The Post in Which I Break My Silence on My Former Boss…Judge Mike Maggio

Today, the JDDC has unanimously approved and released (courtesy of an agreed sanction against my former boss and current friend, Mike Maggio.

I will let Judge Maggio speak for himself here later (he’s agreed to an interview). He’s got a lot of thoughts on the matter and we’ve discussed them at length. Some I agree with, some I disagree with, and some that are just interesting for consideration. Today, I’ll simply offer some reflections outside of the substantive case.

Nothing prepares you for your daily reading of Gawker, only to see your former boss’s portrait splashed on the main page. And nothing prepares you for being so very disappointed by someone you otherwise admire.

I was Judge Maggio’s first law clerk. I was hired before I even passed the bar and I spent the first 18 months of my legal career working for him  in Faulkner, Van Buren, and Searcy counties. I started out an unmarried new grad; I got pregnant, then married, while I worked for him. I  finally left for private practice because the salary was a bit slim for my growing family. I would have stayed on as long as they let me, if the salary had been comparable to private practice, because I truly enjoyed working there.

The judge and I disagree about a lot of things: religion, politics, etc. That’s probably true of me and most of the 20th judicial circuit. But, Judge Maggio taught me the two legal practice rules that I still hold near and dear:

1. Never embarrass opposing counsel in front of their client, if you can help it.

2. Treat the legal process and the participants involved with dignity and respect, even if they are wrong.

Judge Maggio and I don’t see eye to eye on a lot of political issues, but, for all his faults, he was willing to hire the outspoken VP of the law school Young Democrats. We have always had very congenial discussions about controversial topics. I’ve never been afraid to give him my honest opinion on everything and anything, including his case.

I still don’t know how to reconcile the person I know with some of the things he’s said, but here’s what I’ve learned:

I’ve learned that sometimes the people we love and admire can disappoint us. I’ve learned that it’s really easy to say terrible things on the internet, whether you are an anonymous blog commenter or someone calling out a judge. I’ve learned that some things shouldn’t be open to politics and that I should never, ever be a judge.

I’ll be interviewing Judge Maggio soon and I hope to see you back here for that.


Bar Association Meeting

It’s that time of year again…hundreds of attorneys bunking in Hot Springs (most of us are at the Arlington) for the 115th Annual Bar Association Meeting. I realize the idea of a hotel full to the brim with lawyers sounds terrible, but it’s actually quite fun.

For people who haven’t been to a Arkansas Bar Meeting, you really are missing out. Here are the top 5 reasons to go:

5. The Arlington-as a friend said last night, you have to have a certain level of comfort with germs to stay here, but for those of us who do, it’s an experience all of its own. It really is quite lovely.

4. Politics-Even if you don’t give a vote about politics, this is still a reason to come. There are a lot of politicians and people politicking in an atmosphere more conducive to honesty than many public forums.

3. CLE- You need it. It’s here.

2. Old Friends and New-Catch up with your law school friends. Meet lots of new friends. Hear war stories from attorneys and judges young and old.

1. Fun-this is definitely the most fun you can have getting CLE. For the social type, there are plenty of dinners, mixers, parties, after parties, and the requisite pool party.

Friday Funbag! Pictures of my office

Today is Friday. Friday is funday. I don’t know why Madonna thought Sunday was a good fit, but it was the eighties and a lot of people were making poor choices.

So, since it’s funday, let’s do something fun. Like look at pictures of my office. I have between the second and third cleanest office in my firm, depending on what is happening in the patent department. I take office decorating seriously, because I spend more awake time at my office than anywhere else.

Invitation: Send me pictures of your office to hawglawblawg at gmail dot com and I will post them next Friday, assuming you don’t work at a strip club or dog fighting arena.

This is where I sit. I sit a lot.


The jelly beans are a joke from an early episode of The Office.


My daughter’s nickname is Bunny.


Proud Peacock from T.J. Maxx.


Roses and lavender from my garden.


Chairs. People actually sit in these.


A teacup for my paper clips and a gift from a co-worker.




My daughter, Beatrix, and a place for my keys.



Doc Review: it’s better than eating a raw squirrel!

I don’t know how people survive doing document review full time. For the past couple of months, I’ve done 2.5 days of document review per week on a big class action case. Well, I’m supposed to being doing 2.5 days.

It was pretty fun the first couple of weeks. I liked watching the numbers go down. But then, more documents came. And they just kept coming. And they haven’t stopped. So, here is my survival guide:

1) It is important to stay awake.

2) Headphones and peppy music can help you stay awake. When you find yourself saying sarcastic things to the peppy music, switch to a podcast.

3) Cold office also helps you stay awake.

4) Coffee. Don’t get tricked into the old “water is better for you” line.

5) Set time goals! For every 30 minutes of doc review, get up and walk around. Bug your co-workers. Complain about your relatively easy task to people who are entrenched in really difficult projects. For every hour of doc review, I let myself check facebook, or read an article.

6) Think of it like Charlie and Chocolate Factory. You want to be the one who finds the golden ticket. Remember when Veruca Salt’s dad hired all those factory workers to check all the chocolate bars? That’s your document review team and you want to be the lady waving the ticket in the air.

7) Tylenol. Doc review is hard on the eyes.

8) Read articles about people who do doc review full time. Realize you don’t have it that bad.

9) Go bug your co-workers more. Tell them about the really funny email you just read where the big boss tells the middle level boss to let her employees think they came up with ideas themselves “you know, like we do with our husbands.” Then write a blog article looking for sympathy.

10) Enjoy the fact that you get to bill a big block! It beats lots of 0.1s right?

Suggestions from the trenches?