As a first year associate at a large firm, I was involved in a case wherein one of the partners of the firm made a mistake. With a lot of work from myself and the partner involved, and a gracious concession from our adversary, the mistake was rectified. I took away a life long lesson from that experience; I never begrudge another attorney for making a mistake because the next mistake may be mine. Last week it was.
All legal filings for divorce cases are done manually in order to keep the court files sealed. In contrast, all other litigation is filed electronically, known as efiling. I rarely, if ever, file my court documents electronically. Last week I had to file a complicated case-a hybrid of a matrimonial and commercial case-electronically. My error in the efiling quickly became apparent. Immediately, my adversary filed a motion to correct my error and for sanctions, that being, an order that my client (or me) be required to pay his counsel fees for having to file the motion to correct my error.
I walked into court the day of the motion ready to agree to correct my error but vigorously argue against an award of sanctions. In my first conversation with my adversary, he immediately agreed to work together to correct the filing and would also immediately withdraw the request for the financial sanctions. His philosophy was the same as mine; he would never chastise another attorney who admitted to making an unintentional error.
We are all human and make mistakes. I still believe that it’s important that we all remember that.
Just got to read your blog but it is very pertinent to my life right now. I have been agonizing over mistakes I have made that are currently causing me grief and my brother told me the following: "Wisdom is the application of lessons learned from prior mistakes". He also wisely told me that I should stop beating myself up and learn from the knowledge gained and move on. I keep repeating his quote to myself every day :)
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