Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Thoughts of Sugar Plums, Mistletoe and Impending Death

Do you ever notice how the Holidays affect your legal practice?  Maybe it's just me.  For my clients, sugar plums are not the only thoughts that dance in their heads.  Maybe its the reminder of Christmases past that make them think of their own mortality.   Each year, without missing a drummer boy's beat, I have a sled full of clients who come to me with impending death on their minds.
In our estate planning practice, I was inundated this week with requests for wills. At least seven of my clients indicated that they feared their planes would crash while visiting relatives.  In fact, I am sitting in my office on a Saturday afternoon waiting to meet with one couple who insisted on signing their documents before their flight left later this evening.  I see this phenomenon a few times a year.  Its usually summer vacation months, Thanksgiving and of course, Christmas.

With our personal injury matters (which reminds me, if you have recently been injured in an accident, don't wait call......sorry force of habit) we are usually approached by a handful of clients who want to know if things can be sped up a bit. Insurance adjusters seem to know this. I always feel that they want to capitalize on the fact that people could use a few extra dollars to buy Christmas presents and, as Eddie Murphy once eloquently stated, "the GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip".

Not surprisingly, during the holidays we also see an increase of clients seeking the criminal defense aspect of our practice.  From drunk driving to shoplifting, the Holidays seem to bring out the best and worst in us. During a recent visit to a local superior court, I found myself standing in line to see an overworked state's attorney in charge of the domestic docket. The length of the line made me think I was waiting for Springsteen tickets.  The court seemed to be swamped with requests for modifications of protective orders that would allow their clients to visit their families over the holidays.

Do you have your own observations about the holidays?  Do you have a rush of divorces after Valentine's Day?  Drunk driving cases after St. Patty's Day?  Tree thefts after arbor day? Assault cases on Boxing day? We invite you to share them in our comments section.

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