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

March 13, 2005

differences we can’t see

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:51 pm

approx blue potluck:

tiny check The most maddening and sad intellectual weakness I have seen in two years spent within the blogosphere has been the inability of so many young lawyers and law students to know when distinctions make a difference, and whether analogies are weak or strong. Thus, Adam Cohen‘s op/ed piece in today’s NYT should be required reading for all educators and all who wish to fulfill the role of lawyer, pundit, politician or citizen competently. (“An SAT without analogies is like: (A) a confused citizenry . . . “, March 13, 2005)

approx neg Cohen notes:

Intentionally misleading comparisons are becoming the dominant mode of public discourse. The ability to tell true analogies from false ones has never been more important.

tiny check Don’t forget that today is Blogshine Sunday. Our contribution is here.

tiny check Last night, I read the first chapter (15 pages, available here) of Jonathan Safran Foer’s second novel, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is now in bookstores and has been getting tantalizing reviews. Chapter One introduces us to the precocious Oskar, in his first-person voice, and made me want to get to know this special 9-year old, who takes us on an adventure as he reacts to his father’s death on 9/11. Reviewer Pam Houston said:

FoerLoud  “Foer has created an unforgettable character in Oskar, and a funny, wise, deeply compassionate novel that will renew readers faith that the right book at the right time sill has the power to change the world.”

cranberry frost
the crackle of ice
before the canoe

undulating hills —
echoes of the train whistle
echo

pausing
halfway through a life
with chrysanthemums

………………………… by Jim Kacian
pausing” The Heron’s Nest (in mem. Elizabeth Searle Lamb, March 2005); “cranberry frost” – Mainichi Daily News Best of 2001; “undulating hills” – Mainichi Daily News Best of 2000

they point out
the differences –
meeting twins

…………………… by dagosan [March 23, 2005] 

update:  See our post “analogically correct” (April 12, 2005), about Harvard Law Prof. Lloyd L. Weinreb’s book  Legal Reason: The Use of Analogy in Legal Argument (Cambridge Press 2005).

blogshine sunday 2005

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:47 pm

 


shaded lawyers need sunshine 




March 13 to 19 has been dubbed Sunshine Week, a national event focused on the 

importance of open government and freedom of information laws.   Today, we’re
taking part in the related activities of Blogshine Sunday, by reminding our readers that,

in most states, the lawyer discipline system falls significantly short of the basic goals

of an open process with easy access to information. [via Bob Ambrogi’s Media Law]

 

sunshineWeek Problems exist in three important areas:


tiny check  Allowing the public to readily locate information on the discipline

records of individual attorneys. Although there has been improvement

in recent years (with varying amounts of online information now available

from many states) a significant number of states still fail to offer discipline

records in a manner easily accessible to the public, and there is much more

that needs to be done.   (see our post,)

 

tiny check  Allowing the public to attend disciplinary hearings. According to

the legal reform group HALT:  “Florida, for example, allows only the grievant

and the defendant lawyer into the hearing room. New York, Missouri and

Nevada hold secret hearings – prohibiting even the person who filed the complaint

from observing the proceedings.”  (from the summary of HALT’s 2002 Lawyer

Discipline Report Card)

 

tiny check  The continued use of “gag rules” prohibitng a consumer who files a

grievance from speaking about it to anyone, threatening fines and

imprisonment for contempt of court. 

I live in New York State, which has more lawyers than any other state.  The NYS system fails

the most fundamental principles of open government:




  • The only source of lawyer disciplinary records are massive Annual Reports,

    posted by the NYS Bar Association, that are far from user-friendly.



  • Not even the complainant can attend disciplinary hearings, much less the public.




  • Although there is no formal “gag rule” on complainants, they are still informally

    advised not to make the complaint public.  When I filed a grievance a few years

    ago, I received a letter from bar counsel — who clearly knew I was a lawyer —

    saying I should not reveal the existence of the investigation, citing a rule that

    required confidentiality.  When I Iooked up the rule, I discovered that it only

    applied to the grievance committee staff.   [HALT NY Report Card]

sunshineWeekN  Here’s what the HALT staff told the NYS Second Judicial Department in Nov.

2004, when it was considering changes in its disciplinary rules:



“[I]n an era that places a premium on principles of sunshine and transparency,

the Second Department’s disciplinary system must come out into the open.

Current New York law bars members of the public from attending disciplinary

hearings. See NY CLS Sup. Ct

shaded lawyers need sunshine

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

March 13 to 19 has been dubbed Sunshine Week, a national event focused on the 

importance of open government and freedom of information laws.   Today we’re

taking part in the related activities of Blogshine Sunday, by reminding our readers that,

in most states, the lawyer discipline system falls significantly short of the basic goals

of an open process with easy access to information. [via Bob Ambrogi’s Media Law]

 

sunshineWeek  Problems exist in three important areas:


tiny check Allowing the public to readily locate information on the discipline

records of individual attorneys.

 

tiny check Allowing the public to attend disciplinary hearings.

 

tiny check The continued use of “gag rules”

 

click here for the rest of this post, which concludes 


As ethicalEsq stated in 2003:  “The majority of states are still shamelessly secretive about lawyer

discipline.  There are no good excuses.  Any state grievance committee or bar association that wants

to fulfill its Openness obligation now has plenty of models to choose from, and learn from.  Okay, bar

leaders, judges, and politicians, let’s get going.   Curious minds want to know — and have the right to

know.” (for more, see our post, “They’re Indisposed to Disclose Lawyer Discipline, Sept. 9, 2003.”)

 

 


chilly, chilly
the sun deigns to rise
behind me


 





in the dewy field
one sleeve cold…
morning sun


 








travelers set out
the sun rises…
a world of morning dew


 

umbrella vert    ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue

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