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Effort of planning child's party can resemble trial prep

With the countless hours of preparation, stress and checklists, planning a child’s birthday party can be a lot like getting ready for trial — but any last-minute changes may leave you wishing you could adjourn the festivities, Toronto plaintiffs’ personal injury lawyer Sharon Bauer writes in her recent Precedent magazine column.

In ‘Life Without Parole,’ Bauer, a partner with Wolfe Lawyers takes an entertaining look at how lawyers can use their professional skill sets to raise their children. 

In her latest column, Bauer describes how, after a year of preparation, her daughter’s fifth birthday party is nearly here.

All in all, it’s been as stressful and time-consuming as prepping for trial. But the parallels between courtrooms and parties don’t end here. There are, of course, the last-minute surprises. For example, as I run through the party checklist one last time late at night, my daughter runs down the stairs in a panic. ‘Mom, I don’t want a Cinderella birthday party anymore! I want a Batman-Cinderella party.’ What? How can she change the theme on me last minute? Can I adjourn this party? ‘And by the way Mom, I want to invite Alex.’”

Alex’s judgmental parents, writes Bauer, will inevitably also be in attendance — and parents at birthday parties ultimately function as jurors.

“They closely observe the party, probing for mistakes. So far, the jury-selection process has gone in my favour. I’ve already successfully ‘challenged’ four of my daughter’s good friends, knowing their parents will take notes and gossip. But regarding Alex, my daughter is adamant. Looks like I’m stuck with her parents.”

Even the party attire is at risk of resembling that of the courts, says Bauer, with her daughter suggesting that the “black dress with the big wings you wear to work” would make the perfect ‘Batman-Cinderella’ outfit.

“Is she right? Does my court robe really look like it belongs to the caped crusader? I reply, ‘No honey, only grown-ups get to wear costumes.’”

Finally, says Bauer, it is time to prepare for her daughter’s performance on the stand.

“I tell her that no matter what the present is, say ‘I love it.’ She has a confused look on her face. ‘So, you want me to lie?’ she asks. I remind myself: this is not a trial. I cannot be disbarred by the Mom Society. ‘Yes,’ I reply. ‘Yes I do.’”

To Read More Sharon Bauer Posts Click Here
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