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

February 12, 2005

don’t forget Lawyer Abe

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:03 pm

My priorities today were badly skewed.  I spent the entire sunny part of the day  topHatAbe

indoors working on weblog matters, and most of that time fretting over the Valentine

Divorce Lawyer.   It was almost sunset when I first realized that today is the

birthday of a lawyer I’d much prefer thinking and talking about: Abraham Lincoln.

 

A year ago, I wrote asking how Abe Lincoln, Esq. would have defined the fiduciary

duties of a lawyer when setting fees, and stated:



I’m afraid that many lawyers never consider fiduciary principles in the

context of fees.  That oversight goes a long way toward explaining how

the legal profession managed to squander the goodwill that was its legacy

from honest Abraham Lincoln. 

That post led to one of my favorite pieces on this weblog, “A Lincolnesque Law Practice?“,

which describes Mr. Lincoln’s practice and concludes with some of his advice to young

lawyers, including:


tiny check “The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is

diligence.
 
tiny checkDiscourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever

you can.   Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees,

expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of

being a good man.  There will still be business enough.”  
 
tiny check  “Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular
belief  [that lawyers are dishonest] — resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your
own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a
lawyer
.  Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you
do, in advance, consent to be a knave.”
                         

penny sm  Those posts were soon followed by Lawyer Lincoln Was a Bargain and, during the 2004  

election campaign, ATLA, Lincoln and Tort Reform.    I’m glad I remembered to take some

time and space for Lawyer Abe Lincoln today.   The public would have a lot more respect

for his profession if today’s lawyers stopped more frequently to think about his example —

diligence, competence, honesty, and fees that are professional, not princely.










honest Abe  —

no one wears his hat

or fills his shoes

                                 [Feb. 12, 2005]  penny sm

 

 

4 Comments

  1. Abe is my favorite President. (OK, he is the favorite of many). Thanks for reminding us of what he had to say.

    Comment by JR — February 12, 2005 @ 11:17 pm

  2. Abe is my favorite President. (OK, he is the favorite of many). Thanks for reminding us of what he had to say.

    Comment by JR — February 12, 2005 @ 11:17 pm

  3. I’m glad you appreciate the man, JR.   Now walk da walk.

    Comment by David Giacalone — February 13, 2005 @ 12:26 am

  4. I’m glad you appreciate the man, JR.   Now walk da walk.

    Comment by David Giacalone — February 13, 2005 @ 12:26 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress