Law


As part of the poetry class I’m taking, I was looking at various books of poetry I have on my bookshelves and stumbled across this piece by Marge Piercy, which seems to fit the times, although it was published in 1991.

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If someone sent one a draft document that contained a paragraph that read something like “blah blah [ADD DATE] blah blah blah [ADD DESCRIPTION X]” one could safely assume that the date and description need to be added.  If one was unsure, one could ask the drafter.  I am baffled and alarmed when I get a partially executed contract, signed by two parties, that still contains provisions with bracketed requests for additional information.  Yes, two parties signed a contract that does not actually contain the information, but still has brackets stating things like “ADD DATE HERE”.  Your tax dollars at work folks (both parties that signed are government entities).

Read the contract.  Please.

If you are an entity, such as a municipal government, that requires a resolution to be passed by the city council or other governing body to provide authority to an individual to sign a contract on behalf of said municipality, it is not enough to simply attach a sample resolution to your contract.  You must actually fill in the blanks on the resolution form, have the resolution signed by the appropriate persons, and have such resolution certified by the municipal secretary or similar official.

Blank resolutions will NOT be accepted.  Thank you.

If you are a municipal entity and require a resolution to provide an individual to sign a contract on behalf of the municipality, the resolution you attach should either be a general signature resolution for a given individual or a resolution authorizing someone to sign that particular contract or category of contracts.  Simply attaching a list of “so moved” actions, none of which actually pertain to the contract to which it is attached, is not helpful.

Thank you.

This is more a general business/social tip of the day, then legal, but it came up in the context of a legal lunch I was at the other day, so I’m counting it.

Anywho, the other day I went to this luncheon with about a half dozen ladies – we are all part of a mentoring group put together by this lawyer’s group I’m in.   This was our first meeting as a group.  I knew about half the people there when I got there, including one person that I knew of (she’s a judge) but who I knew would not know who I was, so I put out my hand and offered my name and the judge offered hers, which of course I already knew, but I said polite things and moved down the table, saying hello to a person I knew, introducing myself to another.

Anyway, I got to the last person that was there and not knowing who she was, again offered my hand and name, to which she said “Oh we’ve met.”

To which I stared at her for a moment thinking, ‘nice way to (a) make me feel guilty that I don’t remember you and (b) deny me the opportunity to know who the fuck you are because you haven’t simply said “hi, I’m X, you may remember me from such and such,” to which I would have said, had she said that, “oh yes of course, blah, blah.”‘

No, instead she simply said, “Oh, we’ve met.”  So after giving her a moment to add something, i.e., her NAME, I said, “I’m so sorry, I’m terrible with names, could you tell me your name.”  Which she did, but since I was so irritated I promptly forgot it.

What made the whole situation even more amusing is that later the judge, who was running the lunch meeting, was running through the list of attendees to figure out who was/wasn’t there to see if we should wait before ordering lunch.  Well, each person was id’d on her list by first initial and last name, and the judge paused because she had forgotten this woman’s first name and she looked at me and I had to give her a “sorry” look because I couldn’t remember even though it had been given to me not ten minutes earlier.  Fortunately, the judge then suggested we all go round the table, introduce ourselves, talk about where we worked, etc.  So we both now know this young woman’s name.

The woman who left me hanging on the introduction is young, one year out of law school so maybe she hasn’t dealt with a lot of business-y situations where you are seeing people you haven’t seen in a while, but the tip of the day is, if someone offers their name to you, offer yours, because they may have just saved your ass because you’d forgotten theirs so do them the courtesy of the return.

Oh, and it turned out that the place we had met was at a big party the legal group had thrown nine months earlier – she was someone’s date and apparently we had briefly sat at the same table.  Is she effing kidding me?  I mean, I know I’m charismatic as hell when I’ve had a few drinks in me (hence her apparently vivid memory of me, hahaha) but did she honestly expect me to remember her from a 15 minute conversation at a party where I’d probably already had 3 glasses of wine.  Oy.

While typing this, I’m wondering if this is yet another example of the weird insularness of the locals in this area.  mr. jolt and I have noticed, and our fellow expats have too, that too many times to mention we’ve met someone and said, “hi I’m jolt” or “hi I’m mr. jolt” and the local person says “nice to meet you.”  And they stop speaking and don’t offer their name.  And this is when you have just seen them for the first time.   Seriously, it is the weirdest thing, like they are part of some untouched tribe who thinks that if they simply offer their name they’ve given you power over them or something.  So all the time, we have to ask, “I’m sorry, what’s your name,” which is silly enough when you’ve met them and forgotten their name, but REALLY stupid if you’ve never met them before and thus have no reason to know who the hell they are.  Which half makes me wonder if this chickadee had ever in fact told me her name in the first  place.

Dear X:

Upon receiving an email which states that it is your responsibility to enforce certain requirements, and said email is cc’d to your supervisor and his supervisor, it is generally not a good idea to email back, hitting reply all, and admit ignoring, and thus not enforcing, said requirements for the past five years.  Couching that admission in the language of ‘gee, we never did that before’ does not protect that admission from making you look stupid.

That is all.

j0lt

I had a conference call this morning intended to deal with an incipient crisis – a category of vendors had bonds that were insufficient to protect the client in the event of vendor non-performance- how could we get the vendor to agree to provide better protection.  I hadn’t gotten a copy of the contract until the conference call.  Flipping through, I spotted the bond requirements.  The vendor was not meeting these requirements.  Thus, the only thing required is to enforce the damn contract provisions, not talk the vendor into some amendment to the contract that it has no interest in doing (raising bond requirements makes it more expensive for the vendor so it has no reason to want to amend the contract to do so).

The upside: the call was only 15 minutes long.  The downside: had they read the conference call the whole thing could have been resovled in an exchange of emails.  Sigh.

Sorry for the light posting – I’ve had relatives in town.

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