Among the self-help books the boomer generation found helpful, apparently, was titled Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. In 286 pages Dr. Grey explains the complex relationship of men and women in terms of planetary bodies, point systems and generalizing about how we react to stress. 7 million copies were sold including one to me.
I found the work completely unhelpful and not at all congruent with my experience. For example if Dr. Grey is right I am actually from Venus, meaning I my gender identity is all wrong. While I’m good in a fight which would imply I am from Mars, I am pretty sure I am from earth. So is my wife. But I am sometimes tempted to draw analogies to the heavens to explain where some of our patrons of the judicial system hail from.
I look up into the winter night sky and see Orion hunting overhead, his sword in the scabbard but accompanied by his two dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor, and the twins, Gemini following close behind.
How peaceful it all seems and like some ancient Greek I try to make sense of the world of clients, lawyers and judges using a similar metaphor as Dr. Grey.
Clients are Comets, Lawyers are Planets, and Judges are Stars. Gravity is the Law.
Like most Americans, our comets have a default setting for Liberty. The Big Bang of their origin, the Declaration of Independence, means they are genetically disposed to believe in an ever expanding personal liberty that allows individual choice is the highest best expression of humanity. This ethic’s trajectory, unfortunately causes collisions with the other comets and they fall into the solar system of Superior Court. Regardless of encounters with the gravitational pull of planets or the star, their minds are not yet right, they long for that freedom trajectory promised them by the Founding Fathers.
Having collided with one another, the comets have left a debris field of ice and rock behind them the legal sciences have determined are “facts”. Notwithstanding this catastrophic event, the comets continue to move through our space at high speed, and are only occasionally diverted from their trajectory by the gravity field of legal advice.
Of course when the comet encounters a star the law of gravity really takes hold in the form of court orders. Most tend to follow the new trajectory pretty well and direction is changed and exit the system, not to return until they collide with another comet. Those that do not alter their trajectory after a close encounter with a star are likely to burn up in a contempt action.
Perhaps I should write a self-help book for the legal laity, Clients are Comets, Lawyers are Planets; a Practical Guide to Improving Communication with your Lawyer and Getting what You want from the Judicial System.
Upon being served with pleadings and believing in the other American genetic wiring known as self-reliance, the comet will head for Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble to gain initial access to justice. Hopefully my book will not be found in the “Fiction” section or the “book for a buck” table.
Some will orbit the planet and manage to survive the trip into our solar system. Others will have their trajectory altered by the planet’s gravity well enough to do alright continuing pro se.
Others will like me reading Dr. Grey’s book, decide its thesis is all wrong and fly on under their own trajectory. Like another Greek, Icarus, they may fly too close to the sun and that stuff that holds them together will melt, and they will fall into the sea of fire.
Gravity is, after all, the law.