Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

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Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:27 pm

Some background: I graduated in May and started at this small firm (about 25 attorneys) last September. I'm a first year associate that just does whatever they tell me, and that includes routinely covering for several partners at various hearings.

Well, I'm going on vacation this weekend and have been in a huge rush to finish two motions. So I came to the office this morning and slammed away at one of the motions all day without regard to anything else.

And then I got an email from my partner. He just got a call from the county clerk asking why he didn't appear. In short, I totally missed a hearing because I was so focused on the above-described motion (luckily, he has a good relationship with the judge, and the judge issued a continuance).

But I think I shit my pants when I read that email, and I'm still sweating bullets thinking about it. I made the partner look bad, pissed off a judge right down the street, presumably pissed off the client, etc.

I already called the partner and straight up said, "I don't have a good reason, I wish I did, but I fucked up. I was so focused on this other motion that I completely forgot about the hearing this morning." I also told him that I'd put a system in place to never let it happen again. He said he really appreciated the candor and that we'd move on from here, and not to worry about it.

But I'm still nervous as fuck here. I've only been here six months and this was a big fuck-up.

What should I do? I think I'm going to send the partner an email tonight and offer to email the judge and client to apologize. I've also called my secretary and told her I need her to help me out with these hearings (i.e., make sure to set up reminders).

Any advice? Should I calm down? Has this happened to anyone else?

Edit to add: Very, very early on here, I was late to a hearing for this same partner for similar ignorance. I ended up showing up 30 minutes late but nothing happened, we got our default judgment. So this is actually my second time fucking up. I'm shitting myself here.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rowinguy2009
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Rowinguy2009 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:35 pm

This happened to a really good friend of mine (I know, I know... "really good friend" often means it really happened to me, but this time it doesn't). It was actually a very similar situation. She was scared to death, but said that the partners/judges were all fairly cool about it. Said that there was basically a "this happens to everyone once and then they never do it again" kinda vibe. This happened around a year ago, she is still with the firm, doubt that anyone really even remembers.

Relax, make it clear you feel bad about it, but, ya know.....make sure it actually never happens again.

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DELG
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby DELG » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:36 pm

Reading this made me sick to my stomach because it makes me think of all the times I just epically fucked up. As everyone does once in a while.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:37 pm

Partner sounds like a good bro who is giving you another chance. Don't send more apologies.

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romothesavior
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:37 pm

People fuck up in this profession. You handled it perfectly. Only thing you can do is move forward with a good game plan and never let it happen again.

Do you have Outlook or something that sends you notifications for hearings and meetings? Do you have an assistant? You need to rely more on these things in the future.

mvp99
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby mvp99 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:37 pm

Damn I don't have any advice but I want to wish you good luck..

Anonymous User
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:39 pm

Something similar happened to me during my first year. The judge waspissed, the partner was pissed, but at the end of the day, it was a continuance hearing or something similar. As long as it wasn't something substantial, you will be ok.

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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:47 pm

Rowinguy2009 wrote:This happened to a really good friend of mine (I know, I know... "really good friend" often means it really happened to me, but this time it doesn't). It was actually a very similar situation. She was scared to death, but said that the partners/judges were all fairly cool about it. Said that there was basically a "this happens to everyone once and then they never do it again" kinda vibe. This happened around a year ago, she is still with the firm, doubt that anyone really even remembers.

Relax, make it clear you feel bad about it, but, ya know.....make sure it actually never happens again.

OP here: see edit. And based on that, I think I really do need to reach out to him later tonight. I've let him down twice now in just six months. He lets me cover a hearing every week and it's a great way to meet the judges, magistrates, and opposing counsel. I'm pretty concerned he's going to bring this up at the next shareholders' meeting so I need to own up to this as much as possible.

lawschoolftw
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby lawschoolftw » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Rowinguy2009 wrote:This happened to a really good friend of mine (I know, I know... "really good friend" often means it really happened to me, but this time it doesn't). It was actually a very similar situation. She was scared to death, but said that the partners/judges were all fairly cool about it. Said that there was basically a "this happens to everyone once and then they never do it again" kinda vibe. This happened around a year ago, she is still with the firm, doubt that anyone really even remembers.

Relax, make it clear you feel bad about it, but, ya know.....make sure it actually never happens again.

OP here: see edit. And based on that, I think I really do need to reach out to him later tonight. I've let him down twice now in just six months. He lets me cover a hearing every week and it's a great way to meet the judges, magistrates, and opposing counsel. I'm pretty concerned he's going to bring this up at the next shareholders' meeting so I need to own up to this as much as possible.


I disagree that further follow-up is warranted. You owned up to it and that was the right move. Continuing to talk about it and apologize will appear (and most likely is) like you're just trying to ease some of your guilt. You've handled this perfectly so far in terms of owning your mistakes, just do your best to move on from it.

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rpupkin
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby rpupkin » Tue Mar 10, 2015 6:37 pm

You already handled the situation the best way you could: you owned your mistake, apologized, and explained how it wouldn't happen again. The partner accepted your apology and moved on. So should you.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:09 pm

Yup agree with others. The amount of responsibility you're getting from him suggests he trusts you, so I would not belabor this.

Jurssiczz
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Jurssiczz » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:34 pm

Don't worry about it but NEVER do it again.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby BarbellDreams » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:00 pm

I once confused two statutes and gave the partner language and citation for a statute that totally didn't apply. Turns out the statute that did apply had a shorter SOL and we were time barred from presenting our appeal. I legitimately thought I was going to throw up at work when we figured this out. Partner didn't love it obviously, but I didn't get fired and opposing counsel agreed with our theory of why we should be able tp present appeal anyway.

Lesson is: Things happen, they just can't repeat. Sounds like the partner you work for is a normal guy who understands this, which is awesome for you. Also, big props for just openly fessing up like an adult professional. Too many entry levels are always trying to make excuses, blame on someone else, or basically just say whatever comes to mind to show how they didn't screw up. I think it looks very classy when people flat out say "I messed up, its my fault, here is why it happened, it won't happen again, I will make sure to monitor this, I'm very sorry, this is my responsibility and fault alone." So again, big props, I'm very impressed. Now please don't do this again haha.

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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:32 pm

OP here. Couldn't stop thinking about it and despite the advice in this thread thus far, I drafted an email so he was aware of the steps I was taking to make sure this never happened again:

[Partner]:

I just wanted to reach out and apologize again for missing the hearing at [City] Municipal Court this morning. I have been really focusing most of my attention this week towards finishing two larger motions that are due before I head to New York City on Friday, but that is no excuse to miss a hearing. I let you down, I let the firm down, and I let our client down. And that guts me.

I understand that it is my job to manage my workload and make sure I’m giving my full attention to everything that needs to get done, and I failed at that this morning. This mistake is especially troubling for me, as I take great pride in my ability to organize and handle multiple matters. My desk is always organized, my calendar is updated and color-coded, and I have always been able to stay on top of everything throughout my life (high school, college, and law school). I don’t know what went wrong this morning (and the previous hearing in City), but I am obviously not doing something right.

Thus, after we spoke today, I reached out to [my secretary] and developed a more thorough plan to make sure I stay on top of all of my hearings. Once [IT guy] gets back from vacation, [secretary] will have complete access to my email and calendar and will be sending me email reminders 24 hours in advance of any hearings. I am also going to make it my first priority to immediately check my calendar when I come in my office in the morning and before I leave at night.

I am confident that with this system in place, this mistake will not happen again.

Ultimately, I hope I can regain your trust. You’ve allowed me to cover more hearings than almost all the other attorneys in the office combined, and that has provided great experience thus far. I hope that can continue.

Furthermore, please let me know if you would like me to reach out to our client or the court. This was my mistake, not yours, and I feel obligated to own up to that.

In the meantime, please know that I am taking the steps necessary so this will never happen again.

Thank you.

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quiver
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby quiver » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:44 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Couldn't stop thinking about it and despite the advice in this thread thus far, I drafted an email so he was aware of the steps I was taking to make sure this never happened again:

[Partner]:

I just wanted to reach out and apologize again for missing the hearing at [City] Municipal Court this morning. I have been really focusing most of my attention this week towards finishing two larger motions that are due before I head to New York City on Friday, but that is no excuse to miss a hearing. I let you down, I let the firm down, and I let our client down. And that guts me.

I understand that it is my job to manage my workload and make sure I’m giving my full attention to everything that needs to get done, and I failed at that this morning. This mistake is especially troubling for me, as I take great pride in my ability to organize and handle multiple matters. My desk is always organized, my calendar is updated and color-coded, and I have always been able to stay on top of everything throughout my life (high school, college, and law school). I don’t know what went wrong this morning (and the previous hearing in City), but I am obviously not doing something right.

Thus, after we spoke today, I reached out to [my secretary] and developed a more thorough plan to make sure I stay on top of all of my hearings. Once [IT guy] gets back from vacation, [secretary] will have complete access to my email and calendar and will be sending me email reminders 24 hours in advance of any hearings. I am also going to make it my first priority to immediately check my calendar when I come in my office in the morning and before I leave at night.

I am confident that with this system in place, this mistake will not happen again.

Ultimately, I hope I can regain your trust. You’ve allowed me to cover more hearings than almost all the other attorneys in the office combined, and that has provided great experience thus far. I hope that can continue.

Furthermore, please let me know if you would like me to reach out to our client or the court. This was my mistake, not yours, and I feel obligated to own up to that.

In the meantime, please know that I am taking the steps necessary so this will never happen again.

Thank you.


Ugh. Please stop. I understand exactly how you feel (like all other associates in this thread), but continuing to apologize just draws attention to the fact that you messed up again. I echo what others have said: you messed up, apologized, and the partner accepted the apology. You handled it well. The only thing left to do is move on.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Desert Fox » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:50 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Couldn't stop thinking about it and despite the advice in this thread thus far, I drafted an email so he was aware of the steps I was taking to make sure this never happened again:

[Partner]:

I just wanted to reach out and apologize again for missing the hearing at [City] Municipal Court this morning. I have been really focusing most of my attention this week towards finishing two larger motions that are due before I head to New York City on Friday, but that is no excuse to miss a hearing. I let you down, I let the firm down, and I let our client down. And that guts me.

I understand that it is my job to manage my workload and make sure I’m giving my full attention to everything that needs to get done, and I failed at that this morning. This mistake is especially troubling for me, as I take great pride in my ability to organize and handle multiple matters. My desk is always organized, my calendar is updated and color-coded, and I have always been able to stay on top of everything throughout my life (high school, college, and law school). I don’t know what went wrong this morning (and the previous hearing in City), but I am obviously not doing something right.

Thus, after we spoke today, I reached out to [my secretary] and developed a more thorough plan to make sure I stay on top of all of my hearings. Once [IT guy] gets back from vacation, [secretary] will have complete access to my email and calendar and will be sending me email reminders 24 hours in advance of any hearings. I am also going to make it my first priority to immediately check my calendar when I come in my office in the morning and before I leave at night.

I am confident that with this system in place, this mistake will not happen again.

Ultimately, I hope I can regain your trust. You’ve allowed me to cover more hearings than almost all the other attorneys in the office combined, and that has provided great experience thus far. I hope that can continue.

Furthermore, please let me know if you would like me to reach out to our client or the court. This was my mistake, not yours, and I feel obligated to own up to that.

In the meantime, please know that I am taking the steps necessary so this will never happen again.

Thank you.


I don't see where you offer a letter resignation?

lawschoolftw
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby lawschoolftw » Tue Mar 10, 2015 8:56 pm

Please, OP, do not send that email. It is not going to come across the way you think it sounds. It sounds whiny and immature. Take it from the rest of us that are looking at it from an objective point of view. We've all been there before as an associate.

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baal hadad
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby baal hadad » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Couldn't stop thinking about it and despite the advice in this thread thus far, I drafted an email so he was aware of the steps I was taking to make sure this never happened again:

[Partner]:

I just wanted to reach out and apologize again for missing the hearing at [City] Municipal Court this morning. I have been really focusing most of my attention this week towards finishing two larger motions that are due before I head to New York City on Friday, but that is no excuse to miss a hearing. I let you down, I let the firm down, and I let our client down. And that guts me.

I understand that it is my job to manage my workload and make sure I’m giving my full attention to everything that needs to get done, and I failed at that this morning. This mistake is especially troubling for me, as I take great pride in my ability to organize and handle multiple matters. My desk is always organized, my calendar is updated and color-coded, and I have always been able to stay on top of everything throughout my life (high school, college, and law school). I don’t know what went wrong this morning (and the previous hearing in City), but I am obviously not doing something right.

Thus, after we spoke today, I reached out to [my secretary] and developed a more thorough plan to make sure I stay on top of all of my hearings. Once [IT guy] gets back from vacation, [secretary] will have complete access to my email and calendar and will be sending me email reminders 24 hours in advance of any hearings. I am also going to make it my first priority to immediately check my calendar when I come in my office in the morning and before I leave at night.

I am confident that with this system in place, this mistake will not happen again.

Ultimately, I hope I can regain your trust. You’ve allowed me to cover more hearings than almost all the other attorneys in the office combined, and that has provided great experience thus far. I hope that can continue.

Furthermore, please let me know if you would like me to reach out to our client or the court. This was my mistake, not yours, and I feel obligated to own up to that.

In the meantime, please know that I am taking the steps necessary so this will never happen again.

Thank you.

Holy hell bro no NOT send this

It is not coming off how you want it to come off

That said yeah man you need to give your secretary access to your calendar and whatnot asap im sorta shocked you havent already

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ballcaps
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby ballcaps » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:10 pm

0Ls can't post in this forum.

forty-two
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby forty-two » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:12 pm

OP, please don't sent that. Don't bring it up again. Just let it go and don't do it again. I'm not at a firm, but I have had major screw ups too at my job. It has happened to everyone. Don't also make the mistake of over apologizing. Just move on and continue to do great work.

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twenty 8
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby twenty 8 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:15 pm

I constantly use my delayed text app. Great backup reminder, including things that are scheduled down the road. If anyone has a better backup reminder, please let know. So far my delayed texts have come through for me.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. Couldn't stop thinking about it and despite the advice in this thread thus far, I drafted an email so he was aware of the steps I was taking to make sure this never happened again:

[Partner]:

I just wanted to reach out and apologize again for missing the hearing at [City] Municipal Court this morning. I have been really focusing most of my attention this week towards finishing two larger motions that are due before I head to New York City on Friday, but that is no excuse to miss a hearing. I let you down, I let the firm down, and I let our client down. And that guts me.

I understand that it is my job to manage my workload and make sure I’m giving my full attention to everything that needs to get done, and I failed at that this morning. This mistake is especially troubling for me, as I take great pride in my ability to organize and handle multiple matters. My desk is always organized, my calendar is updated and color-coded, and I have always been able to stay on top of everything throughout my life (high school, college, and law school). I don’t know what went wrong this morning (and the previous hearing in City), but I am obviously not doing something right.

Thus, after we spoke today, I reached out to [my secretary] and developed a more thorough plan to make sure I stay on top of all of my hearings. Once [IT guy] gets back from vacation, [secretary] will have complete access to my email and calendar and will be sending me email reminders 24 hours in advance of any hearings. I am also going to make it my first priority to immediately check my calendar when I come in my office in the morning and before I leave at night.

I am confident that with this system in place, this mistake will not happen again.

Ultimately, I hope I can regain your trust. You’ve allowed me to cover more hearings than almost all the other attorneys in the office combined, and that has provided great experience thus far. I hope that can continue.

Furthermore, please let me know if you would like me to reach out to our client or the court. This was my mistake, not yours, and I feel obligated to own up to that.

In the meantime, please know that I am taking the steps necessary so this will never happen again.

Thank you.


I think OP was saying he already sent it. That email was unnecessary and drew even more attention to a fuck up after you already appologized and everyone had moved on. I hope you didn't send that though, all you did was make a paper trail of your mistake.

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baal hadad
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby baal hadad » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:16 pm

ballcaps wrote:0L who knows nothing.

just wanna say: feel better. i've fucked up at work lots of times and of course it sucks.

also, personally, i would not send that rather lengthy autopsy-of-an-email.

Wrong forum duder

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Danger Zone
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:17 pm

Oh my God did you actually send that fucking email

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ballcaps
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Re: Completely Forgot to Cover for a Partner @ a Hearing this AM

Postby ballcaps » Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:17 pm

baal hadad wrote:
ballcaps wrote:0L who knows nothing.

just wanna say: feel better. i've fucked up at work lots of times and of course it sucks.

also, personally, i would not send that rather lengthy autopsy-of-an-email.

Wrong forum duder


hahahah oh yeah i guess so

(still feel better OP?)




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