee Talk


Coffee Talk is a regular feature of the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. We ask a short question related to an upcoming theme and responses are then published in the Contra Costa Lawyer magazine. This month we asked:

What is the most frightening issue you’ve experienced as a result of a case?

I am an ethics lawyer, so I have seen a lot of bad acts by attorneys and other professionals in my day. I once had a client who was disturbed, and could be violent. One day I came into my office and he had convinced the attorney in the next office to let him into my office when I was not there to wait for me. I found him there after lunch quietly waiting in the dark. Too quietly; it was strange. Later, I discovered he had rifled through my top drawer. I did, however, get him an excellent result, but I am not extremely proud of that.

Carol M. Langford

I had a very contentious case.  Every time I obtained a positive result for my client something strange would happen.  The first time I defeated a motion brought by the Plaintiff and the next day 10 dead birds (all Robins) were strategically placed in front of my office. The next time I won a motion (a few weeks later) a decapitated Robin was placed on my home doorstep.  Coincidence or was someone trying to send me a message? Either way I continued to prosecute the case.   

Robin M. Pearson, Partner, Pearson & Schachter

The most frightening issue I experienced in a case happened at a deposition I was defending in downtown Oakland. My opposing counsel was abusive towards my client so I ended the deposition. I was outside his office waiting for the signal light to turn green to walk to the parking lot when he came up behind me and starting yelling and demanding that I come back inside. I ignored his threats and did not respond. Luckily the light turned green and he did not follow me across the street.

Lorraine M. Walsh

I was a young associate and was asked to cover a family law hearing with zero knowledge of family law and almost no explanation as to what would happen at the hearing. I showed up to represent the husband and learned that the divorcing parties were both police officers. They had gotten into a fight at home that turned physical and the wife gave as good as she got. I don’t remember anything else about the hearing other than the pictures they both brought to court. Totally made me never want to handle a family law matter again and I can successfully say I have stayed true to that promise.

David S. Pearson