Amy F. Goodusky, a former paralegal, rock 'n' roll singer and horseback riding instructor, is of counsel at O'Brien, Tanski & Young in Hartford.
Monday, July 13, 2009 | by Amy Goodusky | The Connecticut Law Tribune
The stock in trade of most lawyers I know is language. No single class of persons plays as well with semantics, vocabulary, and most pertinently, doctoring the spin of it all. We are famous for tweaking, modifying, shading, couching, maneuvering, posturing, inflaming, exhortation, rumination, innuendo, implication, vindication, fervent advocacy and equally ardent defense. Lawyers are also expert in surreptitiously inserting clauses, codicils, provisos, exceptions, dodges, disclaimers and definitions in our quest for linguistic legerdemain. This stuff is called the fine print.
Monday, July 6, 2009 | by Amy Goodusky | The Connecticut Law Tribune
More often than I imagine I will be, I am cooling my heels, in and out of the courtroom, waiting for things to be typed, deponents to arrive, other arguments to proceed before my own; and finally, spinning out the final moments before a deadline expires in order to file a motion for non-suit or order of compliance. At some point, I decided to turn my restless energy into something creative. This is what I was doing when I should have been looking busy - telling the story of a lawsuit in haiku.
Monday, June 29, 2009 | by Amy Goodusky | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Recently, I attended jury selection as the stunt double of one of the partners at my firm. On this occasion, I encountered a situation that I had seldom bumped up against: the truly hostile venireman.
Monday, June 22, 2009 | by Amy Goodusky | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Recently, I attended a status conference. As always, in accordance with tradition and in an endeavor to avert a pointy e-mail from the client asking me what happened, I typed a letter describing the events. The letter did not tell the whole story. As I hunted and pecked with the requisite three fingers, I thought that I would like to recount what really happened. The first thing I omitted was my conversation with the marshals going through courthouse security. I had some carrot pieces in my vest pocket which I had inadvertently neglected to give to the horses the previous afternoon. I was obliged to dump them into the yellow plastic bucket. The marshal remarked that he understood why there was a herd of rabbits outside.
Monday, June 15, 2009 | by Amy Goodusky | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Having made my living in the music business before I turned to law, songs are often on my mind. In fact, my internal radio is almost always playing. In moments of inactivity, while waiting for the exhortation to rise for the short calendar call, or in the dentist's office, to avoid dreading the drill's expensive whine, I think about music. In particular, I think that trials should have a soundtrack. First I imagined how we would accomplish this. PowerPoint is now a standard feature of courtroom presentations, along with light boxes for viewing CT scans, video playback of expert witnesses contradicting themselves and each other live and on-screen, and myriad technological devices making the spectacle more interesting to the observers than days of dry, technical testimony punctuated only by the occasional vociferous or blasÉ objection.
Monday, June 8, 2009 | by Amy Goodusky | The Connecticut Law Tribune
I am getting older. Not that I am unique in this regard, mind you, but the message was recently brought home to me that my memory does not work as well as it once did. I was on the phone with an expert witness. He had cheerfully agreed to review a medical malpractice claim I am defending for approximately half the value of my fat-free individual retirement account. He was calling to give his opinion. Luckily, it favored my client, but I digress.
Monday, June 1, 2009 | by Amy Goodusky | The Connecticut Law Tribune
Would you like to know why health care costs so much? Once upon a time, there was a Hospital doing business in darkest Connecticut. A person presenting for treatment there became disgruntled. The disgruntled one huffed and puffed, and arrived at the following notion: "I'll sue the bastards!" She leapt upon her stallion and galloped south to Stamford, where the wild attorneys grow by dozens in the bulrushes and the rules of the court do not apply.
Monday, May 25, 2009 | by Amy Goodusky | The Connecticut Law Tribune
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I refer, of course, to a feature of being employed to defend medical malpractice claims, and the type of dangerous knowledge required by it: medical knowledge. I used to think this maxim meant that a little knowledge about whatever medical condition or disease, surgical procedure, diagnosis, treatment or complication would be dangerous to my opposing counsel. I think differently now. My minuscule acumen for medicine is really more dangerous to me than to them.