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[SUNDAY FEATURE] The lawyer, the addict

Posted by   /  July 16, 2017  /  No Comments

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‘Dear Dad, we miss you.’ A snapshot from a 2006 family trip to Utah, along with a card sent by Peter’s son from another family trip — one that Peter missed. Peter’s drug paraphernalia and handwritten records of drug use./David Brandon Geeting

A high-powered Silicon Valley attorney dies. His ex-wife investigates and finds a web of drug abuse in his profession

By Eilene Zimmerman | The New York Times

In July 2015, something was very wrong with my ex-husband, Peter. His behavior over the preceding 18 months had been erratic and odd. He could be angry and threatening one minute, remorseful and generous the next. His voice mail messages and texts had become meandering soliloquies that didn’t make sense, veering from his work travails, to car repairs, to his pet mouse, Snowball.

I thought maybe the stress of his job as a lawyer had finally gotten to him, or that he was bipolar. He had been working more than 60 hours a week for 20 years, ever since he started law school and worked his way into a partnership in the intellectual property practice of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a prominent law firm based in Silicon Valley.

Then, for two days, Peter couldn’t be reached. So I drove the 20 minutes or so to his house, to look in on him. Although we were divorced, we had known each other by then for nearly 30 years. We were family.

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