It seems wise to do a little venting, and maybe enjoy some freudenschade or
dark humor, before I bring my oft-contagious holiday grumpiness back home
with me tomorrow.
So, if you came here looking for a Holiday Happy Face, please bear with me.
she pastes on a smile
[Dec. 22, 2004]
from Rebecca Lilly
Snow tapering off . . .
at the graveyard, one tombstone
leans on another
circled in the newspaper–
pale winter moon
“Snow tapering off” — Modern Haiku XXX:2; A New Resonance 2: Emerging Voices
“moon slipping – A New Resonance 2: Emerging Voices; Modern Haiku XXX:3
The Very First Ad Homonym Attack on Lawyers? Is the equation “lawyer = liar”
bad publicity or good marketing? Ever since my Grandpa Bart said “Lawyers, liars, Bah!” when
he heard I was going to law school, I’ve been ambivalent. It seems plain to me that our
adversarial legal system — along with client expectations and zealousness mandates —
puts a lot of pressure on lawyers to be less than fully candid. Check out J. Craig Williams
European Court of First Instance has rejected Microsoft’s argument that EC’s order to change its
business practices woud cause irreparable harm to the company (particularly its patents, copyrights,
and trade secrets) and to its operations in Europe.” Microsoft must immediately sell to computer makers
a version of Windows without its Windows Media Player audiovisual software and share protocols with
rival makers of servers. See AAI’s explanation of why this is good for American consumers, too — it’s a
very good Sun/Solstice/Christmas gift.
Also Cool: The Immunities and Exemptions Working Group of the Antitrust Modernization Commission has
recommended that the Baseball Common Law Exemption from the antitrust laws and the McCarran-Ferguson
Act exemption for the “business of insurance” be studied by the Commission.
Check out the Intellectual Property Working Group’s recommendations here
deep under snow
“So, Our Chances Are 50-50” Not! Q: What’s more annoying than clients who think “we could win or
lose this law suit” means the chances are equal for each option? A: Lawyers (and otherwise sophisticated
clients) who assert that a case of ‘he said, she said‘ can’t be proven by either party. At his Employment Blawg
George Lenard has a very good post on this topic. George gives this advice to his clients:
“Do not be afraid of making credibility determinations. Throwing up your hands and declaring
it a case of ‘he said/she said’ should not be the routine outcome of a harassment (or other employee
misconduct) investigation. (But if I had a dollar for every time I heard this . . .) Judges and juries
make credibility determinations all the time; so should you.”
You’ll find some good ideas for assessing credibility, with excerpts from Grondorf, Field, Black & Co., ,
318 NLRB 996 (1995). I know a few divorce lawyers who need to take this to heart.
Check out the Darrell Huff book How to figure the odds on everything (1972, available used
for under $5) Huff also wrote How to Lie With Statistics
at the sunset bell
one ear plugged…
Bell-Ringing Santa Judge Gets Gonged Florida ‘s judicial ethics board issued an advisory opinion
on Dec. 8, that a judge may not “directly solicit funds from the public on behalf of a non-profit organization
where the identity of the judge is unknown and/or disguised?.” The querist judge had wanted to ring a
Salvation Army bell. Opinion Number: 2004-36 (via sunEthics) I’m with the two dissenters on the Committee.
Deduct This! After reading the case, we think the pro se Respondent would be wise not to take his
own legal advice on tax matters. Per TaxProfBlog: In Sax v. Commissioner, T.C. Summary Opinion 2004-171
(12/20/04), the Tax Court denied a $29,000 business expense deduction claimed by an 86-year old L.A. attorney
for lack of substantiation.
Cease & Desist with the Whining Already. Florida lawyer Mark Miller has a special Guest Post at Legal
Underground today, with the Christmas question “Why Is It Them and Not Me?” As Americans, and
especially as working lawyers, we have it awfully good here compared to much of the world.
Okay, I think my spleen has been fully vented. It’s safe to come back here over the Holidays.
p.s. I was irked this week, when the director of Pro Bono Affairs for NYSBA told
me she disagrees with my disappointment over the pro bono participation of New York’s lawyers, and pointed me to this website to show how much is being done for the self-represented in this State. I suggested she take a look here to see what a State can do that truly cares about pro se litigants and equal access to justice. (Of course, I pointed to some of ethicalEsq‘s materials, too, such as Pro Bono is Not the Answer to the Access Problem.)
when will my turn come