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Notes From the Mulligan Bench*

(*An appellate blog and other musings)


Click on a blog title below to access the post. 

Legend: ALR = Appellate Law Related; GLR = General Law Related; NLR = Not Law Related.

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In Case I Die in a Fiery Plane Crash (NLR)

Whee!  Flying is fun.

Whee!  Flying is fun.

Just before I was due to fly overseas, a small cargo plane crashed on the green at World of Golf in Florence, Kentucky.  If I recall correctly, the first officer survived but the captain perished.  Upon learning of this nearby catastrophe, I did what any normal person would do … I jumped into my car and raced to the scene, hoping to catch a glimpse of the carnage.  The remains of the wreckage were barely discernible through the trees.  But you could just make out enough twisted metal and serrated fiberglass to picture the entire crash site in your mind.

I wasn't afraid to fly after that.  I used to work on the ramp at the airport.  Slugging bags into the cargo hold, fueling airplanes, cultivating my sailor mouth in the testosterone-infused atmosphere, and driving planes back from the gate with the little tug when it was time for them to taxi to the runway.  Perks included being one of the few female employees on the ramp in the midst of a slew of virile, eager male employees; meeting my best friend Cari (2 decades and counting!); and flying for free to locations such as Nassau and Toronto.  Aircraft were fascinating and alluring to me … back then

Then: Neat, a plane.  Now: Neat, a deathtrap.

Then: Neat, a plane.  Now: Neat, a deathtrap.

Fast forward to sometime in my 20's, when I inexplicably developed a sudden fear of flying.  I'm not really sure what did it.  Perhaps it was all of those airplane crash videos I watched on YouTube <shrug>.  To this day, during particularly stressful times in life, I still have nightmares involving plane crashes.  Sometimes I am on the ground and watch in horror as I witness a plane going down.  More often I am on the plane itself. 

It doesn't take Freud to figure that one out.

It doesn't take Freud to figure that one out.

Despite this fear, I still travel by air on occasion.  At some point, I decided to start hugging my dad when he dropped me off at the airport.  (A brief aside: Like many Tristate natives, we are descended from German immigrants and, in many ways, we conform to certain stereotypes.  Physical affection takes a back seat to love demonstrated through actions.  Loving actions simply are, to borrow a term from author Gary Chapman, our family's "love language"). 

Back to the story.  When Dad would drop me off at the airport, I would gather my things, open my arms to him, and wryly say, “OK, now give me a hug, in case I die in a fiery plane crash.”  After I entered law school, this was always followed by a stern admonition to sue the airline if I did indeed meet my untimely demise in a fiery plane crash.  And sue them good!  It was all said in a lighthearted manner, but I meant it.

"It is better to be a mouse in a cat's mouth than a man in a lawyer's hands."  - Unknown

"It is better to be a mouse in a cat's mouth than a man in a lawyer's hands."  - Unknown

Dad was instructed to aggressively pursue pain and suffering damages to compensate for my final moments.  You know, when the plane burst into flames and barrel-rolled straight down to the ground.  Due to my borderline neurotic fear of dying this way, I would surely be bawling uncontrollably, screaming like a banshee, suffering a heart attack, and/or soiling myself.  Not to mention the fact that the world would be down one more lawyer, which is obviously a travesty in itself.

So the purpose of this blog is twofold.  It is designed in part to comment on the law in the hopes of making a valuable contribution to the legal community (posts labeled "ALR" will speak to appellate law topics, posts labeled "GLR" to general law topics).  Interspersed among the legal posts will be "NLR" posts, those not related to the law.  The purpose of these posts will be to pass along my personal anecdotes and ruminations to any strangers who care to read them, but also to my friends and family members.  You know, in case I die in a fiery plane crash or something.

Thanks for reading.

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