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

November 7, 2004

oh, that Shakespeare, he just slays me!

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:59 pm
Thanks to a Google search listed on our Referer page, I discovered three new-to-me items relating to Shakespeare and the “Kill All the Lawyers” quote.  A thoughtful “middle” position on just what Shakespeare meant is offered by Kory Swanson, Vice President of the John Locke Foundation, and is discussed in Let’s Kill All the Lawyers” and Other Insights from the Bard: Shakespeare’s multi-layered commentary on the law, by Teresa Nichols (Carolina Journal Online, July 31, 2003).  According to Nichols, Swanson concludes that “Shakespeare truly intended the phrase to be a portrayal of corrupt lawyers and the laws they pervert as the true enemies to sound government, justice, and freedom.”  (your Editor’s take on Shakespeare and Lawyers can be found here)
On the less-thoughtful other hand, I finally read “In Defense of Shakespeare: An Open Letter to All Lawyers Who Think Shakespeare Said “Let’s Kill All the Lawyers.” by John Mayer (“a management consultant in the legal environment”).  Here are the opening and closing sentences of the article from the Michigan Bar Journal (Feb. 2002) :
It was dismaying to hear a participant in a panel discussion at last year’s State Bar Annual Meeting refer to enduring popular disaffection with our profession by saying: ‘‘Shakespeare said, ‘Let’s kill all the lawyers.’’’ These words should never pass the lips of any lawyer, much less an advocate of national repute.
. . .
But Shakespeare did not say: ‘‘Let’s kill all the lawyers.’’ Dick the Butcher said it. And anyone who says Shakespeare said it does the legal profession harm. And anyone knowing it to be false who says Shakespeare said it does the legal profession intentional harm.
theater king sm Oh, my!  I sure hope Mayer hasn’t been forced to watch the 1992 movie “Let’s Kill All the Lawyers,” written and directed by Ron Senkowski.  The movie got a pretty good review in the Anchorage Press, by Ed Carroll, July 23-29, 1998 / Vol. 7, Ed. 29.  Carroll says that three very disparate groups will be pleased by the film, and asserts: “Every lawyer should see this movie. Every down-and-out conspiracy freak who believes a lawyer ruined their lives should see this movie. Above all, fans of small independent film should see Let’s Kill All the Lawyers.” He adds:

“Senkowski himself was a law student, working in a law firm, before the stifling quest for money turned his idealism toward filmmaking. The movie has an insider’s sensibility.

“The satire works entirely on the surface for lawyer-bashers, who will see their own “lawyer-equals-subhuman-pond-scum” fantasies played out before them in a weasly, criminally unscrupulous and funny romp. For those who choose to forget that the unfettered practice of law is essential to any worthwhile democracy, the unrepentant lawyers created here will sustain their destructive anger for weeks. But, as that Saturday morning cartoon used to warn, if you’re not careful, you might learn something.  . . .

“The plot, in a nutshell, sees the protagonist law student freak out, drop out, and create a mythical, beautiful avenging angel who will either convert the bad lawyers to nice, well-adjusted lawyers, or torture them to a fitting end.”

I couldn’t find the film at Amazon.com, but it sounds like fun.  Indeed, Carroll says it is “an opportunity for lawyers to laugh at themselves with a portrayal that flies far above the epidemic of dipshit lawyer jokes. ”  As we noted yesterday, that laughter will upset DC Bar President John C. Keeney, Jr., but I won’t be reporting you to Bar Counsel.

  • Trivia: IMBD says the Senkowski movie “was the first film to use the now common Avid digital editing system.”
  • By the way, according to Entertainment Law Digest, a lawsuit was filed when the producer of a movie called Let’s Kill All the Lawyers failed to have the film ready as promised in Spring 1997 — Barrister Films, Ltd. v. Making A Killing Limited Partnership (US SD New York 99 Civ.3802) (ELD, May 1999, Volume 3, Issue: 11).  I bet the producer got himself a lawyer.
on theater day
the wife goes out…
spring rain

masks neg

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress