f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

October 23, 2004

pols, poets, kids, and morden

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:47 pm

I’m always a little skeptical when politicians talk about their children.  . . . unicycle

But, some of my favorite haiku feature the poet’s kids. 

 

Matt Morden is a great example:

 

 




summer’s end –
my children try to teach me
how to smile


 

 







winter sickness
my daughter tucks me in
for the first time

 



 

 

an old resume
my son colours in
his rainbow

 

 


bike sketch gray  credits: “summer’s end” – The Hornet’s Nest  (Jan. 2003)

“winter sickness” – The Heron’s Nest, Valentine Award (July 2003)

“an old resume” – Snapshots #7 2000; World Haiku 

 





just one glass of wine –

Google keeps asking

“did you mean ______ ?”

 

                           [Oct. 23, 2004]

 








another stray dog

finds

her

          [for e, Oct. 23, 2004]


one-breath pundit  






    • In a thoughtful post, the Uncivil Litigator says he’s still undecided.


    • Athough she sure doesn’t trust Bar Counsel, Carolyn Elefant wants to let solo 
      practitioners read weblogs for CLE.  Call us skeptical about honest compliance.






    • Inconsistent Brits?  Although writing new laws to ban inciting religious

      hatred, 17th Century anti-blasphemy laws remain on the books, which

      penalize anyone who challenges the truth of  Christian doctrine or the Bible.

       (IndyStar.com, scroll to last item)

       




    • Interesting NYT Op-ed today (free reg. req’d):

      – Nicholas Kristof on God and Sex (NYT, free reg.)

      Vaccine shortage priorities: liars, and Congress, and bears, oh my! [but, Europeans have enough]

      – David Brooks asks “why are we still tied?” and concludes


      “It just so happens that America is evenly divided about what sort of leader we need: the Republican who leads with his soul or the Democrat who leads with his judgment. Even the events of the past four years have not altered that disagreement.”






    • galaxy  Longing to get away from presidential politics?  How about joining the COMPLETE 

      project — a collaboration among researchers in five countries aimed at fully mapping nearly

      1,000 square lights years of star-forming material in the Milky Way galaxy.  [Let’s see,

      5,880,000,000,000,000 square miles.  Do they have tv election ads out there?] 

















bike sketch


 

10 Comments

  1. Athough she sure doesn’t trust Bar Counsel
    >>>>>>

    Carolyn’s post that you cited is on the money. While the bar and social critics agonize over plaintiffs’ lawyers “excessive fees,” they ignore the State Bar’s ignoring gross prosecutorial miscounduct. Which is worse – taking a lot of money purusant to a written contract, or sending an innocent person to prison?

    Contingency fee lawyers should fly outside our radar until we fix the rampant, unpunished, and ignored prosecutorial dishontesty in this country.

    Comment by Fedster — October 24, 2004 @ 6:06 am

  2. Athough she sure doesn’t trust Bar Counsel
    >>>>>>

    Carolyn’s post that you cited is on the money. While the bar and social critics agonize over plaintiffs’ lawyers “excessive fees,” they ignore the State Bar’s ignoring gross prosecutorial miscounduct. Which is worse – taking a lot of money purusant to a written contract, or sending an innocent person to prison?

    Contingency fee lawyers should fly outside our radar until we fix the rampant, unpunished, and ignored prosecutorial dishontesty in this country.

    Comment by Fedster — October 24, 2004 @ 6:06 am

  3. I agree with you and Carolyn that — from what the newspaper account presents of the situation — the prosecutors were inadequately disciplined.  And, I also agree that prosecutors need to be held to very high standards.
    I disagree with you, Fedster, that “contingency fee lawyers should fly outside our radar” until prosecutorial dishonesty is fixed.  We need adequate funding and vigorous enforcement of discipline rules so that both issues are address adequately by Bar Counsel.  Also, please note, that there is almost NO discipline of lawyers for excessive contingency fees, despite all the complaints presented to bar counsel.
    I also disagree with the thrust of Carolyn’s consistent defense of solo practitioner inadequacies against treatment by discipline boards, which dispoportionately affect consumer clients — average, “main street practice” clients. [e.g., see my post]
    Carolyn says:

    Most solo and small firm lawyers have never been able to claim inadvertence as a defense to a displinary action. Indeed, many disciplinary actions against solo lawyers arise precisely because the solo acted inadvertently – for example, forgot to return phone calls or file a pleading by a statute of limitations deadline. So why is inadvertence by solos – who at most, cause monetary damage – considered inexcusable where the same is not true for prosecutors – whose damage to the defendant and the integrity of the criminal justice system is far worse? Perhaps just another example of the disparity in our disciplinary system…

    For me, there is a big difference between negligently failing to do something, through a lack of diligence (and caring) and inadvertance (which I believe takes place despite the lawyer using due diligence).  Hyperbole about “inadvertance by solos” being considered inexcusable (as if it routinely receives harsh discipline) doesn’t help Carolyn’s campaign on behalf of solos (which often sounds like a mother in juvenile court denying her child’s bad behavior).  Again, we need better funded and far more vigorous bar counsel.  [see Sustained Objection: Lawyer-Disciplinary System Still Woefully Inadequate ]

    Comment by David Giacalone — October 24, 2004 @ 11:54 am

  4. I agree with you and Carolyn that — from what the newspaper account presents of the situation — the prosecutors were inadequately disciplined.  And, I also agree that prosecutors need to be held to very high standards.
    I disagree with you, Fedster, that “contingency fee lawyers should fly outside our radar” until prosecutorial dishonesty is fixed.  We need adequate funding and vigorous enforcement of discipline rules so that both issues are address adequately by Bar Counsel.  Also, please note, that there is almost NO discipline of lawyers for excessive contingency fees, despite all the complaints presented to bar counsel.
    I also disagree with the thrust of Carolyn’s consistent defense of solo practitioner inadequacies against treatment by discipline boards, which dispoportionately affect consumer clients — average, “main street practice” clients. [e.g., see my post]
    Carolyn says:

    Most solo and small firm lawyers have never been able to claim inadvertence as a defense to a displinary action. Indeed, many disciplinary actions against solo lawyers arise precisely because the solo acted inadvertently – for example, forgot to return phone calls or file a pleading by a statute of limitations deadline. So why is inadvertence by solos – who at most, cause monetary damage – considered inexcusable where the same is not true for prosecutors – whose damage to the defendant and the integrity of the criminal justice system is far worse? Perhaps just another example of the disparity in our disciplinary system…

    For me, there is a big difference between negligently failing to do something, through a lack of diligence (and caring) and inadvertance (which I believe takes place despite the lawyer using due diligence).  Hyperbole about “inadvertance by solos” being considered inexcusable (as if it routinely receives harsh discipline) doesn’t help Carolyn’s campaign on behalf of solos (which often sounds like a mother in juvenile court denying her child’s bad behavior).  Again, we need better funded and far more vigorous bar counsel.  [see Sustained Objection: Lawyer-Disciplinary System Still Woefully Inadequate ]

    Comment by David Giacalone — October 24, 2004 @ 11:54 am

  5. Inept solos bothers me a lot. It’s usually poor people whom the solos screw through their negligence. As between feeling sorry for a poor person who relied on the lawyer, or the lawyer, I choose the poor person.

    In fact, I am pretty anti-solo. Too many of them practice “door law” (whatever case walks through the door, they’ll handle). These door lawyers handle criminal cases and get really bad deals for their clients, don’t preserve errors for appeal, fail the file the necessary motions, etc. Or they take a complex section 1983 case and produce bad law for the experts.

    I’ve generally worked for crim law/1983 botiques, and I lost track of the number of people we had to try saving on appeal or at sentencing because of a door lawyer.

    So, solos who specialize in one area or two areas of law – cool. Solos who practice door law – uncool.

    Comment by Fedster — October 24, 2004 @ 6:42 pm

  6. Inept solos bothers me a lot. It’s usually poor people whom the solos screw through their negligence. As between feeling sorry for a poor person who relied on the lawyer, or the lawyer, I choose the poor person.

    In fact, I am pretty anti-solo. Too many of them practice “door law” (whatever case walks through the door, they’ll handle). These door lawyers handle criminal cases and get really bad deals for their clients, don’t preserve errors for appeal, fail the file the necessary motions, etc. Or they take a complex section 1983 case and produce bad law for the experts.

    I’ve generally worked for crim law/1983 botiques, and I lost track of the number of people we had to try saving on appeal or at sentencing because of a door lawyer.

    So, solos who specialize in one area or two areas of law – cool. Solos who practice door law – uncool.

    Comment by Fedster — October 24, 2004 @ 6:42 pm

  7. Re: blogs for CLE credit.

    I gotta wonder…do we want people who can’t “remember” to take 12 hours of CLE a year even practicing law? I’ll betcha those same folks find 12 hours a year (week?) to watch television.

    Comment by Fedster — October 24, 2004 @ 6:51 pm

  8. Re: blogs for CLE credit.

    I gotta wonder…do we want people who can’t “remember” to take 12 hours of CLE a year even practicing law? I’ll betcha those same folks find 12 hours a year (week?) to watch television.

    Comment by Fedster — October 24, 2004 @ 6:51 pm

  9. OK, maybe those solos who do screw up primarily mishandle cases of the poor. And why are the poor going to those solos to begin with? Maybe because a large firm won’t touch their case? Is a person better off bringing a case and obtaining substandard service or not bringing it at all?
    But I disagree with Fedster’s basic premise about solos. I know very few solos who practice “door law” – in fact, most solos whom I know are overly narrow in taking only cases in one or two specialty areas. Second, while I agree that there are solo criminal attorneys who miss deadlines, fail to preserve issues for appeal, etc…did you ever consider that in many cases, their clients stop paying or they are making minimum wage on the case to begin with? I certainly don’t condone overlooking a case, but the clients who pay their bills are always going to get the best service. How many large law firms keep pressing a case when a client stops paying the bill?
    As for defending solos, I think David is only partially correct. I have highlighted many incidents of lawyers stealing money from trust funds, pretending to be another attorney so as to steal his clients and covering up errors instead of just coming clean. I am certainly not proud to be lumped into a category with these types of solos. But I’m bothered when a solo commits some minor act which at a large firm would go completely unnoticed – or which if reported to the bar, would be summarily dismissed.
    The final reason why I stand up for solos is that I want to see an influx of the most highly qualified lawyers join our ranks. There are so many bright, well trained attorneys at large firms across the country who hate their jobs and are itching to get real client experience. But many still hesitate to go solo in part because of the stigma. I don’t see how the bar and others in the legal profession help to make solo practice more attractive by contantly denigrating solos. The point of MyShingle is not just to help make solos more competent (by showing the errors of others) but also, by trying to glorify the solo practitioner as an indispensable part of our judicial system.
    And by the way, I am a VERY cool solo – even though I don’t specialize.

    Comment by Carolyn Elefant — October 25, 2004 @ 1:09 am

  10. OK, maybe those solos who do screw up primarily mishandle cases of the poor. And why are the poor going to those solos to begin with? Maybe because a large firm won’t touch their case? Is a person better off bringing a case and obtaining substandard service or not bringing it at all?
    But I disagree with Fedster’s basic premise about solos. I know very few solos who practice “door law” – in fact, most solos whom I know are overly narrow in taking only cases in one or two specialty areas. Second, while I agree that there are solo criminal attorneys who miss deadlines, fail to preserve issues for appeal, etc…did you ever consider that in many cases, their clients stop paying or they are making minimum wage on the case to begin with? I certainly don’t condone overlooking a case, but the clients who pay their bills are always going to get the best service. How many large law firms keep pressing a case when a client stops paying the bill?
    As for defending solos, I think David is only partially correct. I have highlighted many incidents of lawyers stealing money from trust funds, pretending to be another attorney so as to steal his clients and covering up errors instead of just coming clean. I am certainly not proud to be lumped into a category with these types of solos. But I’m bothered when a solo commits some minor act which at a large firm would go completely unnoticed – or which if reported to the bar, would be summarily dismissed.
    The final reason why I stand up for solos is that I want to see an influx of the most highly qualified lawyers join our ranks. There are so many bright, well trained attorneys at large firms across the country who hate their jobs and are itching to get real client experience. But many still hesitate to go solo in part because of the stigma. I don’t see how the bar and others in the legal profession help to make solo practice more attractive by contantly denigrating solos. The point of MyShingle is not just to help make solos more competent (by showing the errors of others) but also, by trying to glorify the solo practitioner as an indispensable part of our judicial system.
    And by the way, I am a VERY cool solo – even though I don’t specialize.

    Comment by Carolyn Elefant — October 25, 2004 @ 1:09 am

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