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

May 4, 2005

omertaEsq? gagged in new jersey

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:32 pm


On May 2, 2005, the New Jersey Supreme Court heard arguments on the Court’s

own Lawyer Disciplinary Procedure Rule 1:20-9(a), which has been interpreted to bar

complainants from disclosing the existence of their complaints (under pain of criminal

contempt charges), unless a formal complaint has been issued.  Explaining R.M. vs.

the Supreme Court of New Jersey, the New Jersey Star-Ledger notes (May 3, 2005,

“The rule makes a grievance against a lawyer secret until an ethics

committee determines it is backed up by reasonable cause and issues

a formal complaint. In the vast majority of cases, that never happens.

Either the grievance is dismissed as unfounded or, as happened in R.M’s

case, the lawyer agrees to correct a minor ethical lapse and no formal

disciplinary action is taken.


” ‘R.M. can never criticize the ethics committee for not doing more regarding

her grievance,’ [R.M’s attorney] said. “In a free society, government may

not constitutionally prohibit people from discussing a topic simply to protect

people’s reputations.”

!key 2  ethicalEsq stated his opposition to such “gag rules” early and often (see post), as has

the legal reform group HALT.   In May 2004, HALT reported in its eJournal that they had 

submitted Comments to the NJ Supreme Court, asking the Court to declare the discipline

gag rule unconstitutional as applied to complainants.  HALT also suggested commentary and

an amendment to Disciplinary Procedure Rule 1:20-9(a) . . .

click here for the rest of this post, which concludes:

There’s no excuse for such disciplinary gag rules.  Take

a look at the Doe case from Tennessee, if you need further

persuasion.  Remember to subsitute the name of another

profession, if you’re a lawyer who doesn’t want to give up our

Family’s little penchant for secrecy. 


To the N.J. Court and Bar: “Please give up the decoder rings

and  pinky rings.  Secrecy breeds contempt, not respect. 

No More Omerta.”


p.s. The same goes for Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Montana,

Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota and Washington, which have 

similar gag rules — and the 27 state grievance committees that

strongly advise or request consumers to keep their grievances secret.




after the big flock


geese flying north



the village of nondrinkers

is silent . . .

plum blossoms





cuatro de mayo – soups and sticks

Filed under: Haiku or Senryu — David Giacalone @ 2:12 pm

I don’t know whether there was a connection between tomorrow’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations, and President Bush’s decision to address a Latino Coalition today about Social Security.


Pinatas are often featured in Cinco de Mayo festivities.  Although they can come in
all shapes and sizes, I bet the White House will be going with the traditional Mexican
favorite pictured above.
I’m writing a day early about Cinco de Mayo, to remind you to prepare for the
celebration — with food, music and pinatas.  As part of their VIVA! Cinco de Mayo
celebration, San Marcos, Texas has a State Menudo Cook-Off. Click here to learn
about the wonderful Mexican Menudo soup and find recipes.  This should whet your
CincoMenudo “Every culture has great restorative stew of humble
origin and ingredients. Menudo is a wonderfully aromatic soup made
of tripe, hominy and chili, and is stewed for hours with garlic and
other spices. the broth is rich, red, papery, and glistens with fat. It
stimulates the senses, arms the insides, and clears the head.
“Menudo is served in big open bowls brought to the table steaming and
fiery.  It is usually eaten in the wee hours after a night out on the town
and widely proclaimed to be an antidote for hangovers.”
Maybe George or Steve in California could suggest a hearty wine to go with
Heaven’s River
of stars
in my soup
from his novel Haiku Guy
I lean
into the soup’s steam…
snow flurries
Gary Hotham
from breathmarks
pea soup fog
the sound of a map
unfolding beside me
Ed Markwoski
from Haiku Sun
dusty cookbooks:
soup can
in the sink
plum blossom scent–
slurping it in
with the vegetable soup
translated by David.G. Lanoue
pinataF Even if you won’t be accepting any invitations to whack a pinata
with a stick, I hope you’ll take up George Fool-in-the-Forest Wallace’s
request to join The Stick — an exploration and confession about your
literary tastes.  Here are questions for The Stick:
1. You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do
you want to be?
2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
3. The last book you bought was…?
4. The last book you read was…?
6. Five books you would take to a desert island…
7. Who are you passing this stick on to and why?
tiny check That whipper-snapper Sarni at Infernality seems to be suggesting that your
Editor is a “humbug”.    I will gladly cop a plea to curmudgeon.
penny sm Blessed Are the Poor in SpiritsProf. B is begging for bucks again.
I never noticed before how much “paypal” looks like “papal.” Just coincidence?  Of
course, if you ask “y?” he’ll say God works in mysterious ways.

tiny check Free that Poll:  On April 6th, we discussed the Poll at Priests for Life,
which asked “Should the United States Congress exercise veto power
over  Supreme Court decisions?”   Previous polls a PoL looked more
like leading questions for Catechism students on current events.  Today,
I tried to find out the results for the Veto poll, since they’ve moved on to
a new question on the home page, but the results are not (yet?) posted on
the PoL results page.  Maybe thinking participants failed to skew the results
the way Fr. Frank Pavone had expected.  I’ll check there again soon.




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