It’s that time of the year. Every day we get “Holiday Cards,” mostly from other law firms. Some of the cards are humorous – albeit lawyer humor – but mostly they are generic, intentionally designed to be utterly inoffensive. After all, we live in an age where some consider a simple “Merry Christmas” to be suspect.
Honestly, I hardly look at these cards, but on Friday one card caught my eye. It was from a client we represented several years ago. To say the man’s back surgery at a VA hospital did not turn out well is an understatement. The outcome was a disaster. We filed a claim and sought an expert review. The first doctor told us that what happened was just an unfortunate complication, admittedly a very bad one. We got another review and heard the same thing. A third expert’s opinion was equally unhelpful. In the meantime the VA had denied the claim. We sought reconsideration, but eventually that was denied too. We had no basis to file suit and so we had to drop the matter.
So, when I saw the envelope with his return address I was quite curious – and I was even a bit concerned considering the passage of time. Whatever apprehension I had was quickly allayed. The card was a simple note apologizing for not thanking us sooner for everything we had done for him. It was a straight forward expression of appreciation. He wished us a Merry Christmas. I was touched.
We did work hard for this client. No one could say we didn’t try, but ultimately we were unable to help him. Yet, after a not small passage of time he reached out to us. It’s a privilege to represent veterans and military families. It is us who should be thanking all of those who entrust their cases to us. There is indeed a spirit to this season. Whatever your beliefs, embrace it.