After a lot of debate, Scott and I decided to reserve a hotel room and schedule an impromptu mini vacation Tuesday night. I knew that a lot of my anxiety would be alleviated just by knowing that I was closer to the location of the hearing and that I wouldn't have to navigate the dreaded beltway at rush hour. Robby was excited beyond words when we revealed that, not only was he going to be missing school the next day, but also that he was going to be spending the night in a hotel.
Just as we were walking out of the house to drive to the hotel, our phone rang. I went vaulting for the receiver when I heard the caller ID announce that it was my attorney's office. After all, I haven't heard from the man in months.
I was surprised when, instead of my attorney, another man introduced himself when I answered the phone. He explained that he worked in the same law office and that he would be representing me at the hearing tomorrow. Great, I thought. It figures that they would send a lackey to represent me!
He then asked to meet with me a few minutes before our scheduled time, and asked about how to identify me. I was not in the most gracious of moods at this juncture in the conversation. "I can wear a yellow rose in my hair if that helps. Of course, you could always just look for the carbon fiber foot. Chances are it will be me attached to it!" After a nervous laugh, his responded by saying, "Oh yeah, I forgot that you had one of them." Needless to say he did not instill great confidence!
Wednesday morning I was nervous as I waited in the courthouse lobby. Lawyer after lawyer entered, each walking directly to his client. I was alone and becoming more anxious by the moment.
Then, through the window I saw my attorney. Although we hadn't met, I knew him instantly. His suit was about 2 inches too short in the sleeves, his tie was tied too long, and his shirt was halfway untucked from his pants. For some reason, he looked like his friends would call him "Skippy."
Skippy was nice, albeit extremely young. We briefly spoke about my case and, after fumbling with paper for about 10 minutes, he told me he felt confident. I knew better, but I just had to ask how long he has been with the firm.
Young Skippy began to fidget in his seat. He tried to tell me that he has been doing this his entire life because his father was an attorney and the founder of the law firm. He told me a story about having to drive to get his Dad when clients would call because cell phones were not yet commonplace. I knew he was trying to evade the question and doing a bad job at it!
Finally, I looked at him and said, "You just graduated from law school, didn't you." Playing with the paperwork in the file, he said, "Um.. yes. But I did an internship." Turns out that Young Skippy just graduated last month and that I am among his first cases. My confidence level was not advanced! We were silent until the proceedings began.
When my case was called, I stood at attention. Unfortunately, Skippy and I were the only two standing. Opposing counsel was not in the courtroom.
After some scrambling and a flurry of phone calls, it was revealed that the attorney for the insurance company forgot about the hearing and was comfortably sipping his coffee 60 miles away in Baltimore. The judge ordered a continuance. Without being able to utter a word, my day in court ended. I will have to continue to wait.
To say that I'm angry would be an understatement. I am absolutely livid, deflated, confused, and heartbroken. Today I hope to decompress and gather my thoughts. Right now I'm feeling lost, and I don't like it. I know that I'll regroup and continue to fight because I have no other option. But today, I think I'll just curl up with a book and hide from the world.