(This is a part in a series about my experiences with being sued and what the process is like. I hope it helps someone else who may or may not be in the same position. It’s helping me to write about it because it is terrifying and I’m pretty scared. Being sued is truly an existential kind of a thing (as my attorney put it.))
How the hell do I find a lawyer?
The next day I tapped my social network with a big stiff your-friend-is-being-sued-for-a-million-dollars index finger. I received some great referrals and found Linda, who I had a very good feeling about. What I didn't necessarily have a good feeling about was exactly how many attorneys my friends know. What are you up to guys?
But beyond the help I received, the stress was still awful. I couldn’t sleep, eat, concentrate and was walking around listless and on the verge of tears when I wasn’t working or on the phone. Besides work, it was a part time job contacting lawyers and so very tiring.
Unlike many of my friends I never had to find an attorney before. I didn't know what to look for or how to shop for one. It's not like buying a laptop or finding a new bike. It was more like interviewing for a job. You find out if you like them, if they like you. If they like what you have to offer and you approve.
The resource that was enormously helpful was the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They gave me advice and told me about a statute I'd never heard of before. The anti-SLAPP.
But no matter how exhausted I was, I was still taking Benadryl to get some rest. I wasn’t going to be any good at my job, to my husband to my friends, unless I rested. When his commercials came on it was a slap to the face. That’s the man that's suing me. I flipped over to Netflix.
If they wanted to chill my speech, they did. I was afraid to post anything in public, or say anything at all about the biggest event in my life.
That weekend I hid in the house and recharged. I was exhausted and stressed with having to choose an attorney, and still worried about losing what little I have. Every morning I woke up and every morning I had the crushing realization I was being sued for a million dollars.
I finally talked to Linda. And things got started.
There really wasn’t a lot for me to do at that point and that really bothered me. I felt like my fate was out of my hands and really, it was.