Improving attorney quality of life one complex litigation project at a time

Virtual Paralegalism

The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism

I’m Afraid I’m Going to Have to Kick You

I’m Afraid I’m Going to Have to Kick You

I did say that to my supervising attorney this morning, in front of a live and web cast audience, while presenting our topic “Preparing for Workers’ Compensation Mediations and Hearings” to a spring paralegal conference. In my defense, it was the only real moment of hilarity in a lecture which focuses mostly on not waiting until the day before to plan a settlement and hearing strategy, as well as other lively issues, such as calculating the present value of lifetime disability cases, and obtaining your own client’s criminal and employment records to avoid unpleasant surprises at mediation and trial.

I did have an epiphany on the drive back after our presentation. I am a total control freak, which can be an asset for a paralegal in a litigation practice, but elsewhere is just plain irritating. My control issues may have accounted for me telling my boss at least eight times on the way over to the conference that we only had an hour to present, or approximately six minutes each per PowerPoint slide (we were taking turns). I know he got it, because when we started our presentation, he told the audience that he couldn’t stand too close to me, in case I kicked him if he exceeded his time limit.

I should have enjoyed the presentation, especially the parts where my boss told the attendees how great I am at my job. (When I asked him a couple of weeks ago if he’d recommend me on LinkedIn, he told me to draft my own recommendation. I jokingly responded that it would say, “Lynne is brilliant, indispensable and my law practice would collapse without her.” I could tell he wasn’t listening when he said, “That sounds good, send it to me and I’ll post it.”) I tried (unsuccessfully) staring laser beams into the back of his head when he was developing great points while going way over his time limit. I became obsessed with the rapidly waning time, and was only briefly distracted when my supposedly fully charged laptop announced it was taking a nap. My boss snuck in a few extra minutes while I whipped out the power cord.

Finally, with 15 minutes left to go, and less than halfway through the lecture, I waited until he took a breath, and turned to him and announced, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to kick you.” He took it really well, even taking on the role of Vanna White and beautifully displaying the present value calculator we use from Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company. I delivered the remaining half of the lecture in rapid-fire auctioneer-style, which probably explained the lack of questions from the stunned audience at the end. I don’t think my boss really feared for his physical well-being, but he did ask me on the drive back if I enjoyed speaking engagements. Well, sure, if I can hold the stop-watch.

2 Responses to I’m Afraid I’m Going to Have to Kick You

  1. I’m sure that there’s a secret class in law school for folks are taught tricks for getting out the maximum number of words without having to take a breath.

  2. To be absolutely fair, a whole day could have been devoted to the subject matter; an hour was a tough time limit! But you’re right, when I got back to the office and shared the tale, one of the other partners said, “This is why I never share closing arguments with him!”

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

Website design by T.Marie Hilton-Girly Girl Geek Designs