By John M. Hart, III, Esq.
It’s finally Autumn, a time when our beautiful Northeastern Pennsylvania outdoors start to captivate its audience with its vibrant array of colors, its stunning collection of harvested pumpkins (are they fruit, squash or gourds?), and its cooler temperatures that invite flannel shirts, comfortable sweaters, and enticing firepits.
We tend to welcome the move from season-to-season in our neck of the woods because we have been raised to appreciate the change in climate throughout the years. It adds variation and, more importantly, tradition to our otherwise mundane routines.
Another type of move that is less welcomed is the physical moving of a location, in my instance, a business. Hart Law was established in 2013 immediately upon my passing the bar exam. We got our exam results on a Friday afternoon and on Monday morning, I was in a courtroom after I was given a file for a landlord/tenant dispute from a mentor of mine.
After my first case, I continued to advance my career in multiple areas of practice, in addition to landlord/tenant matters. Over the course of almost 10 years, I “hung my shingle” in downtown Scranton. But like the seasons that come and go throughout the year, it was time that I move on as well. It was time for a change to advance my footprint in the legal world.
As of October 2022, Hart Law has a new home. We have moved to 134 E. Grove Street in where-else but DUNMORE!
While we’re very excited about this move to a bigger, more individualized location, the move itself is less than thrilling. I’ve noticed that as I get older, the moves get worse and worse.
I’ll never forget the worst move I ever endured. Without question, moving out of my law school apartment was a memory I wish I could wipe from my history. Not only was it physically daunting, but it occurred during a time when I was mentally drained.
Timing was the issue. I had to move out of my apartment one da–as in 24 hours–after I finished the bar examination. After persevering through the 16-hour exam that spanned the course of two days, my brain could barely process simple math.
But fortunately, I had a brother-in-law and best friend take the drive down to Harrisburg with a box truck to help me move. Surprisingly, they still talk to me to this day. As I studied for the exam leading up to the morning of the test, I couldn’t even consider the idea of packing for a move out of my apartment. So that all had to wait until after the exam.
Not only did I have to move furniture, but I had to pack everything, drawers, closets, cabinets, cupboards, every nook and cranny, all in one night, because time was of the essence.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, my landlord (property management company to be more precise) would not budge when I asked for even one more day so I could move out properly, even given my current circumstances. This level of unreasonableness caused an even more frustrating process of packing/moving/cleaning that evening.
Once midnight rolled around, the good graces of my friends wore thin, and they had had enough. They filled the last available square foot of the box truck and left for Scranton. I had dozed off by then, only to awaken a half-hour later to find myself curled up on my dog’s bed, the only semblance of a piece of furniture that remained.
But then I sprung up, realizing that I still had to clean the apartment and continue to load up my SUV with remaining odds-and-ends. As the morning hours rolled by, I was down to my last box and realized it wouldn’t fit in my vehicle. It was filled with dispensable items, such as cleaning supplies and knickknacks, so they were gifted to my friends who lived next door to me. I left the surprise box on their patio table.
Once I got in my vehicle, my poor pup Killian barely fit on the seat. But being a trooper, he shared it with a box and a vacuum cleaner and enjoyed the ride back home.
Likewise, the move into our new office was difficult for several reasons. For one, I’m older, and I’m sure many of you know the hardships that come with age.
Another difference from my law school move is that my office was open for almost a decade in downtown Scranton. And I didn’t realize until this week how much stuff a man can accumulate over the course of a decade. But as the body weakens over the years, the mind strengthens, and I finally got smart and hired professional movers. And I’ll never do a move again without them!
The moving company did it all in a day. Desks, conference tables, couches, computers, bookcases, books (most legal research is done online so the books are more or less for aesthetics these days) were all carried out of Scranton and placed in the new home of Hart Law at 134 E. Grove Street. Our office is much bigger now as we intend to expand and become a landmark in this great neighborhood by Schultz Stadium.
As the move from law school back to Scranton was not my fondest memory, it was a necessary move to start my career as a lawyer. Now the move of my law office from Scranton to Dunmore marks another major milestone and is necessary to further advance my legal career.
While I hope none of you have to move anytime soon, I hope that if you do, it is less painful than my move from law school, and more fulfilling like my move to Dunmore. As mentioned earlier, my very first case was a landlord-tenant dispute and now years later, I still welcome a good fight in court whether you’re a landlord or a tenant who needs competent representation.
I certainly wanted to put up a legal fight against my landlord back in law school for not being reasonable during a monumental time of my life, but I put it behind me and focused on the future. Having said that, I can always conjure up that feeling and put it to good use when someone else finds themselves dealing with a landlord, or even a tenant, who is being unreasonable!
So with all of that said, just like the change of seasons, we appreciate this move and hope you all do, too. We’re in, we’re open, and we’re ready to service all of Dunmore’s legal needs.