Trying hard to become retired but neither clients nor judges nor fate is cooperating much. Days tick off relentlessly as the Feb. 28 deadline to vacate the office looms like a grizzly awakened from hibernation who has spied his first meal of spring. Deadlines imposed by indifferent authorities creep forward relentlessly, competing for time against financial challenges and puzzles that for years were content to lie dormant but have chosen this time to turn urgent and threaten dire consequences. Not to mention other obligations ranging from those spawned by dad’s demise to the grind of simply dealing with life’s mundane daily challenges. I take little breaks when possible to read books, a recent one of which took an analytical look at the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. The author noted that such things could leave you disabled or otherwise in a condition other than stronger, however much someone might argue about strength of character. So, I’d just as soon skip a third heart attack, thank you very much. Wish me luck. And, if anybody wants some impressive-looking law books to decorate their walls, I have quite a lot for the taking, as well as a few desks, chairs, etc.

Whenever I get this retirement behind me, I’ll likely add more thoughts about it here. There are several things I’d like to say about the legal profession, and about oil & gas, and about government agencies, and about politics, and about probably a few other things. For now, though, I just need to get this retirement thing behind me.

So long, good-bye, farewell!

Privacy of Medical Records

Recently, I received in the mail a notification about a class action lawsuit regarding the prescription drug modafinil. Anyone who bought modafinil between 2006 and 2012 it is entitled to receive money from a settlement in the lawsuit. I have had a modafinil prescription for several years and, no doubt, I am entitled to participate in the settlement and receive some amount of money from it. I wonder, though, how they found out about my prescription. Medical records are supposed to be highly confidential. In many instances, it’s like pulling hen’s teeth when I want to get information from my own records. How did some lawyers I’ve never heard of get my name and address as a person who has bought modafinil? How did they do it without my knowledge? I suppose my modafinil prescription is now a matter of public record, since the lawyers involved in the settlement are no doubt required to file with the court a statement certifying that they gave notice of the settlement to a list of named people who were determined to have been modafinil users or purchasers. I’m not sure which is more unsettling, that I got overcharged for the drug, or that lawyers I don’t know were able to find out I used or bought a certain drug.

Happy Birthday Magna Carta

No, Magna Carta is not the melted rock that comes out of volcanoes, but it is a bedrock of Western society and a major ingredient in the documents that formed the foundation of the United States of America. If you don’t know what Magna Carta is, or even if you do know what it is, then go here and read. This year is its 800th birthday. It wouldn’t be a bad time to also read the documents our founding fathers crafted to form this nation (you know – Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights), and to ponder whether, and how far, our government has strayed from the guarantees they vested in the citizens of this nation. These documents are supposed to protect us from a government that has become too powerful for our own good. That rumbling you’ve been hearing in the background is our Founding Fathers spinning in their graves wondering when we’re going to notice. Liberals, of course, would be quick to point out that it wasn’t the citizens who made the King sign Magna Carta for the benefit the lower and middle classes but, rather, the barons for the benefit of the rich folks.