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Balancing Law and Holiday Stress

by Jay Reeves |

Blue Christmas is not just for Elvis.

Perhaps you’re feeling that way too as the holiday season – with its high stress – approaches.

And why not? This is the time of travel, cleaning, eating, family, tying up loose ends, more eating, juggled schedules, sleep deprivation, dysfunction, deadlines, depreciation, delegation, diminished capacity, defective title and default judgments.

Followed by more eating.

Not to mention the annual office party.

It’s enough to turn Atticus Finch into the Grinch.

But there is hope. The first step of any cure is acknowledging the problem, which in the present case is a simple matter of the BLAHS: Balancing Law and Holiday Stress.

Check your BLAHS level with this little test.

Which of the following is causing you greater anxiety:

1. (a) Mistletoe and holly (b) Bruno DeMolli *

2. (a) Icy roads (b) Workloads

3. (a) Fruitcakes and stomach aches (b) Defense theory half-baked

4. (a) Cousin Eddie (b) Trial brief not ready

5. (a) Long mall lines (b) District Court fines

6. (a) Seasonal flu (b) Discovery past due

7. (a) Red Ryder B-B gun (b) Family law is no fun

8. (a) Grandma got run over by a reindeer (b) Day certain drawing near

9. (a) George Bailey (b) Crises daily

10. (a) Cross-country travel (b) Cases unravel

11. (a) Overeating (b) Another pleading

12. (a) Barking dogs Jingle Bells (b) Plaintiff’s motion to compel

13. (a) Cindy Lou Who (b) No continuance for you

14. (a) Clatter of tiny hooves on roof (b) Unable to meet the burden of proof

15. (a) Tinsel and bows (b) Malpractice woes

16. (a) Justin Bieber holiday show (b) Client charged with violating RICO

17. (a) Opening gifts on Christmas morning (b) Failure to give Miranda warning

18. (a) Decorating the tree (b) Perjury

19. (a) Fir scents (b) Twinkie defense

20. (a) Ski vacation (b) Defalcation

How did you score? If you had an equal number of (a) and (b) answers, congratulations. Your law life is nicely balanced. You needn’t worry about contracting the BLAHS.

Just be careful not to overeat.

*This is our farewell mention to the beloved Bruno DeMolli who recently retired from the NC State Bar.  Bruno, you’ll be missed.

Jay Reeves is an attorney licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. Once upon a time he was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He enjoys long walks on the beach and impersonating Elvis. Contact jay.reeves@ymail.com or phone 919-619-2441; www.riskmanlawsolutions.com.

About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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