WORDS OPEN OUR WORLD
Excerpts From My Desk
BEWARE the Professional Tortest
Some may think I have lost my ability to edit proficiently. I have not.
Recently, I was made aware of a strange creature that lurks in big and small cities and even skulks on the very streets we live. It has been spotted at the grocery store, on our sidewalks, and in automobiles. The Professional Tortest seeks opportune moments to strike, lying in waiting for just the right circumstance before making its move.
This creature has only one goal: to cause grief to those it can take by surprise. Its physical appearance can vary from short and portly to tall and lean. The most horrible thing about this real-life beast is that we don’t notice its presence until it’s too late.
The psychiatry world calls this creature the “Hyperlitigious Litigant.” This predator continually sues unsuspecting companies and individuals. Whether for fun, for power, or for income, varies by the beast. I’m not talking about attorneys. This predatory looks like an ordinary people but, in reality, this creature is constantly on the search for, or the prospect to create, situations that cause it to obtain “injuries.” These injuries are both real or fictitious. Either way, they are self-inflicted. The creature then seeks medical attention, immediately followed by legal counsel. It does this periodically and can have multiple cases at the same time. The legal community refers to this predator’s behavior as “Vexatious Litigation.”
If you feel you have been preyed upon by one of these creatures, all hope is not lost. My research into this behavior has found that these creatures have specific characteristics that can be identified (AAPL article listed below):
· Initiates dozens or hundreds of suits.
· Has a life that revolves around the development and progress of litigation
· Is not deterred by repeated negative outcomes.
· Files suits that are trivial or unfounded.
· Invests great amounts of time in litigation.
· Is a known and persistent presence for lawyers, judges, and clerks.
Rest assured that attorneys and insurance companies are aware of these creatures. Still, mentioning this phenomenon to those representing our interests is warranted if we feel something is awry. This piece is not meant as legal or psychiatric advice but as a warning about a herd of predatory creatures that may be lurking in our neighborhoods.
Beware the Professional Tortest who lies in wait.
Each month I put out a newsletter that gives an interesting look at a specific topic. Humor, leaning, and perhaps a twist are sure to make their way into the newsletter.
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My writing class just finished reading Green Haven and had a meeting with the author. Wow! What a specular read and a great conversation with the author about his process and advice on writing a novel.
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 5:
It was never clear to Brendan if his parents had him out of a sense of parental duty or purely by mistake. Either way, he didn’t really want to know. Brendan’s childhood was spent growing up mostly at the hands of nannies and grandparents. His parents made all the behind-the-scenes decisions and gave the appearance of “a happy family” for special occasions.
Both parents were too busy and too absorbed in their own worlds to
care much about anything else. This was quite evident as Brendan, as a young child, overheard numerous conversations between the nannies and one parent or another regarding his dress.
“Mrs. Pierce, Brendan’s clothes are getting too small. He is a fast-growing boy. He needs new clothes.”
“Okay. I’ll place money in his account today, and you can take him
“Me? Mrs. Pierce, don’t you want to pick out your boy’s clothes?”
“Use your better judgment, then go one step higher, and we should be fine.” She walked away before the nanny had another chance to object.
At ten years of age, Brendan felt the pain of being an unnecessary burden to his parents. Brendan could recall countless stories of this nature throughout his childhood, each one producing a pang of remorse and loneliness.
When Brendan was twenty-one, his parents told him via email they
were getting divorced.
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