Avoiding Distractions

Publication year1998
Pages91
27 Colo.Law. 91
Colorado Lawyer
1998.

1998, June, Pg. 91. Avoiding Distractions




91


Vol. 27, No. 6, Pg. 91

The Colorado Lawyer
June 1998
Vol. 27, No. 6 [Page 91]

Departments
Appellate Practice
Avoiding Distractions
by Andrew M. Low

It was a beautiful June day, and the last place I wanted to be was the library at the law school. Unfortunately, I had to stay until I finished a motion for summary judgment that was due the next day. With a wistful glance out the window at the intensely blue Colorado sky, I turned and carried another stack of reporters to my table

Tim Flegleman had been working at the same table, hunched intently over a laptop computer. His stubby fingers had been keeping up a steady patter on the keyboard, pausing only to close one casebook and open another. I liked Tim, but when he got into a semi-hypnotic brief-writing trance, he had certain annoying habits. Usually he just moved his lips, silently mouthing the words he was typing. This time it was worse Every half-hour of so, he would start humming a familiar tune from the soundtrack to Titanic. After a while I would clear my throat loudly. Flegleman would look up, startled, and then apologize sheepishly. I would have moved to a different table, but the library was busy and I didn't want to hurt Tim's feelings

Near midday, Professor Stevens sat down at the far end of the table, pulled out an expensive fountain pen, and began grading exams. Thurgood Stevens was one of my favorite co-conspirators in avoiding work on sunny, cloudless days. He had accompanied me to countless spur-of-the-moment rounds of golf, Rockies games, and longer-than-necessary lunches. When he wasn't suggesting one of Colorado's diversions, he taught appellate practice at the law school. We both looked up at the same moment, and Stevens aimed his oversized eyebrows at me.

"Lunch?" he proposed.

Before I could answer, Flegleman said, "Love to, Professor. Thanks very much."

The three of us walked the two blocks to a little sandwich shop that had tables outside shaded by colorful, striped umbrellas. The waiter brought overstuffed sandwiches, a beer for Stevens, iced tea for me, and a mug of root beer for Flegleman. Neither Stevens nor I was surprised when Flegleman extracted several sheets of paper from his inside jacket pocket and passed them across to Stevens. This was undoubtedly a section of the brief...

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