Chapter Six – The Rain

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I have an attorney friend that I met in college that lives up in Wisconsin. We talk frequently and discuss what is going on in our lives. Well, I mean we sort of talk about what is going on with our lives. After the cursory discussion on the football games that weekend, the weather differences between the island and the tundra, and the thoughts that we have about getting together soon, we discuss what is stressing and troubling us.

It is interesting that our lives can be so different in terms of location, career, and finances, yet our lives are so similar. We have the same number of kids, we have wives with similar personalities, and we are both sapped of our energy each day by the struggles of our chosen career paths. The only other difference that I can see is the number of zeroes that are involved in the decisions that we must make on a daily basis.

This morning he called which is unusual because we just talked a couple of weeks ago. He was excited and said that he had an interesting story to share with me. He had been approached by a potential client in regards to enlisting his services on an important case. The client was a large hotel chain that was having difficulty receiving approval to build their hotel and casino on the very island that I reside. They had purchased forty acres of land in order to build a resort hotel and initially felt that they had full clearance to build their project. However, there had been growing opposition to the project from the locals and now the municipality was holding up their permitting. They needed his assistance to help get their project moving forward before their financiers pulled out.

He asked if I had been following the case. I had read about this case and watched its progression in the local news. The information that I had gleaned was that the locals were favorable towards a resort hotel, but did not feel that they had received knowledge of the casino plan until it was too late to deny. I explained further that in many ways the community had been excited about the development, because of the financial inflows that it would bring. The debate now is between the businesses that would benefit from the increased tourism against the community groups that are concerned about the consequences of a casino on our island.

He asked, “Should I take the case?”

“Well, I am not certain I understand your question. Are you asking should you take the case in regards to can you win? Are you asking should you take the case in regards to the amount of time that you will be away from your family? Or are you asking because you are conflicted with the position that you will have to take,” I inquired back?

“Probably a little bit of all the above,” he replied. “From my business perspective, this would be a great case because it would highlight our firm to larger clients and I have really wanted to step out into the development arena. Also, I don’t really want to share this with you, but I could use the business. The retainer and fees that have been offered are quite large.”

“I don’t know what to tell you,” I answered. “Personally, I wish that you would take the case, because we would get to see each other and spend some time together. I guess I would ask your wife her thoughts.”

“Yeah, I will. So did you see the Packers this weekend? They are truly awful.”


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