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

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.]    



UK lawyer reforms are OK

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:13 pm

As Jurist Paper Chase reported this morning, Lord Falconer, the British Lord  Chancellor, announced yesterday his plan to revamp the regulatory model, complaint and discipline system, and business structures of the UK’s legal profession. (The Times,

“Falconer promises to reform legal profession, March 21, 2005)   Under the plan, UK lawyers will lose the right to self-regulation.  To allow more flexibility, competition, choice and innovation, partnerships with non-legal professionals (such as accountants) and ownership of law practices by external entities would be permitted .
We’ve discussed the UK proposals here and there, while envying the ability to move legal reform so quickly in Britain, compared to our multi-jurisdictional (and pro-lawyer) American system.  I recommend reading yesterday’s speech by Lord Falconer, and contrast its frankness about the problems of UK’s legal profession, and the willingness to find consumer-and-competition-oriented solutions, with the pablum, defensiveness and denial we get from America’s bar leaders. 


hawk gray small  Also note the prime focus: “most importantly, all the changes we make must pass the simple test that they put the consumer first.”  (emphasis added)  Lord Falconer concluded:
So we have a system that, at it’s best, is the finest in the world. A system based on a long and proud history. But we also have a system that is unsuited for the 21st century.
In all service industries, legal services included, the consumer’s needs are paramount.
But what is it that consumers want?
They want to be able to trust their lawyer – and be sure about their integrity.
They want good value for money. And they want a quality service that helps them with the problem they’ve got. This means an efficient service, an effective service and an economic service.
hawk red small They want to be confident that the service will be delivered in a way that meets their expectations, and at a reasonable cost. Confident that, if there is a problem, it will be dealt with properly. Confident that the trade bodies have their interests in mind, not just those of their members. And they want choice.
Consumers are now familiar with making informed choices – whether that’s changing a gas or electricity supplier or booking a flight with a budget airline. The internet and broadband technology has started a revolution in the way people make decisions and purchase services. People want to look at the options and feel empowered to choose the service that’s delivered in the right way at the right time and at the right price.
So, confidence and choice – this is where we need to head towards, that’s our vision for the way legal services are delivered. 
What a concept!  A legal system that puts the interests of consumers first — and from a man who can do something about it.  Sounds kinda unAmerican, huh?
update (March 23, 2005): John Steele at LEF points to the reaction of The Law Society of England and Wales, which plans to have a non-solicitor-controlled regulatory Board in operation by September, but which also urges the Government “not to miss this opportunity to protect the public from unregulated, rogue legal advisers.” (Press Release, “The Future of Legal Services,” March 22, 2005).  Steele aptly notes:
“All this seems predictable if we view the profession as negotiating with the state for a “regulatory bargain” that will protect the profession’s income and social standing.  It was apparently necessary as a political matter for the Society to loosen its grip on the regulatory function, but it is using the reforms as a chance to seek continued ‘boundary protection’ from non-lawyers.”

help me, lord

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:45 pm

help me, chaplain:  Tallahassee pesonal injury lawyer David A. Barrett decided to 

hire an ordained minister as a “paralegal,” whose duties were to help solicit clients,

especially at hospitals.  I’m pleased to say that the Florida Supreme Court has decided

that a one-year suspension was not sufficient punishment for Barrett’s ethical violations,

and instead disbarred him, adding a stern warning to other lawyers attempting to

solicit especially vulnerable clients: 

ambulance  “This type of violation brings dishonor and disgrace not only upon

the attorney who has broken the rules but upon the entire legal profession,

a burden that all attorneys must bear since it affects all of our reputations.  

Moreover, such violations harm people who are already in a vulnerable condition,

which is one of the very reasons these types of solicitations are barred.  Therefore,

this Court will strictly enforce the rules that prohibit these improper solicitations

and impose severe sanctions on those who commit violations of them.” 

The Florida Bar v. Barrett, ___ So.2d ___ (Fla., No. SC03-375, 3/17/2005) (via sunEthics)

Click here for a transcript of arguments before the Court, part of the Gavel2Gavel coverage

offered by WSFU, the local PBS and NPR affiliate.


sin after sin. . .

the old priest

stifles a yawn


          ED MARKOWSKI, from pop up

                                    tribe press, 2004


tiny check  help me help myself:   A report by the Judicial Council of California has very good news:

Self-help centers in state trial courts are helping thousands of Californians who need legal

assistance and cannot afford an attorney:

“The report is good news for the courts and all Californians,” said William C.   scales rich poor neg

Vickrey, Administrative Director of the Courts. “For the past decade, the number

of people coming to courts without lawyers has grown dramatically, especially in

family law cases. Self-help centers are meeting the critical need for legal information

by removing economic barriers that prevent access to our courts. In addition, these

programs are making our courts more efficient and are improving public trust and

confidence in our justice system.” (via selfhelpsupport.org)

Of course, as we pointed out in 2003 when discussing programs in Nevada, and as has been

acknowledged by the New Hampshire courts,  it’s not just the poor who benefit from such coordinated

self-help effforts — every American has the right to represent himself or herself and our justice

system, to the extent possible.  With programs like those in California and Nevada leading the

way, there is no excuse for other states to put off joining the self-help revolution.  The “lawyer tax

can be greatly reduced for those who want to enter to the civil justice system.




bright lit

Amish windows


         ED MARKOWSKI, from pop up
                                  tribe press, 2004



tiny check  help me, librarian:   An evaluation of computer-based self-help programs in Alaska includes good

advice to those wanting to embark upon a similar project: “[E]xplore the creation of a three-way

partnership between the local legal services organization, the court (that being the pro se

service department and the law library), and the local public library system

We feel that libraries could and should be involved because facilitating

access to information for the public is what they do, and the Internet’s

spawning of public use terminals has meant that the libraries are developing

extraordinary expertise in the technological side of providing these services

to the public”



ekg  help me avoid the AmLaw 100:   I say “bravo!” to the large corporations that are developing 

technology that will greatly reduce their legal bills. See AdamSmithEsq, March 21, 2005.   Once

developed and refined, it will surely spread, and trickled down to smaller companies and consumers. 

If (as I have often argued) much of what lawyers do can be done using sophisticated (or even non-

sophisticated) technology, it is not the role of the bar, or of individual firms and lawyers, to discourage

clients from seeking the efficiencies brought about the digital revolution.  From the client’s point of

new, it is progress, even if there will be occasions when paying more for legal advice would have yielded

a better result.  Making that trade-off is the client’s right. Yes, this will be “disruptive” for many lawyers,

but that reality does not change our duty to put the clients’ interests first — to act like a learned profession

rather than a guild. 



tiny check  help me keep my assignments:  I’m not surprised that a representative of assigned counsel in

Massachusetts opposes moving to a public defender system for indigent criminal defendants. 

(The Springfield Republican,”Legal compensation raise argued,”  March 22, 2005) However, I

continue to believe that an adequately-funded and supervised public defender system will mean

higher quality representation in general for the indigent client.


tiny check  help me cover-up my sins: Walter Olson has an amazing follow-up to the Texas girlfriend-

on-the-jury story.  It’s so good, I’ll let him tell you here.  (our prior post)



from dagosan,

big thaw overnight –


on the river

                                   [March 22, 2005]

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