As I begin this post, it’s 11:17 p.m. and in order to remain on the “Blawger Survivor” island, I have to get it posted in the next 43 minutes. Actually, make that 41 minutes.

Technically, I suppose I could go ahead and hit “Publish” now and stay within the letter of the Blawger law. But, in the interest of fair play, to stay within the spirit as well as the letter of the law, and with the realization that I will probably cross paths with Sean Carter at the next ACLEA meeting, I’d better do a bit more than 3 sentences.

Deadlines. When I was in school it was getting the papers turned in on time. Several of my upper-level English courses in college did not have any exams at all, just a requirement that we turn in a specified number of pages by the end of the semester. It was great for someone like me, who enjoys writing but has never been a particularly good test taker. Great at least until the end of the semester rolled around and I heard the clock ticking louder and louder.

A few years later I entered law practice, an extraordinarily deadline-driven profession, particularly for trial lawyers. Whether the deadlines are set by the rules, by the court, or by opposing counsel’s demand letter, a good bit of the day-to-day routine of a litigation practice is simply meeting one deadline after another. Usually, I’d find myself working until the 11th hour to meet a deadline. While procrastination might have occasionally entered into the picture, far more often the primary culprit was Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

If the rules allowed 30 days to compile discovery responses, it was remarkable how often it would be a 30-day project. If a judge gave me a week to file a motion, it would take me a week to get it just right.

And, if I have 43 minutes to write up a blog post, you can be sure it’ll take 42.


3 Responses to Deadlines

  1. wagsoutside says:

    Pretty weak post for 42 minutes. I didn’t know where I was going with it when I started, and took several rabbbit trails off to the side while writing. Oh well.

    Looking at my date stamp, I see that it’s apparently set for Central Standard Time and not Eastern, so it looks like I have an hour left before the midnight deadline. This Eagle Scout couldn’t sleep well at night if I tried to get away with that, though.

  2. gomomyourock says:

    You have exactly one week to finish the bathroom!

  3. Wags says:

    OK – looks like about a week-long project, so that should be about right.

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