I have always been a lucky man. In the big ways, one could correctly observe that I have not cooperated with my good luck, but in the little ways it has always come in very handy. For example, two instances: in twelve years of going to court there was only one time that I failed to calendar something and had no idea of it when the day came, and only one time that I miscalendared something and showed up at the wrong courthouse.
The former was a hearing in the bankruptcy case of one of my clients. It was one of my rare cases in Orange County, not an easy place to get to on the spur of the moment. Amazingly, my client called me about an hour before I should have arrived at the hearing room, this happened in about one half of one percent of these matters, by actual count. I talked to him pleasantly for a minute, and then took off like a sprinter. I borrowed a tie and a jacket from one of the other lawyers in the suite and jumped into my car. Again amazingly, I was greeted by unusually light traffic and covered the distance in record time, arriving in plenty of time to make it all look very normal. Good luck, that, including the failure of the Highway Patrol to notice that I had been greatly exceeding the speed limit.
The later was a motion appearance in a civil law suit. The hearing was scheduled for 8:30 a.m., I thought it was to be heard at the big courthouse downtown. I like to be early, and I got to the courtroom at about 8:00 a.m. Upon checking the posted calendar, and re-checking the paperwork, I discovered that the hearing was actually out in Inglewood in a Department with the same number.
If this happens in a Criminal Court, you can call them and they’ll ask you casually, when can you get here? And pretty much any time is ok with them, they’ll call the case when you get there. In a Civil Court, though, there’s no use in calling, you’ll just annoy them, as in, so what? I’ll tell the other lawyers so they can work the case behind your back.
By the time I had jog-walked the twenty minutes back to the car and fought the traffic to Inglewood I walked into the correct courtroom one hour after the posted time. It seemed un-naturally quiet. I asked around and was told that the judge hadn’t taken the bench yet. This too almost never happens.
So it’s all good luck for me then, and I’m thankful for it. I do wish I could have done more on my part to work with the more important good luck.