Curious Incident of the Temp in the Day-Time
- Table of Contents
- Table of Authorities
- E-file a motion
E-filing is bullshit. People always seem really panicked about whether or not you know how to e-file. If you know how to use the internet, you know how to e-file (unless I am fucking it up on a regular basis all over the place). It's really that simple (unless it's not, in which case, whoops). You get the attorney's log-in information, log into the court, do a search to see what the judge wants, and then follow directions. There's no rocket science involved.
I arrived at the law firm on time Friday afternoon. The receptionist was rushing around in a panic. She was the only administrative person working there, except for the office manager, who was strangely cold. They finally got me set up at a computer, and explained that the pleading needed to be filed at 4pm. It was 1pm then, so I told them no problem, I could definitely have everything done in less than three hours (there are deadlines when e-filing).
The receptionist introduced me to the founding partner of the law firm, and the two contract attorneys he had working there. All three of them were working on the pleading. The founding partner asked me into his office, and proceeded to ask me a highly technical WP question about formatting within a pleading that I didn't know the answer to. I explained that I've seen that issue before, I don't know how to fix it, but here are two ways to work around it.
He seemed upset, and I gently told him that there's a difference between word processors and legal secretaries. He asked if the agency had anyone who would know how to do what he wanted, and again seemed upset when I told him I don't know who else the temp agency hires. It was a little awkward, but I tried to smooth things over by reassuring him that I knew how to do what I'd been told they needed.
Then I left and waited for someone to tell me it was time to start working on the pleading. Eventually the founding partner came in with one of the contract attorneys and quite awkwardly asked if I could make revisions. I reassured him that I'd be happy to do revisions. We agreed I would revise, then save the pleading as a new document before creating the TOC and TOA.
Let me be honest with you, Interwebs. I had to look up how to create those, since I do it so infrequently and needed the reminder. This took me five minutes. There were only three levels within the TOC and the pleading was only ten pages, so you can see it didn't take long.
There is no one correct way to format these things. I mean, there are generally acceptable ways for them to look, but some attorneys like the words "Table of Contents" to be bolded and centered, while others like them to be left-justified or whatever. So when I'm walking in and meeting lawyers for the very first time, there's no way for me to know what style they'll want unless they show me pleadings they've filed previously and I can copy that format.
While I was doing the revisions, the three attorneys kept coming in, nervously asking me how it was going, looking over my shoulder, making further revisions, asking if I could move this paragraph here, move that sentence there.
They were also coming in every five minutes, asking me to print out what I'd done. Then as they'd look at what came off the printer, they'd make changes and ask me to correct what they were looking at. So at no point did I ever get to finish and present what I'd done without input.
Then at some point, I got asked to change the page numbering. I quickly began shoving in section breaks and changing the page numbering in the TOC and TOA to roman numerals like they wanted. When I'd finished, I printed the pleading out and brought it to one of the contract attorneys. He and the other one were arguing about something so I left it on their desk and went over to the receptionist, who looked very stressed, to ask if she needed any help. She didn't.
Then I found out she was filing other pleadings in the same case, so even though I'd originally been told I was being brought in to e-file, it wasn't too surprising when the lawyers gave the receptionist the pleading I'd been working on to e-file. Which she got done not at 4pm, but at 5:01.
But you know what was surprising? When a woman from the temp agency called me yesterday afternoon to ask me for my version of what went on Friday, since the founding partner told her that although I was nice, I didn't know how to do what they'd brought me in to do. So I went through it. How when I walked in ready to work, they weren't ready for me. How before I could finalize anything they were asking me to print out whatever I'd done and continually making revisions to it, how the receptionist wound up doing the e-filing.
I told her about the obscure pleading issue the founding partner asked me to fix when I first arrived. She assured me she's gotten great feedback from every other firm she's sent me to, and that the agency is not firing me. That this happens sometimes. But then when we were saying goodbye, she said, "If I don't talk to you before Thanksgiving, have a wonderful holiday!" Of course I wished her the same, but as I hung up I thought, "But why won't I be talking to you before then? Surely you'll have work before Thanksgiving, won't you?"
So now I am nervous.