Ombudsperson

I know it’s a childish thing to expect, particularly after practicing law for ten years, that there would be a fair arbiter you could appeal to to uphold basic fairness.   It’s like expecting there to be a record, and making statements for the record.  You know, when the appeals court looks over the record, you dig, they’ll see I’m right and the judge was wrong.  You think there’s really a record?   Heh.

“Watch out for that weasel,” a colleague once warned me about a certain judge.  “They have a foot switch that turns the recorder on and off so he can edit what goes into the record on the fly.  If the tiny red light on the side of his name plate goes out, you are not being recorded.   So when he takes a long pause and says ‘so, you refuse to answer the question, counselor’, right after you’ve answered the question, he already has his proof of your refusal to answer because what you just said was not recorded for the record.  You have, in fact, already refused to answer, on the record.  So don’t speak unless that red light is on, and ask him why you are off the record if the red light is off.”

“Damn,” I remember thinking, though, on reflection… duh! 

While I was dismayed, and a little angry, to finally learn that there is no corporate Ombudsperson at the Allen Pavilion to visit with a stack of Obamacare bills, some of which I owe, some of which I don’t, some of which have the wrong payment amount demanded in them, one of which is currently in collection, I am not really surprised.   That Ombudsperson would be overwhelmed, her job impossible to keep up with, the billing irregularities under the complex new law are as numerous as the stars in all the galaxies.   The guy at the billing window at the Pavilion tells me I have no idea how many problems patients have been having with multiple erroneous and ridiculously high bills.  

Want to make a record?  A better idea than worrying about that is to simply go fight City Hall.  Or practice until you find your way to Carnegie Hall.  Or go back in a time machine and buy a cheap suit from Robert Hall.   Next guest!

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