About a month ago, my daughter overheard me referring to “John’s” case on a business call.  “Is it old John or new John?,” she asked, knowing there were at least two Johns on my caseload.  Setting aside the downside of working out of a home office, I wondered instead whether John Smith would appreciate being referred to as “old John” given that we had yet to exonerate him and he was only four years older than new John.  Turns out my instincts were spot on.  “Old John!  Hell, I’m not old John.  I’m still in prison!  Seems to me I’m your ‘still-working-on-it-John’!”

“Well, John,” I explained, “my daughter’s just looking for an easy way to distinguish you two.”  ‘New’ John is the more recent client, a man who has yet to experience all the joys of waiting the interminable wait of good news following an Order to Show Cause.  Heck we haven’t even filed his petition yet.  Nevertheless, aside from that, sadly, the two gang cases are virtually indistinguishable.

“So, John, I’m not sure you’ll be OK with the options.  You see, when I explained to my daughter that ‘old John’ might be a little insulting, my daughter decided from that day forward you shall be called ‘Fluffy Tree’ and the other John shall be called ‘Poofy Tree.'”

I’m absolutely certain new John will not be enamored with ‘Poofy Tree.’  Though, as it turns out, old John is OK with Fluffy Tree.  Maybe everything is OK once you’ve been released from prison after nineteen years of doing someone else’s time.

The night before John–a.k.a. Fluffy–got out, my daughter made him a welcome home present–her rendering of a fluffy tree, pictured above!  John was so sweet to stop the interns and I before we nearly absconded with the artwork.  “Wait, wait!  I forgot my fluffy tree!”  He reached into the front seat of my car and retrieved fluffy tree.

Here’s hoping for a happy ending for Poofy Tree.

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