It might be a stretch to call per-diem court appearances "Zen-like" or "other-worldly". That being said, I have some philosophical observations about making multiple court appearances on behalf of other attorneys.....
The appearance I hate most....is my last appearance.
Sometimes it's harder to do two appearances than twelve appearances.
If you don't know what the case is about, you should find out before you say something stupid.
If you think you shouldn't be making the appearance, you are probably right.
When you are per-diem to the per-diem, and perhaps they were per-diem, you should make sure you are not your own grand-pa. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYlJH81dSiw (This version is pretty funny, but I once saw Uncle Floyd do it LIVE, which was excellent).
If you end up covering both sides too often, you could go blind.
If you have a choice to "go make the copies" or wait for someone else to "make the copies and bring them back for you"....go make the copies.
If an appearance has a lot of parties it's efficient to be LAST, as long as you are not LATE.
The TV show that is most like per-diem appearances was M.A.S.H., especially when they talked about "meatball" surgery.
If you are on an appearance with multiple parties and you know nothing (which happens all the time), and all the other parties are blaming one of the parties for causing the accident, invariably YOU are representing that party.
If you know what you are talking about (hey...it happens!!!), and the Judge asks what the case is about.....TALK FIRST, and keep talking till someone tells you to stop.
In the movie "Defending Your Life" (one of my favorites...if you have never seen it, I highly recommend) there is a great scene featuring a per diem lawyer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mbn-2OEsgr0
In a desperate per-diem situation, when all else fails, there is always......the truth.