Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why DID the Chicken Cross the Road?

I practice in a small town. The county population here hovers around 200,000 people, at least according to the latest census bureau data. This figure is skewed, however, because of the presence of nearly 50,000 college students at any given time. The demographics here are unusual. It makes practicing law interesting because you never know what kind of case is going to walk up.

You get the idea. Suffice to say the town has the feel of living and working in a smaller place.

An old saw says it is "Better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond." Perhaps. I may not be a proverbial biggest fish in my small pond, but after almost 30 years of practice, I have plenty of swimming room.

The funny thing is that it does not matter whether it is that one in a million case or another of what seems like an endless line of misdemeanor marijuana cases walking through my door. There is something humbling that brings me back to where I live and work.

Something like that happened Monday.

I was speeding back to the office in the afternoon. I had a brief due in an appellate court, though licensed in, I had not previously filed any briefing with. I was determined to get it out the front door, and on it's way. I was focused on it to the exclusion of just about all else.

There is an attraction to me of a lawyer from a small town with a legal assistant and a receptionist trying to change the law. It is one reason I like doing appeals. Easy to get an inflated sense of self importance. "Gettin' too big for your britches" as my grandmother used to tell me.

Humble pie always awaits.
I turned onto the street leading to my office. Maybe 3 blocks away from it, and not more than 5 blocks from the courthouse where I go almost every working day of the year, I hit my brakes. Hard. What for, you ask?

Chickens! Chickens crossing the road! The jokes write themselves. I had just enough time to get out of my car and snap a photo of my fowl feathered friends crossing in front of me.

Leave it to our non-flying avian friends to teach me a lesson. I am still a lawyer in private practice in a small town.

Humbling in the best sort of way.

I wonder if they have those yard birds wandering around or near the Harris County Criminal Courthouse in downtown Houston?

Oh, wait. They would have to wait in that line that wraps around that huge building every morning! Never mind.

Oh, my little town.

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