Cal. Litig. 2021, Volume 34, Number 1

EDITOR’S FOREWORD Seriously, How Are You?

By Benjamin G. Shatz

Benjamin G. Shatz, Editor-in-Chief of this journal, is a certified Specialist in Appellate Law and Co-chairs the Appellate Practice Group of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, in Los Angeles.

Until last year, the quotidian greeting "How are you?" was mechanically followed by "Fine. How are you?" and implicitly meant, "I acknowledge your presence, now let’s get to work." But with the trauma of 2020, parroting the usual social lubricants simply doesn’t cut it. With so much turmoil on so many fronts, it can’t be taken as a given that anybody’s truly just "fine" anymore. Keep this in mind when interacting with your friends and colleagues. When you ask how someone is, take the question seriously. And don’t be surprised if you get a serious answer in return.

Today’s version of "how are you?" is "how’s your quarantine going?" If yours is anything like mine, at some point in 2020, your household suffered a serious nervous bake down. Having now stress-gorged on every possible version of banana bread (with nuts, with peanut butter, etc.), zucchini bread, beer bread, biscuits, buns, bars, brownies, sourdough (how many starters did you kill?), and far too many different types of cookies, I’m just happy not to have put on the Covid-19 (pounds). Home exercise, not eating at restaurants, and 2020’s taxing tensions actually resulted in a significant net weight loss for many lawyers. So maybe that’s a silver lining.

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