April 16, 2013 § 1 Comment

MCA 85-3-4 deals with execution of garnishments in Mississippi. Most garnishments are limited to 25% of “disposible income,” as defined in federal law. But if the judgment is for past-due child support, the garnishment may be as much as 50-65% of disposible income. That’s quite a bite.

In the MSSC case of Reasor v. Jordan, decided April 4, 2013, Frankie Reasor had gotten custody of his daughter from his ex-wife, Rose Jordan, in a modification case. He was also tagged with a hefty $24,000 judgment for past-due child support and unpaid medical expenses  of the child that predated the modification. The chancellor popped Frankie with a 55% garnishment, and, both impoverished and aggrieved, he appealed.

Here’s how Justice King’s majority opinion addressed the issue:

¶27. The Court has addressed this issue previously in Sorrell v. Borner, 593 So. 2d 986 (Miss. 1992). In Sorrell, the parents divorced, the mother was awarded custody, and the father was ordered to pay child support. Id. at 986. Later, the father sought a change in custody. Id. In response, the mother filed a counterclaim for past-due child support. Id. The chancellor awarded the father custody but held him in arrears, entering a judgment in favor of the mother for back child support. Id. The mother obtained a sixty-five percent garnishment on the father’s wages. Id. at 988. Aggrieved, the father filed a petition to modify the order (by offsetting his arrearage by the mother’s child-support obligation), and the chancellor denied his petition. Id. at 986-87.

¶28. On appeal, the father challenged the order, arguing that the garnishment should have been limited to twenty-five percent. Id. at 988. Although the father failed to attack the garnishment in his pleadings, the Court noted that the father made an oral objection at the hearing. Id. at 989. Reviewing the applicable statutes, the Court determined that:

The judgment awarded was for past due child-support, but [the mother] no longer had custody of the children. In our opinion, the legislature did not contemplate the exception language to be used in this situation, and [we] are of the opinion that the restriction listed in § 85-3-4(2)(a) should apply to the garnishment here.

Id. at 988. Accordingly, the court reversed and remanded the chancellor’s judgment. Id. at 988-89.

¶29. Applying the Court’s reasoning in Sorrell, the withholding restriction in Section 85-3-4(2)(a)(i) should apply to Reasor as well. Like Sorrell, Reasor complained about the amount of the garnishment during his hearing. Also, when the judgment was awarded for past-due child support, Jordan no longer had custody of the child. Thus, the chancellor erred by ordering a fifty-five-percent withholding. Instead, the garnishment should have been limited to twenty-five percent of Reasor’s disposable income. Accordingly, we vacate the order and remand for a proper determination of withholding.

The main thing to take from this case is to be aware of the generous garnishment provisions as they relate to unpaid support. As I read the statute, they would apply not only to child support, but also to alimony.

When you read this case, look also at the MRCP 81 issues raised by the way that the original chancellor handled the case. I agree with Justice Pierce’s concurrance/dissent on this issue. R81 requires notice. I don’t agree that Mr. Reasor got proper notice in this case. Chalk this up as another case added to the confusion over how R81 works.


April 15, 2013 § 2 Comments

Remember that every pleading in an estate, guardianship and conservatorship must be signed by the fiduciary, and not the attorney or anyone else. And that includes “accounts and reports.” That’s what UCCR 6.13 expressly states.

In your mad frenzy to avoid a show-cause order, it sometimes seems expedient to bypass that sluggish fiduciary altogether and just do it yourself, but if you sign that motion, or that account, or that inventory, you have really accomplished nothing. It’s the fiduciary who is on the line, and her name needs to be on the dotted line.

And, although it is the fiduciary’s account, strictly speaking, you stand to suffer the slings and arrows of  outrageous fortune yourself if the case is delinquent. UCCR 6.17 says, “If, without cause, an attorney fails to file accountings or other matters in probate cases … after being so directed in writing by the Court, the Court may consider such misconduct as contempt.”


April 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

[This little meditation appeared several years ago in, of all places, The Mississippi Lawyer magazine]

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

© Mountaindreaming, from the book The Invitation published by Harper, San Francisco, 1999. All rights reserved


April 11, 2013 § 2 Comments

It seems to be a more and more frequent problem that when we issue orders in delinquent estates, an attorney pops up and says something like, “Well, judge, the reason we haven’t filed an inventory, or any accountings since 1997 is that I lost contact with the fiduciary.”

Who’s got the problem in that situation? 

Well, UCCR 6.02 says this about that:

In guardianships and conservatorships an attorney must be faithful to both fiduciary and the ward and if it appears to the attorney that the fiduciary is not properly performing duties required by the law then he shall promptly notify the Court in which the estate is being administered. Failure to observe this rule without just cause shall constitute contempt for which the Chancellor will impose appropriate penalties.

And what exactly are those “duties required by law?” Here’s what UCCR 6.02 says:

Every fiduciary and his attorney must be diligent in the performance of his duties. They must see to it that publication for creditors is promptly made, that inventories, appraisements, accounts and all other reports and proceedings are made, done, filed and presented within the time required by law, and that the estates of decedents are completed and assets distributed as speedily as may be reasonably possible.

It’s pretty clear from the language of the rule that your neck is in the noose along with your fiduciary. If the requirements are not met, you are as responsible for the lapse as is your fiduciary. Oh, and explaining to the chancellor that you had no idea that the Uniform Chancery Court Rules had this provision will in all likelihood only make things worse.

Here are some helpful posts from the past … Five Mistakes that Fiduciaries MakeFive More Mistakes that Fiduciaries MakeApproaching Zero Tolerance … and … Essential Procedures in Guardianships and Conservatorships.

If the landscape of your probate practice is littered with failures to file accountings, inventories and other reports, and you have estates that due to sheer neglect are languishing unclosed far beyond what is reasonable, look no farther than yourself for a place to lay the blame. That’s where the judge will look.


April 10, 2013 § Leave a comment

Twenty-Five Ways You can Improve Your Chancery Trial Practice, published in the Mississippi Law Journal’s online edition Supra. Click on the .pdf link.


April 9, 2013 § 2 Comments

If you do any adoption work, the case styled In the Matter of the Adoption of a Minor Child, A.S.E.L.: V.S.P v. M.J.W. and M.S.L., decided by the COA on April 2, 2013, is one you should be familiar with.

The facts are somewhat involved, but the essence is that Vincent, age 19, and Dana (pseudonyms), age 17, had a child together, whom they named Andy, born May 25, 2004. Vincent was not listed as the father on the birth certificate. Shortly after the birth, the young couple split and Dana moved from place to place with the baby. Vincent had little contact with Dana or the child, and he did nothing to help support his offspring.

Through a series of events, Dana’s brother Mark, and his wife, Melanie, obtained custody of Andy in youth court.

Melanie and Mark decided to adopt Andy, and in April, 2005, Dana signed a consent to adoption. Vincent was not made a party to the adoption because paternity had never been established. A judgment finalizing the adoption of the child by Mark and Melanie was entered December 16, 2005.

In September, 2009, nearly four years after the adption, Vincent filed an action to set it aside, claiming that it was void because he was not made a party, despite the fact that everyone involved should have known that he was the father, and that Dana was coerced into executing the consent.

The chancellor denied Vincent any relief, and he appealed. Judge Barnes, for the majority, wrote:

¶21.  … we note generally the setting aside of an adoption decree is disfavored in Mississippi. See [In Re Adoption of J.E.B., 822 So.2d 949, at 952] (¶10) (citing Humphrey v. Pannell, 710 So. 2d 392, 399 (¶35) (Miss. 1998)). There is a strong public policy declaration in Mississippi’s adoption statutes for the finality of adoption decrees. In re Adoption of M.D.T., 722 So. 2d 702, 705 (¶12) (Miss. 1998) (citing In re Adoption of R.M.P.C., 512 So. 2d 702, 707 (Miss. 1987)).

¶22. It is well established that the United States Supreme Court has offered constitutional protection to the rights of unwed fathers who have tried to have relationships with their children. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645, 651-59 (1972), held for the first time that under certain circumstances, such as when the putative father has participated in the care and custody of his child, the Constitution protected an unwed father’s parental rights. The Supreme Court clarified the rights of unwed fathers six years later in Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246 (1978), where the Court established the requirement of a meaningful relationship with the child, and not just proof of biology, in a putative father’s attempt to set aside an adoption. In Quilloin, the appellant did not petition for legitimation of his child for eleven years, between the child’s birth and the filing of the adoption petition. Id. at 249. The father failed to seek custody of the child, and never had significant responsibility for the child regarding supervision, education, and care. Id. at 247, 256. The Supreme Court held that the natural father’s substantive rights under the Due Process Clause were not violated by applying the “best interest of the child” standard in this instance, and the adoption was affirmed. Id. at 254, 256. In Caban v. Mohammed, 441 U.S. 380, 392-94 (1979), the Supreme Court concluded the unwed father, who had had custody of his children for several years and thereby established a significant, supportive relationship, should have the privilege of vetoing the adoption of his children, not merely receiving notice.

The court went on to affirm the chancellor’s ruling, holding that if a biological father has failed to establish the quality of relationship described in the US Supreme Court decisions and in MCA 93-17-6, then he has no constitutionally protected right to process and participation in the proceeding, and failure to serve him with process does not void the adoption judgment.

Several observations:

  • Not a criticism of counsel, but wouldn’t it have been more prudent to get a consent from Vincent? The undisputed facts establish that he was agreeable with the adoption at the time it was in process. If he did not want to admit paternity, language could have been added to the consent to the effect that he did not know whether he was the father, but, in the event that he might be, he consented to the adoption. Lawyers sometimes yield to the client’s desire to do it the easiest way, when a little more trouble now could avoid lots more down the line.
  • Add some protective language to your consents. Add language to the effect that it was not coerced, was freely given, and that the signer knows and understands that it is irrevocable and can not later be undone. It may not be conclusive in a later attack, but it would certainly buttress the defense of the original judgment.
  • Ponder measures you can take to immunize your judgment from attack months and even years down the road. Make sure you have tended to every detail, especially jurisdictional detail, in strict compliance with the statutes. In the past few years, it has become increasingly common for parties to agree to one thing, and then to hire another lawyer to try to set the agreement aside. The more armor-plating you add to your judgments (and property settlement agreements and contracts, for that matter), the more likely it is that they will survive attack.  


April 8, 2013 § 2 Comments

The COA’s decision in Richard v. Garma-Fernandez, handed down March 19, 2013, is one every chancery practitioner should read and appreciate for the ramifications of entering an appearance on behalf of a party.

In this case, Emilio Garma-Fernandez (hereinafter EGF) filed suit against 10 defendants, including Richard, based on a commercial contract. The suit alleged claims for accounting, imposition of resulting and constructive trusts, equitable ownership, injunction, breach of contract, tortious interference with contract, anticipatory breach, and other issues giving rise to damages and attorney’s fees.

Richard was not personally served with process, but an attorney, White, notified EGF’s attorney that she was representing him and five other defendants, and, based on that contact, EGF’s lawyer from that point on sent all communication and pleadings to White on behalf of Richard. After that, when Richard attempted to communicate with EGF’s lawyer, the lawyer directed him to stop because he was represented by counsel.

In due course, White filed a pleading styled “Motion, Answers, Defenses and Counterclaims” of certain named defendants, including the name of Richard (“Richards” in the pleading).  

EGF’s lawyer served discovery requests on Richard through White, and White did not respond. The chancellor ruled that any matters not produced in discovery would be inadmissible at trial, and that the matters request to be admitted were taken as admitted. He further dismissed Richard’s counterclaim with prejudice and awarded attorney’s fees to EGF.

EGF then filed a motion for summary judgment against Richard. White asked for more time to respond, claiming she could not locate Richard, that his file was in storage because she had moved her office, and that since Richard was located in Virginia he needed additional time. Nearly two months later the court granted summary judgment. When EGF began collection proceedings in Virginia, Richard filed a limited appearance to contest jurisdiction and for relief from judgment per MRCP 60, claiming that White did not represent him, and among other items of evidence offered White’s affidavit that she had listed him in error as one of the parties she did represent in the action. The chancellor ruled that Richard had entered his appearance, submitting himself to the jurisdiction of the court via attorney White, and denied him relief. He appealed.

The COA affirmed. I quote at length:

¶19. Richard filed a motion for relief from judgment under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 60. Rule 60(b)(4) provides: “On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or his legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reason[s]: . . . (4) the judgment is void.” A judgment is void if the rendering court lacked personal or subject-matter jurisdiction or acted in a manner inconsistent with due process. Overbey v. Murray, 569 So. 2d 303, 306 (Miss. 1990) (citations omitted).

¶20. The question presented is whether Garma-Fernandez’s judgment was void because the chancery court lacked personal jurisdiction over Richard. For a judgment to be valid, the court must have personal jurisdiction over the parties to the action. James v. McMullen, 733 So. 2d 358, 359 (¶3) (Miss. Ct. App. 1999).

¶21. A court obtains personal jurisdiction over a defendant in one of two ways. Personal jurisdiction is established when a defendant is properly served the summons and complaint under Rule 4 of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure. Personal jurisdiction is also established when a defendant voluntarily enters an appearance. Isom v. Jernigan, 840 So. 2d 104, 107 (¶9) (Miss. 2003) (citations omitted). “One waives process and service . . . upon making a general appearance.” Id.

¶22. Richard was not served with Rule 4 process. However, Richard entered an appearance in this case when White filed a responsive pleading on his behalf. When White filed the responsive pleading on September 24, 2009, Richard voluntarily entered an appearance in the Chancery Court of Oktibbeha County and was subjected to the jurisdiction of the court. The fact that Richard was not served with process under Rule 4 no longer mattered.

¶23. Despite this voluntary appearance through attorney White, Richard could have contested both personal jurisdiction and insufficiency of service of process in the responsive pleading. See M.R.C.P. 12(b)(2), (5). He did not. The result was that the responsive pleading, without the Rule 12(b) defense asserted, waived his right to contest personal jurisdiction. See M.R.C.P. 12(h)(1). “[T]he right to contest the court’s jurisdiction based on some perceived problem with service may yet be lost after making an appearance in the case if the issues related to jurisdiction are not raised at the first opportunity.” Schustz v. Buccaneer, Inc., 850 So. 2d 209, 213 (¶15) (Miss. Ct. App. 2003). “Thus, a defendant appearing and filing an answer or otherwise proceeding to defend the case on the merits in some way—such as participating in hearings or discovery—may not subsequently attempt to assert jurisdictional questions based on claims of defects in service of process.” Id.

¶24. Our inquiry does not end here. Richard argues that a Mississippi attorney cannot give a Mississippi court personal jurisdiction over a nonresident unless that attorney has been hired by the nonresident. Richard’s brief cites, but does not discuss, Rains v. Gardner, 719 So. 2d 768 (Miss. Ct. App. 1998).

¶25. In Rains, this Court acknowledged that an individual can waive process, and an authorized attorney may enter an appearance on his behalf. Id. at 770 (¶7). When this issue is raised, the party that claims an appearance has been made bears the burden of proof. Id.

¶26. One defendant, Ginger Gardner, was represented by an attorney. Id. at 769 (¶5). Gardner’s attorney appeared on her behalf but argued that the other defendant, Tina Clark, whom the attorney did not represent, should also be dismissed from the action. Id. When the court asked the attorney whether he represented both defendants, the attorney definitively stated he only represented one (Gardner). Id. Nevertheless, the attorney renewed his argument that both defendants (Gardner and Clark) should be dismissed. Id. The plaintiff, Hazel Rains, argued that Gardner’s attorney’s actions constituted a voluntary appearance on behalf of Clark. Id. The trial court rejected that argument, and Rains appealed. Id. at (¶¶5-6).

¶27. This Court found that because there was not “even a hint of evidence” that the attorney actually represented Clark, Rains’s argument had no merit. Id. at 770 (¶7). This Court also noted that even if the attorney had made extensive arguments on the unrepresented defendant’s behalf, the attorney could not have entered a voluntary appearance on behalf of the individual if he acted without authority. Id.

¶28. This case is not factually similar to Rains. Here, White filed pleadings on behalf of Richard, and other defendants. The question the chancellor had to decide was whether Richard consented to or authorized White’s representation.

¶29. The chancellor determined that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that Richard consented to and authorized White’s representation. White filed the responsive pleading that specifically named Richard as a defendant [footnote omitted] whom she represented. Garma-Fernandez’s attorney served White with discovery for Richard. There was correspondence from Garma-Fernandez’s attorney to White that discussed her representation of Richard. The court entered an order compelling Richard to respond to discovery, with White acting as his attorney.

¶30. Also, the October 15, 2010 “Joint Motion for Extension of Time to Respond to Motion for Summary Judgment and Motion for Continuance” was filed only on Richard’s behalf. White represented herself as “his counsel of record.” White stated to the court that she had not been able to notify Richard of the motion for summary judgment, and that, because Richard was a Virginia resident, sixteen days was not enough time to make arrangements for him to appear at the hearing. Also, in this motion, White refers to Richard as “her client.”

¶31. We recognize that Richard’s affidavit attached to the limited-appearance motion claims that he never authorized White to act on his behalf. However, an assertion in Richard’s affidavit was contradicted by the evidence. White’s affidavit states that she was not and never had been Richard’s attorney. White’s affidavit, however, was contradicted by her previous assertions to the court. We agree with the chancellor that the credibility of both affidavits was undermined.

¶32. We find the evidence in the record demonstrates that White did, in fact, enter an appearance for Richard, and that she was his authorized representative in this action. Therefore, we find no merit to this issue and find no error in the chancellor’s judgment that found the court had personal jurisdiction over Richard. The chancery court’s personal jurisdiction over Richard was not based on Richard’s awareness of the lawsuit.

¶33. Next, Richard claims that knowledge of litigation is not sufficient to confer jurisdiction. This Court has stated “even actual knowledge of a suit does not excuse proper service of process.” Blakeney v. Warren Cnty., 973 So. 2d 1037, 1040 (¶13) (Miss. Ct. App. 2008) (quoting Mansour v. Charmax Indus., 680 So. 2d 852, 855 (Miss. 1996)).

¶34. As discussed above, the chancery court’s personal jurisdiction over Richard was not based on Richard’s awareness of the lawsuit. The chancellor correctly determined that the court gained personal jurisdiction over Richard through his general appearance. Therefore, we find no merit to this issue.

A few quick points:

  • If you’re going to enter a special appearance to contest personal jurisdiction, make sure it’s the very first thing you file, even before an “Entry of Appearance” or a motion for more time. Any filing other than a pleading styled “Special Appearance to Contest Jurisdiction” can be construed as a personal, general appearance, even a simple motion for more time or that “Entry of Appearance.”
  • When you file anything in a court file on behalf of a party, you are bound to represent that party, and the party is bound by your pleadings. Make sure you act within the authorized scope of your representation.
  • I have seen cases where a lawyer signs off on an agreed order to reset a case in the hope that the party will hire the lawyer, but the fee never materialized. It’s no fun watching the lawyer trying to deny responsibility in the case while the client (innocently or not) claims that he/she is relying on that lawyer. If you inject your name into a case, you are in it until the judge lets you out.
  • Losing contact with a client can have miserable results for the client. Clients who blame you for their misery can make your life mi$erable.


April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.” —  Edmund Burke

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” — Frederick Douglass

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”  —  Martin Niemöller



April 4, 2013 § 3 Comments

I’ve spoken here before about the mischief that can arise when one uses the ambiguous term “family support” instead of terms of art such as “child support,” “alimony,” and “property division” that are familiar to our courts. As I said in a previous post, the repercussions can be quite unexpected and unpleasant for your client.

In a decision handed down March 11, 2013, the US Tax Court in the case of DeLong v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, ruled that the term “family support” creates an alimony obligation, and not a child support obligation.

You can read the decision for yourself, but it essentially turns on the point that since the obligation is not specifically denominated as child support the IRS will not consider it such.

This case arises out of a California divorce judgment. Note that the opinion states that the tax court will look to state law for how the state would treat the obligation. If this were a Mississippi case, the tax court would, to the best of my knowledge, find no helpful authority because the term “family support” is unknown under our law.

There are some serious side-effects from a case such as this. Child support is not deductible by the payer, and it is not income to the payee. Alimony is, however, deductible by the payer, and it most definitely is income to the payee. So, in this case, Mr. Delong got to deduct the payments under the divorce judgment, and the former Mrs. D. gets a bill for income taxes on the payments. If you had negotiated the settlement for Mrs. Delong and that is what she expected as an outcome, then you’re in good shape. If, on the other hand, she was not expecting a tax bill, you’d better look out.

And if the judge, in a comatose moment, injects that kind of language into a judgment, protect your client by filing a timely MRCP 59 motion to get the judge to correct the ambiguity.

In Mississippi, payments are either alimony, or child support, or property division. Denominate them as such, allocating the specific amounts under each. Never use combined language like “Husband shall pay to wife the sum of $2,500 each month as alimony and child support.” And never use ambiguous, non-legal language like “family support” when there are perfectly suitable, meaningful terms like “child support,” “alimony” and “property division” that do the job quite well.

Thanks to Justin Cobb, Esq.


April 3, 2013 § Leave a comment

You should have received your Winter edition of The Mississippi Lawyer earlier this week, or maybe you will receive it today or tomorrow.

My initial reaction when I gazed at the photographs of the 14 prominent, accomplished women on the cover was “When will we be able to say, simply, ‘here are 14 notable colleagues in the law,’ and not have to draw gender distinctions?”

And then I opened the cover to see the Mississippi Valley Title advertisement that is the opening page inside. I’ll not spoil the delicious irony of that ad for you, but I think when you see it you will agree with me that it communicates quite eloquently why we are still at a stage where we need to focus on the contributions and abilities of women.

As for the magazine, the articles give an insight into the obstacles and hurdles that some of them had to overcome, but mostly, as I read, I was impressed with the fact that their stories are the stories of all Mississippi lawyers. They are stories of hard work, dedication, ideals, and service.

In my experience, in this corner of the state, women lawyers have been successful and have done a good job. The Twelfth District’s own Polly Covington of Quitman is one of the women highlighted in one of the articles. Congratulations, Polly. As the dean of Clarke County lawyers, and a battle-scarred veteran, I know you provide wise counsel and mentorship to other women in the profession in our area.

The other women who are featured are some of the best lawyers, judges, legal educators, and leaders in the state. I have been fortunate enough to know and work with a number of them. 

So, yes, it is still appropriate and desirable to praise the achievements of women in the law. Still, I wish we would get to the point where we’re all just lawyers.

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