Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 56

A SLICE OF WRY
Ringing Down the Curtain
By Paul Kiernan
T
here's been a lot of talk this
year about retirements. Judicial
departures, ends of athletic
careers, the post-shutdown wave
of job changes across the law
industry, Marv Albert, whatever
you call Andrew Cuomo's exit.
Everywhere you turned, people
were leaving their posts.
I would nominate people who should have
been forced to leave the stage but stayed put.
And I'm not just talking about members of the
extended Kardashian family or Jake Paul. There
were also people who, in fact, were voted into
retirement, although they did not get the
message apparently.
Timing your exit is not simply a matter of
chronological age. Moving on has less to do
with age than it does with recognizing that you
have done some things way too many times.
Or perhaps the joys that used to thrill you have
grown stale. Think of your affection for Frosted
Strawberry Pop-Tarts. For some people, the
forced separation from office pals during the
pandemic unleashed the desire to dance off
one treadmill and onto another. OK-Go,
Boomer.
Here's our list of Top Ten Signs That It's Time
to Take Down the Shingle:
10. Using terms like " shingle. "
9. Manufactured memory. This ailment does
not have to do with age or mental fitness.
It is the phenomenon when you offer to
assist a colleague by making the unhelpful
comment, " There's this case that holds such
and such . . . " or " We handled a deal like this
about eight years ago and we did the
following . . . . " But after excavating every
rabbit hole, no one can actually find what
you are sure you remember happening.
Or did it?
8. Hammurabi, you're not. Pontificating
about the state of the law when your
knowledge about the current state of that
law is, let's be charitable, not quite up to
date. Also known as Have-They-ChangedRule-26-Again?
Syndrome.
Timing your exit is not simply
a matter of chronological age.
Moving on has less to do with
age than it does with recognizing
that you have done some
things way too many times.
7. Sticker shock. Clients may be concerned
about your professional rate, but true inflation
shock is when you can't get over the
fact that a simple tuna sandwich costs so
much. And with no pickle, even!
6. Law-book guilt. You were once so certain
that in the coming years you would crack
open that Crim Law outline or dust off your
Property Nutshell with all your pithy
marginal insights. You carted those treasured
relics from office to office. Guess
what? Time to let go.
5. They have what? While you weren't
looking, the Bluebook released its 21st
edition. And federal circuit court opinions
can be found in F.4th. We have blown past
500 F. Supp. 3d. And there are Restatement
of the Law titles for Restitution and Unjust
56 WASHINGTON LAWYER * NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021
Enrichment (Third) as well as Consumer
Contracts. Have they created new hearsay
exceptions, too?
4. Progressive thinking. You know those ads
for Progressive insurance with Dr. Rick
teaching people how not to become their
parents? ( " If you have nowhere to sit, you
have too many throw pillows. " ) It may be
time to retire when you find yourself questioning
Dr. Rick's wisdom. Or maybe when
you're not sure why Dr. Rick is criticizing his
clients since they seem to have valid points.
(Spoiler alert: It may also be time to hang it
up when you believe there really is a Dr.
Rick and not actor Bill Glass with a ridiculous
mustache.)
3. The great Shepard's test. When you went
to law school, did they teach you how to
use the print versions of Shepard's Citations?
Can you put the following Shepard's colors
in ascending order from most recent to
oldest information: gold, maroon, red,
white? Do you miss the days of using the
print versions of Shepard's? Careful, that last
question is a trap.
2. Where did everybody go? Have you
noticed that the composition of your local
courts has changed, or that the guy at the
dry cleaners now has his son running the
counter? And that the liquor store has
changed hands and there still isn't a decent
pizza restaurant after A.V. Ristorante closed?
And on and on. We all know that change is
the only constant, but one Tuesday afternoon
it hits you that things really are different.
The shift was imperceptible and
radical and gradual and instantaneous. And
maybe it's time to change, too.
And the number one test of when to hang it up:
1. When you can't think of a tenth item for
your list.

Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021

Letter to Members
From Our President
Calendar of Events
Practice Management
Toward Well-Being
Reforming Conservatorship: A Battle Over Best Interests
Legal Deserts: No-Man’s Land of Affordable Legal Help
The Unfinished Work of Equal Justice for All
Pro Bono Mentoring for High-Impact Help
The Afghanistan Fallout: Broken Promises & Processes
Taking the Stand
ABA Delegate’s Corner
On Further Review
The Learning Curve
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Disciplinary Summaries
Speaking of Ethics
The Pro Bono Effect
A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 1
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 2
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 4
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Letter to Members
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Calendar of Events
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Toward Well-Being
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Reforming Conservatorship: A Battle Over Best Interests
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 11
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 12
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 13
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Legal Deserts: No-Man’s Land of Affordable Legal Help
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 15
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 16
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 17
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 18
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 19
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Unfinished Work of Equal Justice for All
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 21
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 22
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 23
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Pro Bono Mentoring for High-Impact Help
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 25
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 26
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 27
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Afghanistan Fallout: Broken Promises & Processes
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 29
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 30
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 31
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Taking the Stand
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 33
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - ABA Delegate’s Corner
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Learning Curve
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 37
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 39
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 40
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 41
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 43
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 46
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 47
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Speaking of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 49
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 50
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 51
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 52
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 53
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - The Pro Bono Effect
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - 55
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - A Slice of Wry
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - November/December 2021 - Cover4
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