Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Fall 2015, Vol 41, No. 3 - Page 20

by Mark Bassingthwaighte, Esq. Procrastination’s Dark Side All right, I’ll admit it. I am a procrastinator. If there is a Procrastinator’s Anonymous, I should probably be a member. In fact, I wonder if an organization such as this actually exists. I’ve always thought about checking into that, but somehow I never got around to it. Now, my excuse for never checking has been that I tend to perform well under the gun. In fact, some of my best work often occurs when I’m working under a time crunch. I am able to produce when I must. Even better, I like the feeling of satisfaction that I get when it’s all over, having met the deadline with a job well done. It feels good. I have earned my place. What’s the problem then? A false sense of security is the problem and this is the dark side of procrastination. I’ve pulled it off at the last minute so many times before that I’m certain I can do it again and often this is true. Of course this can only happen if no unforeseen circumstances arise; and note that I have not shared the stories of when I didn’t make the deadline. I assure you that I have had them. That said, while my missing a deadline from time to time might mean that I will need to ask for an extension, for an attorney in practice, a missed deadline can be disastrous. Consider Rule 1.3 (a) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and commentary. The rule states: “A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client.” Comment [3] to this rule reads Perhaps no professional shortcoming is more widely resented than procrastination. A client’s interests often