Life Advice



Tales from the Front: Three's a Crowd

Cheryl Lavin on

A few months after his wife died, Jason got a call from Andrea.

They're both lawyers -- she specializes in family law -- and had met many years ago when they'd tried a small case against each other.

"I won, but she doesn't recall that," says Jason.

Jason must have been mightily impressed with Andrea's legal skills, because after that, he would refer his divorce inquiries to her. This went on for three decades. They'd also have lunch once a year.

During those lunches, he would show her photos of the Canadian canoe trips that he and his wife had taken.

Then, a few months after his wife died, Andrea called Jason with a complex legal question. "I do appellate work, and I often field calls from lawyers looking for advice on complex issues."


They hadn't had lunch for a long time, so they decided to meet over a meal and talk about it. "We talked, and it turned out she needed more advice than I could give her, so I told her I'd find a lawyer who could answer her question.

"I thought the lunch went well for personal reasons, so rather than just call her, I walked over to her nearby law office and waited for her to come back from court, ostensibly to give her the name and phone number of the lawyer. After we discussed the topic, we just talked."

Jason had learned at lunch that Andrea was planning to go to a girlfriend's lake house for the weekend. He had a different idea, and he did something extremely gutsy.

"I asked her if she would blow off her friend and spend the weekend at my cabin. It has a separate bedroom, bath and living area on the lower level. I knew that, but it dawned on me later that she didn't know that, and I am sure she wondered about my motives."


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