Tag Archive for: Karma

Cullen, the firm’s senior lawyer, was explaining to Frank, an associate in the firm, how Karma played a role in two cases, Mr. Cokely and Mr. Shiply.  Frank listened spellbound as Cullen continue his story.

“Mr. Shiply had tears in his eyes when he came to my office.  He loved his wife of 20 years dearly.  They had built a successful antiques business together.  But she cheated on him and to add insult to injury, she was claiming the business was all hers in the divorce.”

“There were various suits filed with claims and counterclaims and the usual legal battles and skirmishes.  Mr. Shiply was distressed by all this, but he was a kind and gentle person.  He took the high road even when his wife did not.  Finally, the case settled with Mr. Shiply being paid a handsome sum by the wife for his interest in the business.”

“Mr. Shiply was now independently wealthy.  He was grateful for his legal services, paid his bill promptly, and sent over a bottle of wine in celebration of his case finally being over.  We became friends.”

“He was offered a job by another friend to acquire antiquities for an art museum.  Other friends introduced him to eligible women.  He was particularly attracted to one who had a PhD in computer science.  They were wed a year later.”

“They acquired several acres of land and built a magnificent house. It is seven years later now, they are content, have lots of friends including me, and they are living the life of The Great Gatsby”.

“Wow!” said Frank. “I see what you mean.  The difference between Mr. Cokely’s life and Mr. Shiply’s life is quite a contrast.  Karma!”

“Karma!” said Cullen, the firm’s senior lawyer.  “There’s a big pendulum up in the sky that eventually makes everything even.”

From experience, Frank knew Cullen’s habit of starting a conversation in the middle as if his thoughts to himself were part of the conversation.

“What do you mean?” Frank asked, and sat down in the client chair in front of Cullen’s desk, because he knew there was a story coming.

Cullen put his feet on the battered desk top and leaned back in his leather chair.  “I’ll tell you a tale of two different cases and you tell me if Karma was at work.  The first is the Cokely case.  Mr. Cokely built a successful career as a business broker.  But times were tough when he came to see me for his divorce.  His wife had lawyered up and pleadings were flying.”

“Mr. Cokely was a tough negotiator from his experience in buying and selling businesses.  His strategy for negotiations was to project strength and power. The problem was that Mr. Cokely viewed the world as a hostile place.  He was rude, insulting, and critical.”

“Halfway through the trial, it was clear that the judge didn’t like him.”

“Mr. Cokely blamed his lawyers for a bad result in his case (although the assets were divided about equally), and demanded a large discount on his unpaid legal fees.  The firm withdrew from representing him.”

“Now Mr. Cokely is an unemployed investment adviser with half the assets he had before, no friends, no wife, no lawyer and no customers.  Mr. Cokely may never recover from his divorce.  Karma caught up with him.”

Next: Karma and Mr. Shiply