sat. pm potluck
1] Sorry, Mom, I can’t help ya: Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the Virginia Bar’s
ULP Opinion 207 (Feb. 18, 2004), which concluded that a lawyer-trained social worker
would be guilty of the unlawful practice of law by assisting pro se litigants in the preparation,
or even the selection, of forms for Small Claims Court. Virginia’s Bar Council met today (Feb.
19) in Richmond to consider approving, disapproving or modifying the opinion.
The legal reform group HALT (f/k/a Help Abolish Legal Tyranny) submitted
comments to the Virginia State Bar on Feb. 17, 2005, pointing out that Virginia’s
Small Claims courts require the use of unusually difficult forms and, “The vast majority
of Virginia small claims litigants are unable to complete court forms unassisted. If the
Virginia Small Claims Division is to serve any meaningful function as an accessible
arbiter of justice, litigants must be allowed to use the assistance of nonlawyers.” HALT
has a small claims reform project that is fighting for the use of plain-English forms and
in-person assistance to consumers at the courts.
guilds — putting their interests before clients’ interests and rights — while courts have
been at the forefront of assisting pro se litigants and the self-help legal movement. Examples:
The Georgia State Bar may adopt a proposal preventing nonlawyers from
drafting articles of incorporation.
The Montana State Bar Association is “gagging” consumers from speaking
publicly about their complaints against lawyers. A consumer will face punishment
if she decides to disclose to anyone, including family membersand friends, that she
has filed a complaint.
In January 2005, the Wisconsin Board of Governors rejected the new ABA Ethics
2000 rule requiring written fee agreements.
On the other hand, thank you, Your Honor:
Throughout 2005, one of Hawaii’s family courts will hold monthly sessions of
“Divorce Law in Hawaii,” a free session for the public offering an overview on
the process and tips on finding self-help resources.
Wisconsinites going through a divorce will have a new resource starting in spring
2005. The court system is putting the finishing touches on a project to create a set
of standardized pro se divorce forms that can be used throughout the state. These
forms will be available in courthouses and on the state’s Web site.
Sam B., click for original
3] Now I understand: It appears that both Prof. Steven Bainbridge and his then-puppy, Sam,
were exposed to significant amounts of Purple Snow a number of years ago. Given the well-
can perhaps be excused for actin’ funny and asking “is it tomorrow or just the end of time?”
Speaking of the scent of money, given the extraordinary canine sense of
smell [50 to 100 times better than that of humans, per this source, and “thousands of times”
better, per this report], I wonder which wines are Sam’s favorites — and whether Sam is a
my purple sleeves…
on purple clouds
when will I set sail?
ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue
Declare Victory, and then Do It Again: I got an email today from the Not One Damn Dime folks.
Despite our skepticism over slacktivism, the NODDites claim their spending-boycott on Inauguration Day
“was a huge success.” And, on April 15th they’re gonna do nothing again — this time for the cause of
“responsible spending.” I like the cause. However, the now-revealed initiator of NODD, communications
professional and political junkie, Pete Smith of Minnesota, does not seem to be in touch with political
reality. (Pete and Daily Kos’ Rabid Nation might have to take a paternity test to settle just who is the
progenitor of NODD.)
February 19, 2005
Such a pleasant Saturday. Before heading out to a sunny winter day, I just
“strolled” my favorite haiku garden and found one of my favorite haiku poets.
As a result, here are three poems from The Heron’s Nest by George Swede: “thnLogoF”
the sand castle moat
still showing clouds
losing its name
faint first star
cirrus clouds and
a dusting of snow —
the midday moon is shedding
[Feb. 19, 2005]
“tinyredcheck” Frankly, my morning was not all pleasant. I spent time at MyShingle
been about needing to have retainer agreements. (I don’t start these fights.
I just point out the logical responsibilities that go with professional & fiduciary
duties, and the primacy of the client’s, not the lawyer’s interests.)
Mike “Fedster” Cernovich never stops making work for me. Please
go to C&F and answer his question: Is a public defender system better for
indigent clients than having assigned counsel? Or as Mike puts it: “Is Mr.
Giacalone right?” that PDs are better.
Brown’s new Internet Cases weblog — a topic of interest to many of us.
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