A Lawyer & His Music. Or, one more row.

When I started training for my first marathon, my dad bought me a running shirt that said “One More Mile.”  He knew.  Hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll understand my point.

May 4 marks the beginning of Lawyer Well-Being Week.  During the lead-up, folks like me are supposed to raise awareness and share thoughts & tips on attorney wellness.

A competent blogger would’ve done so yesterday in a Wellness Wednesday post.  Fortunately, I’ve never claimed to be a competent blogger.  So while you might get me for incompetence, you won’t get me for lying or false advertising.

Anyhow, a day late, I’m here with my wellness tip for the week. It’s a winding road. Bear with me.

A few weeks ago I posted a blog in which I acknowledged that I’d heard from several lawyers who had questions relating to the intersection of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the Supreme Court’s Judicial Emergency Order, and Governor Scott’s Stay Home/Stay Safe order.  In the post, I

  1. urged lawyers to contact me with specific inquiries;
  2. reminded lawyers that the Rules of Professional Conduct are rules of reason; and,
  3. stated that, in my opinion, there’s nothing unreasonable about conducting a law practice in such a way to MINIMIZE the risk of acquiring or spreading COVID-19.

I’ll be honest: ever since, I’ve expected to learn that a lawyer – whether in Vermont or another state that’s under a “stay home” order – had been charged with violating the order.  I couldn’t settle on the circumstances most likely to result in such a charge, but some seemed better bets than others.

Well, today I learned what I’ve anticipated for weeks: a licensed lawyer has been charged with violating a “stay home” order.  Alas, I’d have lost my bet.

The Law360 headline that caught my eye:

“NJ IP Atty In Hot Water Over Pink Floyd Covers Concert”

Per the story, the attorney is alleged to have performed songs by Pink Floyd from his porch while approximately 30 people listened in his yard.  His lawyer contends the arrest was a misunderstanding, that the lawyer/musician was live streaming the performance and did not know that a crowd had gathered. Among others, the ABA Journal, NJ.com, and NBC New York reported the story. 

Aside: the responding police department’s Facebook update is here.  I must say, as police updates go, it’s quite clever.  In context, #wedontneednocoronaparties is sneaky legit.

Anyhow, I’ll leave it to others to sort out whether the situation was a mix-up or a lawyer’s brazen flouting of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order.  Today, I write for one reason.

The story made me realize – for about the quadrillionth time  –  that we’re in bizarro world.

Imagine being transported back in time. Even to as recently as March 1. Then, imagine, once there, clicking on the headline NJ IP Atty In Hot Water Over Pink Floyd Covers Concert What do you imagine the you of seven weeks ago would’ve expected the story to be?

Knowing me as I do, I’d have gleefully expected to revel in the irony of an IP attorney in trouble for copyright infringement.

Those were the days.

My friends, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: keep rowing.  And here’s my wellness tip for the week: don’t think about having to row all the way to shore.

One of my favorite shows of the past few years is Prime’s PatriotThe lead character is John Lakeman. When it comes to daunting tasks, Lakeman’s philosophy is one that I love: get halfway. Why?

“If you can make it halfway and one more step, it’s longer to go back, and shorter to just finish, so you just finish.”

One more row.

You never know.  It might be the one that puts you closer to the finish than to the start.

Pink Floyd - Time - YouTube

ps: I have a sneaking suspicion that “row” isn’t the singular of what when repeated is “rowing.”  If not, I apologize.  Again, I never claimed to be a competent blogger.