Doing the dishes is never a pleasant pastime, whether you wash by hand or use the latest kitchen technology.
But there are lessons to be learned about litigation in these everyday tasks.
Here are five things I’ve learned from doing the dishes:
- There are messy jobs in life. No matter who you are or what kind of resources you have, you can find yourself involved in litigation. It’s just a fact of life, and getting in your feelings won’t make it go away. Face it and resolve to fix it.
- The longer you wait, the messier it gets. We’ve all had those days when you just didn’t have time to do the dishes. And we’ve all suffered the consequences of a stinky kitchen. Letting issues in litigation fester does the same thing. It’s easier to file that motion or make that objection now. Go ahead and get it done.
- Different meals require different dishwashing tools. A rinse and wipe works for a fruit salad, but a pot roast takes a scouring pad and muscle. Likewise, a notice of hearing or an affidavit takes a different response than a summary judgment motion. Have a variety of tools at your disposal, and know when to use them.
- Everything has its place. When the dishes are clean and dry, do you leave them in the drain rack or dishwasher? No, you put them away — plates to the cabinet, silverware in the drawer, and so on. Staying organized in litigation is important, too. Files should be stored and categorized, tasks should be updated with status, expenses should be listed and totaled. That way, you always know where things are.
- You’re never truly done doing the dishes. Eating creates dirty dishes, even when you get take-out. Litigation has its peaks and valleys, and things can be quiet for a long while. But until a final judgment is entered, you could be forced to respond in writing at any time. Stay sharp and ready to make your legal arguments. A case can take several years to resolve, and even then, an appeal could extend it. So never expect it to end soon.
As it turns out, doing the dishes and representing yourself in court aren’t so different. We should approach both jobs the same way.
Have you learned something about litigation from simple, everyday tasks? Share in the comments.