Welcome to the SchadPad.
a place where I get to sound off, be creative, and talk about things other than work that are important to me.
The page is currently under construction, but I've included some links to photos, videos, and stories from some of my travels and adventures.
3 REASONS FISHERMEN MAKE GOOD TRIAL LAWERS
May 18, 2016
The comments below reflect the views of the author only, and not the legal community at large, the local bar association, or any state or national trial lawyers organizations. Further, the views of the the author are specifically disclaimed by his firm, staff, family, Facebook friends, and acquaintances. Schad & Schad, PC (an Indiana public corporation) and its heirs, successors, assigns, and affiliates expressly disclaim (and disapprove) of the opinions set forth in this blog entry, and discourage both lending it credence or re-posting in any manner.
#1 - A FISHERMAN IS AN EXCELLENT STORYTELLER.
Everyone knows that fisherman are good storytellers. Just ask them to tell you about that special big fish, and be prepared to strap yourself in for a long ride. The story will be filled with drama, plot twist, and colorful language. And, in the end, the hero always gets the fish. Aren't trial lawyers just storytellers with suits?
#2 - FISHERMEN, LIKE LAWYERS, DON'T LET THE FACTS GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY.
Fishermen have a flexible approach to facts. Lawyers and fishermen don't let the facts get in the way of a good ending. Both skilled lawyering and skilled fishing require a certain ambivalence toward reality. Fishing may be the only profession which has a lower public perception of truthfulness than the law.
#3. FISHERMEN ARE DOGGEDLY PERSISTENT AND SELDOM, IF EVER, GIVE UP BEFORE THEY'VE NAILED THEIR QUARRY.
A fisherman will drive 1000 miles for the privilege of fishing in the rain for three days in the vain hope of of catching one big fish. He will set his alarm for 3:30 a.m. and hike through the woods to jump a good hole. He will sit in the broiling sun for eight hours without sunscreen to bring home his catch. I recently drove 1000 miles in the vain hope of getting an opposing expert to tell the truth in a deposition.
BONUS: THE "FLY FISHERMAN ENHANCEMENT" FACTOR
If you have the good fortune to be represented by a lawyer who is a flyfisherman you can expect some added value. He will be obsessively compulsive about case details. He's probably well dressed. He will have spent so much money on flyfishing equipment that he has to work twice as hard as he should.
But - and this is the most important bonus - he'll be smiling a lot of the time.
Singing the Blues.
I've loved blues music ever since I was a kid. My first CD (yes, I remember when CD's first came out. I was in 8th grade. I also remember my cassette album). It was a Muddy Waters acoustic album. Raw, mournful, Delta blues.
If you know me, you know that I started learning guitar about 6 months ago. Is there any kids who doesn't imagine themselves playing guitar? Rocking out in front of the crowd? Playing around the campfire while the other camp counselors look over longingly? At 47, I wondered if I was too old to start. Neuroscientists say that it gets harder to learn new things as you get older because your synapses don't fire as well. It's harder to build neural networks in your brain. It is hard - but not impossible.
Since then I've come a long way - longer than I thought I would. In a lifetime of cool hobbies, guitar is the most fun and the most consuming. There are only few things you can do that translate into pure joy - and music is one of them. Playing music with other people is like talking in a different language, with different words, and different skill levels. But you connect on a level that's hard to describe.
I don't have much natural talent,. My fingers are stiff and my brain is not wired right. But, as anyone will tell you, I am a little OCD and I work hard. So I practice with purpose and ferocity. I watch lots of Youtube videos. I think about playing while I'm driving in the car and listen to tapes. It's good therapy for my mind to take it away from cases, deadlines, and problems.
Early on I decided that I would perform in front of other people. After all, it's not just playing that was on the bucket list - it was playing in front of other people. I figured that since I was accustomed to getting up in front of people that I would be nervous but I could deal with it. I told my playing buddy Mickey Weber that I would play an open mic that he hosted. As the concert date got closer though I became really, really nervous. But I stood up and performed. "Plastic Jesus" - my first public performance. It was bad. But it's been easier since then.
Last week I closed the loop by singing a Muddy Waters song, "Long Distance Call". First of many more to come. It was better. I'm getting better, even my voice, which has gone from truly awful to merely unpleasant.
The Pros and Cons of Work Travel.
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Most attorneys love business travel because they get to bill for it. They charge a couple hundred of bucks per hour and look forward to long trips by car or plane because their hour worked numbers are going to go up. I don't charge for travel, so I sort of dread it, because all of the things that I know need to get done are piling up at the office.
But - I try to have some fun with my travel. I'll take a trip to somewhere boring and turn it into something interesting. On Thursday I was in Evansville until pretty late. Could have just driven home but instead I took the van and camped in Hoosier National Forest on my way back for a night, and fished Friday morning.
Hoosier National Forest is, for Indiana, a vast swath of mostly undisturbed land bordering the Ohio River. It's not exactly majestic or awe inspiring, but the forest is deep and full of forest sounds and smells, and the campground is clean and well maintained. Around the Tell City exit there are a few lakes, Tipsaw and Celina, that look like they could have some fish in them. I fished Celina, but the recent rains had blown it out and there wasn't much to be had.
I took care of some business and calls from the van on the way back home in the car, typical Friday afternoon light stuff. If I had just driven back Thursday night I would have finished more work, but I'm glad I took the detour.