The Couch

The Couch – Working During the Pandemic Can Be Trying

The Couch is a learning place, not only for its contributors but also for our readers who engage in the ensuing discussions.
The pandemic demands that we adapt but not everyone seems to be willing to do so. Can you help our colleague communicate his concerns to his clients?


First of all, thank you for all the material on the pandemic. Learning how to help myself financially and how to keep my sense of self is very important. All that done, I still have to deal with clients who do not understand my concerns regarding this pandemic.

home office set up with 3monitors, water bottle, and boom mic.

I had a depo scheduled for May prior to the pandemic. It was a continuation of a case I had done in January. My expectation was that the session would be changed to a virtual meeting. Nope. The lawyer wanted me present in the office with the court reporter, videographer, and deponent. BUT she was safely at home.

I refused to go, explaining I could do my job from home. I have a good set up and the required equipment. I prepared myself to work from home because my child is in the high-risk group due to immunodeficiency.

However, what disturbs me the most is the lawyer’s “I am more important than you” attitude. Has anyone else encountered it? How do you suggest I handle it if it happens again?

Thank you!

 


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2 Comments
  • Carmela Mustile
    Posted at 14:18h, 02 July Reply

    I am sorry this happened to you. I would recuse from the case. It is imperative to have stress free working conditions. None of us is a ‘machine’ so the emotional, safety, and psychological component must be taken into consideration. The nature of our profession is largely prone to errors, yet perfection is required. We must advocate for the oath to ourselves first, our own wellbeing, then professionally we can fully understand what it means ‘under oath’ . Thank you.

  • Vicki Santamaria
    Posted at 16:13h, 29 July Reply

    As a staff interpreter for the last 19 years, I have been exposed to many, many lawyers who transmit the attitude that they are the most important person in the courtroom. I believe the courts foster this attitude by taking cases with private attorneys first. The justification is that the clients of private attorneys are paying a very high fee for attorneys’ services, so it’s best for the clients/defendants to have their cases called first. That being said, I have also noticed that the attorneys who work the most with non-English speakers (and thus with interpreters) are the most friendly and respectful. They know and appreciate the value of a good interpreter. In the long run, any interpreter is going to run into many attorneys with large-size egos. The best policy is just realizing that their attitude is their problem and to be polite and respectful oneself, while also standing up for oneself, which is exactly what you did.

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