Tuesday, October 27, 2009


As attorneys we are given a certain degree of control over other people's lives. This is true if you're a criminal defense attorney, an assistant district attorney, a personal injury attorney, a divorce attorney or a property attorney. Someone comes into your office, sits down across a table from you and grants you the power to make certain decisions on their behalf.

One of the hardest things for an attorney is to accept that there are some situations over which we have no control. Monday night was such an occasion for me.

We were in the process of moving and our garage was full of stuff that had not yet found its way inside our house. My oldest daughter had a shoe rack hung over the back of the door leading from the house to the garage and was putting her shoes in it.

I was in the other end of the house getting our internet connection up and running when I heard a shattering sound and the screams of my daughter. My wife couldn't see what happened because she couldn't open the door to the garage. When I ran into the garage I saw my daughter standing in a pile of broken glass from the table upon which she had been standing. I could also see the blood on the floor.

My wife and I cleaned her feet, wrapped them and drove off to the emergency room. By the time we got there my daughter had calmed down and I carried her inside in my arms. Everything was fine as the doctor examined her feet until she had to probe inside the cuts in search of glass shards. She told us she had to inject a local anesthetic into our daughter's feet.

I have never felt so powerless as I did that night holding my little girl tight while she screamed in pain as the doctor injected the anesthesia. There is nothing worse than looking into your child's eyes and telling them there is nothing you can do to stop the pain.

It's a very humbling experience and it reminds us of how little about our world we actually have control over.

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