Saturday, August 28, 2010

Holy Shit

Holy shitballs, I don't know what to do.

Let me fill you all in on what has been taking up most of my spare time for that past two days. Earlier this month I saw a dermatologist. I was new to the clinic, so I just took an appointment with whoever they scheduled me with. He was a nice guy, and because my sister just finished her residency in dermatology, we talked a bit about his history. He told me he did his residency at the Mayo Clinic. At the time I thought he said in Huntsville. When I asked what he was doing in my town, he said that he had signed a commitment to join the clinic after he finished his residency, and he was just helping out during the summer. I didn't think anything of it until I related this to my sister, and she told me that there is no Mayo Clinic in Huntsville. There is one in Scotsdale, so I figured I must have misunderstood him. But she also said that she thought it was strange that a resident was moonlighting out of state. My sister asked me what his name was because she disagreed with a medication he had prescribed me, but his name was not on the pill bottle. Another doctor's name (from the same clinic) was on it. Still, I brushed it off.

Until I went back on Thursday and saw another doctor. This doctor, even after looking at my chart, was unable to figure out who I had seen on the previous visit. I didn't push it at the time because this guy was a locum. But it started to bother me, so I called back yesterday and asked them to tell me who I had seen on my first visit. (I couldn't remember his name.) The office worker looked me up and gave me the name of the clinic's owner, who I definitely had not seen. I insisted that was wrong, and when I described the first doctor's circumstances, she gave me another name.

I looked the first doctor up on my state board of medicine's website. He's not listed as licensed in the state. He's not listed at all. Neither is he listed on the Mayo Clinic's website or on Minnesota, Florida, or Arizona state board of medicine websites. (The three states that have Mayo Clinics.)

So by now I'm suspicious as hell. I log onto my insurance provider's website and view my claims. There are two from my first visit, both of which are listed under the name of other doctors from the clinic.

At this point I don't know what to do, because there is always a chance that I'm wrong. I could be spelling his name wrong (although it's a fairly simple, phonetically and grammatically unambiguous name). It could be that my state has some kind of visiting physician provision that doesn't show up on the Board of Medicine's website. It could be that they haven't processed his information yet.

Except... why can't I find him on the Mayo Clinic website? Why did they put down another doctor's name on my chart? Why did they bill my insurance under another doctor's name? This is all so crazy, I just have a hard time believing my suspicious are correct. Why would this guy tell me all about his history, knowing I'm a lawyer and my sister is a dermatologist, if he wasn't on the up and up? (Of course, I was the one who asked, he didn't volunteer it.) Regardless, something is wrong here, even if it's just negligent record-keeping.

I have a complaint form filled out and ready to sent to the Board of Medicine. But I still go back and forth between whether I should just report him or write a letter to the clinic demanding that they provide me with assurance that I was treated by an actual licensed physician, threatening to report them if they don't. Any input?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Get It Right

Ugh. I find glaring legal inaccuracies in television shows to be incredibly annoying. For instance, tonight I was watching a rerun of "Law and Order: SVU." Stabler and Benson were working a rape case, and it became clear upon the suspect's confession of an earlier rape that an innocent man was in prison. The entire episode had this hotshot DA who gave the cops all sorts of grief for the way they bend the rules. She came off as a real bitch, but a smart one.

So they have the confession. Stabler goes to the prison and promises the innocent guy that he'll get him out. But then the confessor falls/jumps/is thrown out a window and dies. Stabler's not too upset that the scumbag is dead until the DA tells him that now, without the dead guy's testimony, there is now way to exonerate the innocent guy. The rules of hearsay don't allow the prior confession to be admitted. Cue the dramatic music and fade to the Dick Wolf credits. Tough shit, huh? Man, the legal system sucks.

Except...

THE FUCKING RULES OF EVIDENCE DO ALLOW IT. It's called the statement against interest exception. When the declarant is unavailable to testify (say, because he's DEAD) then his statement is admissible if it is so against his best interest that it's deemed to be true. This scenario was the PERFECT example of how that rule would be applied. (Also, there was additional corroborating evidence to back up the statement.)

What the hell? Who's doing the legal advising for that show? That's second-year law school stuff.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bitch Bitch Bitch

Holy hell, I need to bitch.

I just got internet at my apartment today. It worked fine at 3 when I had to leave work so the cable guy could install it and show me how it works. Of course, after i get home for good at 6 it suddenly doesn't work. I call tech support, and in the time it takes for the incompetent guy on the other end to FIND MY FUCKING ACCOUNT, I have managed to find a way to fix it. (Which seems to require unplugging the modem and plugging it back in EVERY time I want to use it.) Not a great start, cable company.

And Facebook is pissing me off again. You know what I miss? The days when people were afraid to publicly show genuine emotion. WTF. I don't want to hear about how much you love your fucking amazing life. And when you follow up by saying that the only thing that could make it better is if Jesus would come soon... do you know how douchy you sound? Why can't everyone be like me? Uncomfortable with displays of genuine emotion (that is not rage). Also, I'm glad you got married to the person of your dreams, but holy hell, we don't need to see four FB albums worth of photos from your wedding. I don't give a shit about the shoes your wife wore, but I can handle a picture of them. But five? Get over yourself. If your friends are really staring at their computer screens, squealing with delight over photos covering every possible angle of the wedding shoes... you need new friends.

Speaking of Facebook, someone I know is aggressively pushing everyone to vote for her alma mater in some contest Kohl's department store is doing. The top 20 schools in the country win a bunch of money or something. When she hijacked my status to try to get me to vote, I had to hold myself back from informing her that I'd rather see the money go to a poor urban public school than a private school that charges thousands of dollars in tuition. I mean, COME ON. The obliviousness to their privilege is maddening. I am tempted to find the poorest school in the top 20 and vote for it out of sheer spite.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

One More Thing

Oh yeah, and my PowerBook G4 just broke. But luckily I fixed it myself. Thanks, Apple.com support website!

Thankful

Man, I am so thankful to have a good job right now because everything in my life seems to be breaking at once.

First a rear blinker on my car broke, and I finally got tired of hand signaling and took it in. Luckily there's a small auto service place near my house that my boss recommended. They fixed it for $10 in less than 10 minutes. Yay.

But then my bike tires just refused to hold air AND the valves got gunked up and so pumping the tires was difficult, to say the least. Had to take it in for a general tune up anyway, so there's another $35.

(This one's a little gross, sorry. Proceed with caution.) Then I go to the dermatologist to take care of this pesky little cyst that is under the skin. It seems to have ruptured (again) and is inflamed and painful. Doctor visit co-pay = $35. He puts me on antibiotics = $11. But while I'm there he, as a good dermatologist should, notices that I'm the moliest person alive and does a mole check. He finds one he wants to biopsy = $$$$ who knows how much in lab fees. Oh, and did I mention it's smack between my shoulder blades and thus essentially impossible for me to reach and care for? It's probably infected already because when I put the bandage on last night, I'm pretty sure I missed and put the sticky park right over the biopsy site. Luckily I'm on antibiotics anyway.

Let's not even get started on my hair, which is a train wreck that needs a cut ASAP. THERE ARE ONLY SO MANY HOURS IN A DAY, PEOPLE. I don't have time to schedule and make appointments all the time. Especially when you work 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day like I do. I have to spread them out. I already had the doctor this week, and I have the cable/internet installation next week. The hair will have to wait, but it will be at least another $35.

My state bar admittance certificate and undergrad diploma are still waiting to be framed, too. MORE MONEY. (But I get reimbursed for $250 of that.)

Life is expensive. I'm never having kids. I cost too much myself.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Help Me Out, Lawyers

I should know this, I really should. But here's my question about this recent U.S. District Court ruling on gay marriage:

What is it's effect in other federal districts in California? Normally, I think that district court rulings are binding precedent only in their district, correct? What could be confusing me here is criminal law rulings, which is what my federal court experience is limited to. Different districts can have different approaches to the sentencing guidelines.

But when the ruling strikes down a statewide law, it wouldn't make sense for the law only to be invalid in certain districts. I mean, the plainff has to choose a venue SOMEWHERE. I think I just answered that for myself, but I still feel like there's some disparity here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thoughts

If there's one thing I need to remember, it's that my life generally works best when I stop trying to plan things. Just a few months ago, I never would have thought I'd be where I am doing what I'm doing, but I'm happy here. What's more, I've fallen back in love with my home state. It's a privilege to practice law here. It doesn't hurt that I live in one if the prettiest places in the country, if I do say so myself

Also, I think I have finally found the secret to my own success. Don't laugh, but it comes from a one-liner in an episode of 30 Rock, when Jenna tells James Franco, "Don't Lemon your life."

I have a real tendency to Lemon my life. Everyday I make a conscious effort not to. So far, it seems to be working.

I seems to screw things up when I think really hard about them. So I'm done with that. We'll see how it goes.