Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moot Court Meets Mice

Back in the days when I worked part-time in law offices in the evenings to help with the family finances, I became quite creative to bring in a little extra money.  Sometimes it meant doing things that I didn't like to do.  Okay, folks, get your minds out of the gutter.  I'm talking about moot court briefs.  Once a year, McGeorge Law School held moot court for law students.  It was a great exercise in "how to be a lawyer," as opposed to "this is the law."  As much as I love the "how to be a lawyer" concept and think there should be much more of that happening, McGeorge has discontinued moot court--which is actually okay for me since I no longer get wrangled into typing moot court briefs for law students. Trust me, it wasn't worth the tiny amount of money law students could afford to pay me--but I needed the money at the time.

One particular law student, Terry, was a great guy.  He was our LDS home teacher.  His wife, Marilyn, and I were good friends and our children were good friends.  We used to exchange babysitting from time to time.  Marilyn and I were pregnant at the same time once and had our babies on the same day, in the same hospital, and had hospital rooms next door to each other.

Law students were teamed up with a partner for moot court. Terry was very organized and prepared, but his partner was as scatterbrained as they get.  He had no idea what he was doing.  I had received permission from the law office where I worked part-time to use their office one evening to type Terry's moot court brief. Terry and his partner met me at the office after the office closed, and we went to work.  Well, Terry and I went to work. Terry's partner spun his wheels--forever.

At the time, I was used to leaving the office around 9:00 p.m. Everything was always quiet when I left; no problems.  I had no idea that about 10:00 p.m. the mice came out to play.  Now, I'm not talking about a mouse.  I'm not talking about a family of mice. I'm talking about 25 or 30 mice--at least.  The mice literally played at our feet all night while we worked on the moot court brief.  It didn't bother me that much because I had grown up going to our family cabin in the mountains where mice were a constant battle. Terry, on the other hand, was quite bothered.  The more drafts his partner produced, the more angry he became at his partner. Terry kept apologizing to me, but about 2:30 a.m., he almost decked his partner.  I managed to get them both calmed down, and we finished about 3:00 a.m.  It was not the best moot court brief I ever read, but it must have been okay because Terry graduated from McGeorge and passed the bar exam on his first try.

I've often wondered how many more drafts of that moot court brief would have been produced if Terry hadn't gotten tired of mice crawling between his feet!

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