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

March 31, 2005

acronymically challenged

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:36 pm


Quick: What’s the acronym for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,

the federal agency formerly known as HCFA?   If you said “CMMS” you

would officially be wrong (but see, One Look’s Acronym Finder).  Instead,

you’ll find a “CMS” logo throughout the Centers’ website.


cmsLogoN  If you don’t believe the logo, “CMS” has made it easy to check further —

there’s a link in the Side Bar to an Acronyms Page, which offers a search engine

that features both simple and advanced acronym searches. 


No kidding:  A search engine just for relevant acronyms.  Plus, another webpage

with an Acronyms List that is so long, they tell you:

Warning: Due to the size of the acronym list, you may experience a  

long delay if you choose to view All Letters. We recommend limiting

your view to a particular letter. Alternatively, you can perform an

Plug CMMS> into the agency’s acronym search engine, and you are told “No

acronyms were found.”  Try CMS> and you’re told “Centers for Medicare and

Medicaid Services.”  That’s pretty definitive — only One M.


Well, this enquiringEsq wants to know why there’s a missing “m”. 


— click to read all of this tale of the Axed Acronym  —                      




one mirror for everyone

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:09 pm

someone else’s
spring evening
one mirror for everyone
the rest stop
day at the zoo —
the elephant’s shadow
in a small place

except “day at the zoo —” –  The Heron’s Nest (March 2005)

from dagosan
[March 31, 2005]
I bet this AP/Houston Chronicle story, “Lawyer charged with prostitution: Schools
official accused of offering services for sex” (March 25, 2005), out of Round Hill, Texas,
will send guilty chills down the spines of far too many lawyers.  The accused is 56-year-old lawyer
Steven C. Copenhaver, who practices in Georgetown, and asks that we keep him in our prayers.
According to the article:
“Dawn Miller, chief disciplinary counsel for the State Bar of Texas, said exchanging
legal services for sexual favors could constitute a violation of rules barring ‘illegal or
unconscionable’ fees.”
I’d think this might also have a little to do with having the appropriate character to practice law.
  • Does anyone out there think consenting adults should be allowed to barter sex

    for legal services, without the law or bar counsel intervening?  (It might help
    reduce pro se litigation and increase access to justice.)

  • I’m reminded of the old joke: “What’s the difference between a lawyer and a
    prostitute”  The clothes.” (listed by Tim Field, the anti-bullying maven)

March 30, 2005

gotta go? depends

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:40 pm


children’s ICU

a tissue box beside

the pay phone








clear skies

the river dark

with old rain







wind-beaten marquee

saying only

“Coming Soon”





John Stevenson‘s from Some of the Silence (Red Moon Press,1999). StevensonSilence





from dagosan                                               

empty coffee pot

gotta go

gotta go

                  [March 30, 2005]



magglass   Martin Schwimmer’s Between Lawyer’s post “How to Lawyer 

When Everyone’s Watching” has sparked a debate between Tom Mighell

and myself about how much a lawyer should say on a website about about the

inappropriate conduct of another lawyer.  What Tom calls simple professional

courtesy I suggest sounds like professional omerta (an enabling silence that

keeps our dirty laundry in-house). 

More on e-shaming: Will Famia, at MSNBC’s Clicked  weblog

column, titled yesterday’s column Don’t make me blog you!

and led off with a link to our post on e-shaming.  Thanks, Will.

tiny check What the heck is H&K thinking?  As LegalReader reports: “A Tampa lawyer has

been promoted to the top ranks of Holland & Knight just months after an internal

investigation recommended he be reprimanded for harassing young female colleagues.”

(see St. Petersburg Times, March 29, 2005)


emptyPockets  The Federal Trade Commission announced settlement agreements today with

three major “debt services” operations, which the Commission had accused of scamming

consumers of over $100 million.   The press release offers good lessons for practices to be

shunned by honest service providers and avoided by all consumers.   Two consumer info

brochures are available online:


tiny check  The prolific Marty Schwimmer is seeking your input:  “Let’s talk about how

and why lawyers are hated.  And let’s talk about whether lawyers can, through their

blogs, practice and promote judicious thought.”  

tiny check Orin Kerr reminds us all to Become an Organ Donor.  Right Now, would be nice — microphoneF 

getting on the list, I mean, not actually giving up an organ right now.  Get info here.

March 29, 2005

a square of pale grass

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:11 pm

end of the holiday
a square of pale grass
beneath the tent







first day of spring

all the fly-fishing books

out of the library








higher and higher

on the trampoline

spring rain





“higher and higher” – tug of the current: Red Moon Anthology 2004; Haiku Canada Newsletter XVII: 1

“end of the holiday” – Acorn #3 (2001) & A New Resonance 2 (Red Moon Press, 2001)

“first day of spring” – A New Resonance 2




from dagosan                                               

one small patch

of muddied snow —

the creek keeps rising

                  [March 29, 2005]



tiny check  I haven’t meant to be slighting Steve Bainbridge the past few weeks,  jungle gym gray

but I’ll try to make it up to him and get to one of my favorite websites more often. 

A quick look at his recent posts makes me opine:

– No matter what we’re told by the Vatican conglomerate that bought 

Jesus Christ’s service mark, Jesus Was a Liberal, and no amount of

can change that fact.


– Is there anyone who doesn’t know just how tightly bunched together the top

tier of law schools is when it comes to quality?  Do serious people (groan men)

really worry about a few rungs here and there on the Rankings ladder?  UCLwhAt?


About the Savings Rate: with the amount of debt so very high and so many Americans

having so little in savings or retirement plans, I’m a bit surprised that Prof. B. is taking

such a Alfred E. Newmanesque stance on our savings rate.  Unless the formula Steve

pooh-poohs is not the one being applied to other countries, it seems highly significant

that Americans are so poor at saving compared to the rest of the developed world.


tiny check  Another gem from my Referer Page:  Judging from the number of results for the

Google search farting lawsuit>, Ted and Walter at Overlawyered need to start a separate

page for this particularly odiferous type of litigation, which may also merit an intellectual

property subcategory.


tiny check Talk about naiveEsq!  When we wrote about the chutzpah of Connecticut divorce

lawyer Gary I. Cohen last October, referring to the “Success Bonus” he was seeking, we asked

“Should a fiduciary put the client on the spot asking for a tip?”  An article in NYLawyer makes

clear that he did a lot more than put his client on the spot (“Metro Lawyer Ordered to Return

$300,000 Bonus,” March 28, 2005).

“Gary Zimmerman claims that, when he balked at the high payout,

Cohen became angry and abusive, hung up the telephone on him,

and threatened to walk out of the meetings and “shelve” the settlement.

According to Zimmerman, Cohen and Grund stood over him and

forced him to wire $300,000 to each lawyer.”  

The article also has interesting quotes by “renowned ethics expert Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr”  noYabutsSN 

on the similarity between contingency fees and success bonuses.  (via John at Legal Ethics Forum)

March 28, 2005

ABA TechShow 2005: an ethical soul in the machine?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:37 pm

I’m a little tired from post-Easter traveling today, so maybe I missed it when I quickly

perused the ABA TechShow 2005 website.  I’m wondering: When and how does the

conference treat the harnessing of technology to help lawyers serve clients better

especially the less-than-sophisticated client (the average consumer and small business)?  


“computer Weary”  There are many sessions on avoiding malpractice when adopting new technologies,

which is an important topic that is more about averting lawyer pain than promoting client gain.  

The TechShow also offers plenty of tips for honing “marketing” strategies that will attract premium

clients.  But, I was hoping for a demonstration of interest in how technology can assist (and

prod) the legal profession to promote clients’ interests in both macro and micro ways — to bring

more efficient and less expensive legal services, along with more pricing and service options. 

  • E.g., spotlighting the ability and potential of technology to support the Self-Help

    revolution — so that clients can solve many legal problems on their own, or with

    minimal use of lawyers (see our post); and exploring whether technology can make
    “unbundling” more practical and available

None of the Educational Sessions appears to treat these topics.  We might not expect 

the corporate sponsors to care, but how about the ABA committees working on access to

the justice system for those with low or moderate income?  Maybe the topic will come up in

Eugene Lee’s keynote address, where he’ll “discuss how the legal community can take advantage

of new technologies without having to dramatically alter the way they work.” [But, what’s wrong

with a few “dramatic” changes?]  

tiny check TechShow Chair Jim Calloway is aware of these and similar issues.   Last October, 

A. Robertson, LPM, Sept. 2004).  So, I’m sure he’s tucked a few gems in the conference

Program, and that the ovesight has been mine, not his.  

The Legal Ethic’s Blog‘s Ben Cowgill has set up a LEB Techshow webpage he hopes will be “a

valuable resource about the intersection of legal ethics and legal technology, using TechShow as

a springboard.”   I don’t believe the intersection should take place solely at the “micro” level of

professional responsibility and legal ethics.  Beyond the level of mechanical rules, it should go

deeper to the level of first principles regarding the profession’s duties to its clients and society.  


Technology offers the chance to breathe life again into the listless cliche about putting the client’s  don't forget tack

interests first.   In the 21st Century, consumers want choice; they want to be active participants

in the design and implementation of the services they receive.  They want information that will

permit them to understand risks and tradeoffs when making purchasing decisions.   If the profession 

truly believes that lawyers are the agents and clients the principals, it must be actively seeking to

harness new and evolving technologies in the service of all clients (not merely those sophisticated

and powerful enough to demand their rights), and not merely in the service of profits, or in the

preservation of lawyer prerogatives. 


Technology can help lawyers better compete and innovate.  But, doing so ethically is not just a matter

of following the minute ethical rules of the road.  The ABA TechShow 2005 should be helping lawyers

comply with those rules of the road.  But it should also be acknowledging and advancing a broader

focus and commitment on doing what is best for the client  — on sharing the benefits of technology

with all who need legal services.

  • Let me know about any TechShow sessions and materials that serve these

    broader ethical issues.  I’d be pleased to find out that I’ve overlooked them.


“schoolBrooks” by Randy Brooks, from School’s Out (Press Here, 1999): 



up late with old friends . . .

my daughter and her blankie

out of the dark again





evening cool

only the widow’s muddied shoes

on the back porch





Easter lily

on the shut-in’s coffee table. . .

fingers over each petal





from dagosan 


her chocolate breath

mingles with mine —

easter sunset






hills behind

snow mist —

tailgater in the mirror



gas pump g  



our chilly hug —

ice encircles

the island


[March 28, 2005]


March 27, 2005

snapshots of Easter past

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:47 am

1952: the giacalone sibs   “sibsEaster52s

show off clothes and baskets (the 2-year-old

haikuEsq beams, on the R)  Click for original photo.  




dadEaster54s  1954:  dad joins the gang for a fashion show


momEaster54s – and don’t forget mom!



her chocolate breath
mingles with mine —
easter sunset






“DiPEaster95s”  1995: easter in Rochester with Donna and the kids





           JamesEggL 2004:  good egg James is holding on 

           original photo



2005:  Lissa’s waiting for Easter and Spring  “lissaBench”




EasterEgg  We hope you make some special holiday memories today.



Easter lily

on the shut-in’s coffee table. . .

fingers over each petal


     Randy Brooks

            rom School’s Out (Press Here, 1999)  




egg shell haiku



easter snow

a piece of egg shell

in the sandwich


 DeVar Dahl 
  from A Piece of Egg Shell (Magpie Press, 2004)




more gray heads

at the easter meal —

withered cattails






replacing peeps

purloined from the kids —

half-price candy





easter monday:

three baskets

late but full






March 26, 2005

painting my hometown

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:45 pm



“Past due gray”  If you’re a lawyer thinking about cashing in on the new bankruptcy laws,

by offering debt-reduction services to middle class consumers (who will be trying

to avoid bankruptcy), you might want to check out the Federal Trade Commission’s

press conference “to announce three law enforcement actions targeting deceptive

and misleading debt-related services.”


tiny check  Legal Reader pointed to a column by Mike Nichols (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,

March 11, 2005) deriding pro se litigants as nutcases with “decoder rings.”  Nichols didn’t

seem to have any actual information or insights to offer.  Maybe he could check out

SelfHelpSupport.org, and even our post last year covering New Hampshire’s Report on pro se

litigants [Challenge to Justice, Jan. 2004].  The NH Task Force had a slightly different tone

than Nichols:  “They come into their court, on their own, with a conflict or change in their lives,

and they expect a resolution. That is their constitutional right. . . .  Our obligation is to give these

citizens the help they want, need and deserve.”


don't forget tack neg  Just because Prof. Volokh has ignored our very good advice

concerning the application of conspiracy theory to his weblog, doesn’t mean

that you should.  (It’s a slow weekend, feel free to scroll down this page.)


“tinyredcheck”  JurisPundit Jeremy Moore has devoted a lengthy post to the conversation

provoked by my podriahs-podcasting post yesterday.  The caste of characters involved in the



“easterEggF”    Whenever I’m seriously considering driving to my hometown — which 

is usually the day before a holiday — I think of our Honored Guest, Tom

Painting, another native son of Rochester, New York, who still lives



Tom is the well-known Rochester haijin (as opposed to your editor, the

neophyte).   Thus, and to wit, you get a basketful of haiku from Rochester

(can you hear those flat a’s?), while I get a 4-hour drive, during which I hope

to have a memorable haiku moment or two.


Here’s your low-fat, no-calorie Easter treat from

the shores of Lake Ontario:



the cattails

lose their heads

march wind







he finishes

his sentence







sleepless night
snow to rain
by the sound of it

For Tom, Easter means the passing of one season   flyswatter horiz

and the bright start of another:




the flyswatter

hangs from a nail

winter stillness





bases loaded

a full moon clears

the right field fence





“the flyswatter,” “the cattails” & “bases loaded” from the haiku chapbook piano practice 

sleepless nightThe Heron’s Nest (March 2005); “divorced” – frogpond XXVII: 2




bad hare day

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:27 pm

More precisely:  Bad for the Hare Day.


While most of us are thinking good thoughts about the Easter Bunny 

and hoping to find a basketful of yummy candies in the morning, I

thought you should know that there are evil people about who are badly

abusing Easter bunnies and their non-sectarian cousins (and that’s not

even counting the rabbit stew and rabbit feet folk).


Thus, in Bay City, Michigan, on March 18, 2005, “A 13-year-old attacked

an 18-year-old portraying an Easter bunny in the center of a shopping mall,

where the costume-clad man was waiting to pose for photos with children,

authorities said.”  (AP/free press, March 21, 2005)


But, that may have been a copycat crime:  The day before, right here in  chocBunnyF

Schenectady County, a shopping mall Easter Bunny was also attacked. 

Don’t fear, though, it seems the culprit has been apprehended::

“David C. Velasquez, 16, was charged with third-degree criminal

mischief, a felony, and second-degree harassment, a violation, for

a March 17 attack on the Rotterdam Square Mall Easter Bunny,

police in Rotterdam announced Friday.

“Police said Velasquez jumped the bunny, causing $600 in damage

to the bunny’s suit. The man inside the suit, who has not been identified,

was uninjured. Police did not give a motive for the attack.”

(Newsday, March 26, 2005, from Schenectady Gazette; and see

CapitalNews9)  I’m happy to be in retirement and unavailable to represent

young Mr. Velasquez, no matter what his sad tale might be.  Fedster are you


don't forget tack If you know someone who is thinking of buying a cute live bunny or chick as an

Easter gift, please have them read Real Animals Don’t Make Appropriate Easter Gifts

and these tips to consider.  If your kids want a dog, let them practice caring for one






easter morning


sharp report


a handgun



good friday

the scarecrow gets

a new straw hat



EasterEgg  ed markowski



from dagosan 

giant chocolate bunny!


or hollow?







when we were kids

it smelled bad —

decorating easter eggs





                                              [March 26, 2005] 


 “ChocBunny”  You know, you never outgrow your need for

. . . milk chocolate Easter bunnies.


I’m happy to say that Lissa & James encountered an  LJBunny

Easter Bunny last year, and left the poor creature intact.  original photo.

March 25, 2005

podriahs — blissfully outside the pod-caste system

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:52 pm

Call me an out-of-touchable, but I am happy to remain at the bottom

(actually, outside) of the new podcast caste system.  JurisPundit got it

right last week, asking What’s the Big Deal With Podcasts? (March 18,


microphoneG  “Basically they’re just short audio recordings of blog posts.

Why?  Why would anyone do this? It just sounds like a horrible idea. . . .

Rather than amateur broadcasters, we’re listening to amateurs

pretending to be amateur broadcasters.”

I say this, despite my respect and even affection for many of the Blawgmins

of podcasting (like Denise, J. Craig, and Kevin & Evan).  The defense of podcasting

yesterday by its acolyte-advocate Evan Schaeffer made me even more certain

that this is a “next big thing” that I can safely allow to pass me by:

“But the revolutionary thing about podcasting in these early stages isn’t

the content, but the way the content is delivered. Using software like

iPodder, the content is delivered to your mp3 device automatically.

Podcasting is TIVO for your iPod. You can choose what you want to

listen to and you can listen to it without having to sit at a computer. Not

only does podcasting give you more options than with radio, but the

content isn’t governed by the restrictive FCC-enforced rules that have

 made ordinary radio so plain vanilla. And that content continues to

improve every day.”

juke box  Oh, Boy: something that’s kinda like radio, that I can listen to anywhere, but

with the 7 Banned Words included, and the quality level debatable!    I’m in

that stage of life where I just don’t need to jump into every technology, just

because it’s new or popular.  I’m also trying to buck the American mania-addiction

for putting sound into one’s ears every waking moment.   Podcasting doesn’t jibe

with my needs and desires as a human being right now (no matter how much I’m

dying to know what a particular web personality sounds like).


casting no light
for me, an orphan…


As a weblogger, I visit other sites for content, commentary, and camaraderie.

I’m also pretty selective about which posts I read– like Ann Althouse, I do

a lot of skimming and skipping. (cf. Jonathan Gewirtz)  A primary advantage

of weblogs is the information management that it gives us, including the easy

ability to decide if a post is worth perusal, to quote a passage in assent or 

dissent, or to find it quickly at a later time.  Podcasting might nurture a bit of

camaraderie, but facilitating the use and organization of information are not its

forte.  For me, information is far better processed and preserved through written

text.  And, I just don’t need a new form of audio entertainment right now.

Bob Ambrogi recently asked whether podcasting is the  erasingS

next wave in CLE  (LTN, Feb. 25, 2005).  Personally, I’ve

always wanted some text to go with my CLE courses — on

paper or in pixel form.

Most of podcasting’s Blawgmin originally got into weblogging because

they are attracted to new technology and to being among the first-users.

They got into iPods because they have to have every new audio gadget

(or got one for Christmas) and love being awash in music.   I’m no longer

in either demographic group and, frankly, I think there are a lot of over-40-

somethings on my side of the techno divide.  Many of “us” only recently

became weblog writers and/or readers.   Cluttering weblogs with podcasting

links, posts, and references — and taking away from the content and quality

of weblogs by spending time instead producing podcasts — is unlikely

to make weblogs appear useful and attractive to those outside the



microphoneF Maybe we could just outsource podcasting to India (or did they export 

the caste and characters to us?).  Call me a Proud Podriah. Ignorance may

not be bliss, but silence sure can be.

p.s.  Once again, I marvel that the legal highpriests of podcasting

have so much time to test and participate in all the newest technological

trends.  Don’t their clients wonder when any legal work gets done?

Don’t their spouses rebel against being virtual single parents and

website widows?


p.p.s. [update 6 PM]:  Having re-read the original version of this post, I am

reminded of one very big advantage of podcasting:  No Typos.  My apologies

and thanks to those who read through it, despite my inputting difficulties. Looks

like I better go back to a bigger font size, or start using that new SpellChecking

technology.  As always happens when I closely proofread an entire piece, I have

snuck in a few additional points or barbs. (Sure hope I haven’t created more



Thanks to Kevin and Evan for responding with their customary good

grace — and for creating a weblog that segregates law podcasting from

their other web sites.   However, given some of the queries that keep

showing up on my referers page, I don’t entirely buy their notion that

“since I like it, I figured others will, too.” 

update (March 25, 9 PM):  Responses that I’ve gotten from interested webloggers have

convinced me that this lighthearted post needs some clarification:  I have presented the

personal reasons for my lack of interest in weblog podcasting   I do not have additional

time or energy to spend at other weblogs (or in producing my own), so I’m sticking to 

written content and not exploring podcasts.


erasingSF  It should go without saying, that I am in no way suggesting that anyone

who enjoys podcasting, or wants to seek its entrepeneurial or pedagogic potential, stop

doing it — just as my dislike of beer doesn’t make me want to deprive others from enjoy-

ing it, but does mean that having a kegger is not a good way to get me to come visit.  

I agree completely that podcastingcan be just as useful as any stored audio medium,

and offers a convenient mechanism for receiving the content.  However, downloading

audio content is not exactly revolutionary in 2005, and RSS aggregation suggests a

commitment of free time for added listenting and browsing that I am not willing to make. 

My life is full enough, that I can safely risk never knowing the joys of podcasting.  If that

makes me an out-of-touchable, I humbly accept my karmic destiny.

tiny check JurisPundit Jeremy Moore has devoted a lengthy post to the

conversation provoked by this post.  The caste of characters involved

in the e-mail thread includes Evan Schaeffer, Kevin Heller, Robert Ambrogi,


update (March 29, 2005): See technogagdetophile Ernie Svenson’s admission that

“I’m definitely getting older, and I’m clearly losing my edge. That’s the best explanation

I can offer for my inability to achieve ‘tech-epiphany’ over the whole podcast revolution,”

at the new law-tech group weblog Between Lawyers.



outcast village–
“cuckoo! cuckoo!”
of the mountains



watch out, kids!
don’t let those red mushrooms
cast a spell


– above haiku by ISSA (translated by David G. Lanoue) –



from dagosan 

podcaste pariah –

can’t hear

the compliments






Good Friday

the apostate

sees crosses everywhere

                                              [March 25, 2005]




“tinyredcheck”  This being Good Friday, it seems like an appropriate time to reprise two posts in which

we bestowed our JuDee Awards —  the Judas Esqariot Award is given in recognition of exceptional

efforts to promote the financial interests of lawyers, while purporting to protect consumers

of legal services.   JuDees have been awarded to Illinois and Maryland bar groups, and

to the NYSBA


tiny check  With all the fuss lately about new ethics weblawgs, I’ve been remiss in checking out Arnie

Herz’s legalsanity.  My referer page reminded me to check it out today, and I was rewarded with two

posts (from March 23 and March 25) dealing with the lawyer’s need to improve relationship-building

skills.  Arnie notes, “Law schools will go a long way towards fostering happier lawyers and a healthier

profession if they recognize and teach the human relations skills that are so vital to optimal lawyering.”

penny sm  penny sm   Martin Grace grudgingly reminds us that competitive prices are not always afforable prices.

four-star dining experience

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:47 am

Until yesterday evening, I had never met any of my Honored Guest poets

in person.   A long dinner at an Indian Restaurant with John Stevenson was

even more interesting, thought-provoking and enjoyable than I had expected. 

Being an audience of one for intermittent readings of John’s favorite haiku and

tanka was an unexpected treat.


I shouldn’t have all the fun.  Here are three haiku by John Stevenson from

Quiet Enough (Red Moon Press, 2004):



early Alzheimer’s

she says she’ll have . . .

the usual







dining alone

I rehearse

a conversation




diner dude gray





the tethered dog

watches the guide dog

enter a deli



March 24, 2005

a bit behind

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:20 pm

easter snow

a piece of egg shell

in the sandwich








a fat horse

gallops with the others

a bit behind











swaying branch

the warbler’s song

rises and falls






“easter show” from A Piece of Egg Shell (Magpie Haiku Press, 2004)

“a fat horse” & “swaying branch” from “something to sing about”, pawEprint 58 (2003)






by dagosan 

floes jam

below the trestle —

a flood of warnings



                  [March 24, 2005]



Capoccia Scandal Update [D’oh! file]:  The Bennington Banner reports that Howard Sinnott,

Andrew Capoccia’s former partner “teared up telling the jury he expects to be disbarred

for his crimes.”

“Seeing what I’ve done, I’m not sure I have, um,” he said, pausing and

looking down, “the character to practice law.” Sinnott pleaded guilty in

February to two felony charges of interstate transfer of stolen funds.

(Bennington Banner, “Sinnot takes stand in fraud trial,” March 24, 2005)

We argue here, that the “debt reduction services” cash-cow that created the illicit Capoccia-  jailbird neg

Sinnott bankroll should have been stopped in its tracks five years ago, averting this major



“tinyredcheck”  Shame-o-meter:  I don’t know if Romolo Versaci will be deterred by e-shaming from pursuing

meritless vendettas against vulnerable adversaries, but I hope you will remember his case.  Before

he decided he had to protect his reputation from an online reference to him as a “so-called lawyer,”

Attorney Versaci’s only internet presence was a listing in a lawyer directory.  I just Googled

Versaci”>, and the directory listing is now the 72nd result, behind 71 links related to his much-

derided defamation lawsuit.  Are we learning any lessons out there?


tiny check haiku pointer: check out Paul and Mary Mena’s photo-haiku combo on “signs of spring.”


March 23, 2005

the doogle made me do it

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:11 pm

Part I:  Regular readers of this weblog know just how hard I struggle to avoid taking

cheap shots at the legal profession or otherwise annoying my valued audience. 

Nonetheless, time and again, I am drawn into temptation by search engine queries

that send visitors to this weblog.  Today, alas, my curiosity got the better of me, and

one link led to another, until — well, until this post happened.


An unknown querist came to f/k/a today, after Googling national hug a lawyer day>.   hugSmallN

This site had the #14 result, due to this post, where I stated that “I was particularly

inspired to go hug a lawyer” by a lugubrious Public Relations radio spot from NYSBA,

entitled “The Rule of Law.”  The query immediately made me wonder whether there

might actually be a Hug a Lawyer Day (and, if so, just who sponsored it).


Here’s what I learned:

  • Google was not able to locate a Hug a Lawyer Day, despite

    the existence of Hug Your Cat Day.

  • However, “Hug-a-Lawyer Day” was #9 in David Letterman’s 

    Top 10 Legal Holidays in Hell(August 2, 1991).

  • Less surprising, April 12 has been designated “Vote Lawyers

    Out of Office Day” (see Important Dates to Remember)

  • Somewhat suspicious (can you say A-T-L-A) is the celebration

    on August 31st of Love Litigating Lawyers Day.  However, that

    day must be shared with a number of other celebrations, including

    National Box Car Day, Trail Mix Day, Eat Outside Day and Mutt’s Day.

We apologize, if you came here after listening to a podcast,

hoping to find out about Mug a Lawyer Day.  Please ask

your friendly podcaster to enunciate better.

devil g  Because we once wrote a post questioning the grassrootedness of a rally on

behalf of litigators in Madison County, Illionois; and because we discovered the

existence of Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day, I have scrupulously attempted to 

ascertain if there were any “Lawyer Appreciation Days” being celebrated in the

USA.  Our results:

  • Lawyer Appreciation Day was #8 on Christian & Scot’s Top Ten

    Rejected Ideas for a Holiday list.

  • Humorix predicted that — after lawyers sue to have calendar

    equality for February (30 days instead of 28) — the new Leap

    Day (Feb. 31) will be designated “Lawyer Appreciation Day.”

  • Mike Veeck (author of Fun is Good: How To Create Joy And Passion

    In Your Workplace And Career) created a Lawyer Appreciation

    Day for baseball (all attorneys pay double)

  • The law office of I. Ben Chasinbucks, of WhipCash Game fame, closes

    for National Lawyer Appreciation Day– apparently a floating holiday.

  • One site lists the following non-lawyer Appreciation Days:

    • Squirrel Appreciation Day (Jan. 21)

    • Bubble Wrap Appreciatin Day (Jan 28)

    • Armenian Appreciation Day (April 3)

    • National Hair Stylist Appreciation Day (April 30)

    • Cow Appreciation Day (July 18)

    • Elephant Appreciation Day (Sept. 20)

    • Sunday School Teacher Day (Oct. 20)

I know these findings will hurt the feelings of many of my brothers and sisters at

the Bar.  But, I’m rushing to get this post up before the end of today, March 23,

because — no kidding — today is Make Your Own Holiday DaySo, go ahead,

lawyers.  Just for today, put your own interests first.  Start that parade, we’ll whip

up a crowd and be right over.  Honest.

so quickly they join
the human devils…

a long night–
the devil in my heart
torments me

blooming mountain–
come out and play
devil in me!


Part II.   Those search engines have gotten us into trouble before.  We just updated    devil g

our Inadvertent Searchee page, for the first time in 2005, and you’ll see that sickos

have landed at this website looking for Mellow Yellow, farting contests, naked

cheerleaders, Scarlet Pimpernels and more.  How are we ever going to uphold our




ain’t a devil
ain’t a saint…
just a sea slug

the day is devilishly


all haiku by ISSA 

(translated by David G. Lanoue):

flying solo

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:34 pm



a field of wildflowers

I recall the courtship

not the marriage






their gravestones

hers newer and taller

than his









treeless downtown street

two spring robins

on a window box


George Swede from Almost Unseen (Brooks Books, 2000) 



by dagosan 


the duckling

skirts the ice floe —

our river rendezvous



mom’s voice long distance:         phone old


[March 23, 2005]




Ben Cowgill at Legal Ethics Blog and Carolyn Elefant at MyShingle have

started a lengthy correspondence about legal ethics weblogs, pedagogy,

and enforcement, with a focus on solo practitioners.   I think you’ll get the

gist of the issues from my quick comments here:

Legal ethics is definitely important enough to deserve its own weblogs

and it should be a part of virtually every law school course and every

practice-oriented weblog.


Legal ethics is about far more than micro-rules.  As Prof. Schiltz says:

First, a lawyer has to comply with the formal disciplinary rules

. .  . . . But you should also understand that the formal rules

represent nothing more than ‘the lowest common denominator

of conduct that a highly self-interested group will tolerate.’ . . .  

But complying with the formal rules will not make you an ethical

lawyer, any more than complying with the criminal law will make

you an ethical person.  


Second, a lawyer must act ethically in his work, even when he

isn’t required to do so by any rule.   . . .  For the most part,

this is not complicated. Treat others as you wish to be treated.

Be honest and fair. Show respect and compassion. Keep promises.  . . .


Third, a lawyer must live an ethical life outside of work. . . . But

being admitted to the bar does not absolve a lawyer of his

responsibilities outside of work — to his family, friends, community

and, if he is a person of faith, to his god. To practice law ethically,

he must meet those responsibilities, which means he must live a

balanced life.

I do not believe that Bar Council are out to get solo and small-firm practitioners.

There are plenty of non-conspiratorial reasons why so many disciplinary actions

involve solos.  See, e.g., here and there.

March 22, 2005

playing ball with ed

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 9:49 pm

After yesteday’s sneak preview, and his matinee performance this afternoon, 

it’s time for me to tell you about Ed Markowski.  I think I’ve been procrastinating

so much with this introduction, because there’s just too many things I want to

say about Ed’s work.  For example:

  1. I can’t believe that no publisher has yet put together a full-length   bocci

    volume of the work of this accomplished and prolific haijin.   

  2. I’m touched by Ed’s ability to present the joys and dignity of

    blue-collar life, and the romance found in the mundane

    moments of married life.

  3. In addition to sharing samples from the body of fine 3-line haiku

    that Ed has penned, I want to expose visitors to this site to his

    “non-traditional” spacing and lineation.  They demonstrate how

    the haiku spirit can dwell in shapes that are far different than our

    grammar school notions of 5 – 7- 5.  [see yesterday’s examples]


I can’t say if Erin Harte knew Issue 10 of her Haiku Sun e-zine would be its

last, but I know she chose well in dedicating the entire issue to the work of

Ed Markowski.  Her explanation for the choice is one we can echo:

 “In celebration of the new year, Haiku Sun is proud to feature the

Asian inspired poetry of Ed Markowski. Regular readers will be

familiar with Ed’s work. We can think of no better way to ring in

2004 than with an issue solely dedicated to this talented poet/ haijin

and his work. His ability to “push the envelope” of conventional Asian

form while staying true to its essence is what Haiku Sun is all about!

Enjoy Ed’s haiku, senryu, tanka, haibun and, as always, a few surprises.”

at bat neg  As usual, I’ve said too much.   Get to know Ed Markowski from his haiku.

You’ll be glad you did (even if you have to tilt your head a little).




bases loaded

no one out…..


the pitcher

blows a bubble





lifting her spoon…

parting her lips…

a sudden             shift

in my appetite





panties   stillangry?atoppositeendsoftheclothesline   boxers




                                                       – the above are from Sun Haiku (Issue X, Jan. 2004)  seesaw






summer loneliness . . .

dropping the pop up

i toss to myself


                    (from the pinch-book pop up
                                    tribe press, 2004)







                                                 (from roadrunner, V:1)




Quick Bio: Ed Markowski lives and writes in Auburn Hills, Michigan, and

is a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan (can you feel his pain?), as well as a loving

husband, father and grandfather.  Click here to share his love of baseball.



tiny check  When Prof. Bainbridge complained last weekend about excessive wine

government regulation in California (concerning supposed “dangers” from wild

mushrooms), Prof. Yabut said to himself, “Yeah, but, I bet Steve would

feel differently about wine-related consumer protection.”  Well, looks

like Prof. B. is indeed no libertarian when it comes to Wine Labels.

Are consumers really going to mistake wine from “two buck rip-off artists”

for the highclass Napa Valley wines whose honor Steve wants to uphold?  

And, is Parma, Italy, right to be irked over American-made “parmesan” cheese?

[March 23, 2005:  Check our comments section for a good debate — John Steele

thinks Prof. B. is being consistent; Your Editor replies.  Please join in.]    



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