Tag Archives: lost documents

Ambushed

10 Nov

Getting ambushed is so much fun.  Today I got a lovely email from Boss A, who is attending a depo out of the office.  Apparently, he copied the scanned discovery file to his laptop before leaving, without looking at it to make sure it contained what he expected it to contain.  A little while ago I got an email proclaiming that the production should always be included with the scanned discovery responses, and now he’s there without it and I must do it ASAP!  (His exclamation point, not mine.)   

Yay.  I love getting emails yelling at me for something that I haven’t done as a matter of policy at all during my tenure at this firm, AND I cannot defend myself until he comes in the office.   If he had looked, he would have seen that the production was scanned as a separate file because it’s a bazillion pages long.  Not only that, but he would also find that the production was bookmarked by bates number and document description.    

And if that isn’t enough, if he was looking for a key policy document produced by the hospital, he would have found that it was scanned all by itself.  Because it’s important.  Just to add more fun to this already delightful situation, he hasn’t been the lead attorney on this file.  I’m not sure if he is jumping in so they can tag team this case, or if he’s just filling in for depos.  I’m pretty sure none of this would be happening if this had been his file from the get-go and he was familiar with it.  

Instead, I am the scapegoat for the moment.  I’m probably going to tell him that I haven’t been scanning the production with the discovery routinely, and he will tell me I’m wrong.  Clearly, he knows what I’ve been doing better than even I do.  And because one paralegal has been doing it this way, he assumes that it’s supposed to be done that way across the board.   

I would have an awesome defense to all of this because of the aforementioned production file that was scanned, EXCEPT that I can’t find the hospital’s production to verify that I have their production scanned in its entirety.  I suspect that the only thing that was produced other than the medical records was the policy document I scanned, but now I can’t be sure and cover my ass.  I hate an uncovered ass.  It’s the worst thing EVER.    I suspect I will find the missing production in an attorney’s office.  Just a hunch. 

This is the file from hell anyway because it’s got a bazillion records, multiple parties, and every time I try to tame this beast, something comes up and I’m pulled away.  But now I really hate it.  Me and this file?  Oh, we are going to tango this afternoon.  File from hell, you are going DOWN.

Onto another week

27 Sep

What’s worse than losing something important at work?  Spending 2 days looking for something you thought you lost, but does not exist.  I don’t know whether to be happy that I didn’t lose the authorizations, or seriously worried that I’ve lost my mind instead.   It turns out that my authorizations were a ghost.  An illusion created by a disturbing mixture of being stressed, overwhelmed and anxious, while simultaneously feeling like I have no frickin’ idea what is going on.    Maybe my subconscious was telling me to slow down and look at what I have going on in my office?  Thanks, subconscious, but next time could you send me a note or email so I don’t look (and feel) like a spaced out lunatic?  Much obliged. 

So I finally bit the bullet and told boss A what I had lost (prefaced by “For the first time in 8 years…” to soften the blow for me), only to get a completely bewildered look.  Thankfully, boss A has been so busy lately he couldn’t remember one way or the other either.  Then I called Plaintiff’s counsel to see if they either A)had the records we needed or B)would send us an authorization and see what they said.  They couldn’t recall whether they sent us an authorization either, so I was feeling better and better! 

The upside is that my office is now really organized since I’ve reviewed and touched every piece of paper AT LEAST twice.  And I have a much better handle on what is sitting here waiting to be completed. 

If only I could get my house at least as semi-organized as my office.  I spent the weekend cleaning everybody’s else’s mess, except for my own.  Saturday was a ‘work day’ at T’s new daycare.  It’s a co-op in a way; a non-profit preschool run by a parent board.  (Which I have been suckered into joining.  But that’s another post.)  They require (but mostly just beg for) parent involvement and assistance.  Thankfully, a lot of parents showed up and we were able to get a tremendous amount of work done.  Go us!  On Sunday, I met a co-worker at the office and we cleaned and organized our “overflow file room”, a/k/a “the scary room” as I call it.  It’s the room where files are in limbo between being “over” and actually getting closed and moved off-site.  It’s also where we keep the bazillion used binders to be recycled, where trial equipment is stored and whatever else other people feel like dumping in there instead of dealing with.  We only spent 2 hours and completely overhauled that room & consequently felt like super-productive, employees of the year.  Thankfully, boss A was also here to witness our efforts so we got big brownie points.  Which is probably the only thing we’ll get for it, anyway. 

Come Sunday night, I felt like I didn’t even have a weekend.  Coupled by taking Mr. T to the grocery store after he played in his room instead of taking a nap, (read: he was a complete terror in the grocery store.  Seriously.) I was completely ready to hit the reset button on the weekend.  Since that wasn’t an option (I’m fresh out of plutonium for my time-machine/Delorean), I watched the Dexter season premiere and sighed happily while eating fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.  Ah, bloodshed and chocolate.  At least I had the presence of mind in the grocery store to grab a package of refrigerated cookie dough.  (Actually, wine was my preferred choice, but chocolate chip cookies don’t give me a hangover.  And I didn’t trust myself with the wine bottle last night.)

So here’s to another week…let’s hope I don’t misplace anything and can maintain my sanity until Friday.

No, really! I am organized!

22 Sep

I am trying to take a moment to collect myself, and maybe trick my brain into remembering where I put something.  I absolutely HATE misplacing anything.  I am a paralegal, for God’s sake.  Organized should be implied with the title.

So I have to confess….I have misplaced original, signed authorizations we received from the plaintiff; authorizations to get their medical records which are, oh, I don’t know, KINDA important in a medical malpractice case!   I usually can put my hands on about anything in my office within 5 seconds.  But. I. Don’t. Know. Where. They. Are. ! 

My second confession:  even though I am organized (that’s my story & I’m stickin to it) I am a “piler”.   I have a pile of notes and ongoing issues for each case.  There is no official place in the file for all my notes and incomplete research projects, so they have to go somewhere.  And I really do need to have the records-to-be-disseminated and unfinished projects where I can see them.  Why unfinished, you ask?  Oh, I will be happy to tell you.  At any moment, any given project, like something to be completed before a depo in 1 week is suddenly a non-priority because the depo is being rescheduled, but the attorney has all of the sudden discovered that Oh! My! God!  This (brand new, never heard of before project) has to be done NOW.   So, half-finished research project goes to the side and it’s onto the crisis du jour.  

Really, I do try to stay one step ahead of my attorneys.  I scan their calendars once, and sometimes twice, a week to keep an eye on what’s coming up.  I try to interrogate them when I can (and when they don’t give me “the look” which means “Finish telling me only what I HAVE to know right now and save the rest for later”) in hopes of gleaning some information about what’s next on the horizon.  In their defense, they have gotten better about trying to let me know when something is coming up.  But, they are attorneys.  And letting others in on what the hell they are thinking isn’t their strong suit.  As usual, I digress.

So here I am, no closer to finding my authorizations.  I’m feeling terribly guilty that I let my desk get to the point where I may have misplaced something.  (May have?  Who am I kidding – it’s MIA!)  My office has been a whirlwind the past few weeks – handling my departed coworkers cases along with my own, 2 cases are in limbo so the piles were exiled to the other side of my office, training the new paralegal, and being told, “Hey!  You’re now the lead paralegal on this case going to trial next month!”  Super.    Still – I had them and now I don’t.  And they should have been mailed out last week with the letters requesting the records. 

I have looked through every other pile in my office to no avail.  (And cussing about my need to “pile”)  Now I am off to spend the next half hour sifting through the stack of documents to be shredded, which thankfully hasn’t been dumped in a few weeks.  I’m feeling woefully inadequate as a paralegal right now.  Please pray for me….