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

May 11, 2005

our backs to the wind

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:32 pm







flashing ambulance lights–

rain still filling

every puddle 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at the bus stop

our backs to the wind

the sunrise changes color

 

 

 

 

 








she comes back–

the ocean drips off

every part of her

 

 


“she comes back” & “at the bus stop” – breathmarks: haiku to read in the dark 

“flashing ambulance lights–” – Walking the Same Path (HSA 2004 Memb. Anth.)



 

 


by dagosan:  












cherry tomatoes

on toothpicks — a vapor trail

spears the midday moon

 

[May 11, 2005]

 



potluck



!key 2  Carolyn Elefant at MyShingle is complaining about a ban by the Maryland Bar

on the use of NonLawyer/Lawyer Referral groups, because it “discriminates against

solo and small firms.”   The organization in question has chapters, each of which

“consists of various professionals and business people who seek to obtain referrals

and learn marketing techniques. Only one person from any given profession or line

of business can join any individual chapter. The particular chapter that has approached

you includes, among others, a beauty consultant, heating and air conditioning contractor,

investment advisor, and AFLAC insurance agent.” Please read Carolyn’s piece to fully

appreciate the facts and her position.” 

 

I want to focus on Carolyn’s primary assertion:


“And ethics rules must be applied in a way that doesn’t disproportionally

impact one segment of the bar.” 

If an ethical rule deals with an appropriate topic in a reasonable way, the fact

that “one segment of the bar” is impacted more than others should be totally

irrelevant.   As noted here before: the fact that “small fry” lawyers are more

likely to violate a particular rule than “big shots” is never a viable ethical defense

— especially since the small fry were often the main reason a rule was needed. 

Although Carolyn professes not to want special rules for solo-smalls, her 

“disproportionate impact” theory of enforcement amounts to such pampering.


p.s. “Everybody does it” is no excuse either.

 

update: see Carolyn’s Comment and my reply.

 


tiny check  Mike Cernovich is claiming a right to anonymity-privacy for non-felons that seems a  “noyabutsSN”

little broad to me.  Let’s hope he’ll state a principle for us that takes into account the

many existing exceptions likely to withstand Constitutional challenge, and that can guide

courts and legislatures when dealing wiith issues such as national ID cards.

 

tiny check  Denise Howell laments that, to the surprise of absolutely no one, her three-year-old

plea for more guidance on internet and website advertising by lawyers has not been

answered.  California bar groups seem to be looking into this matter.  They will

hopefully lay to rest forever the notion that weblogs by lawyers are advertising per se

 

 

fr ventalone  Grumpy Reminder to MansfieldFox:  Despite your headline, “Everything is Haiku Here,”

nothing in that post is haiku.  Definitions are important (to lawyers and people).  It’s far

better to call what you’re writing zappai or pseudo-haiku than to continue to misinform

the public on the nature of haiku.  Everything with three lines of 5 -7- 5 syllables is not haiku;

in fact, most English-language haiku is not seventeen syllables.   Haiku has some element of

nature in it, evokes an insight, and almost always contrasts, compares or juxtaposes two

images.   Check out dagosan’s intro to haiku (or at least the tips at the bottom of the page),

or jim kacian’s haiku primer.   End of sermon (for now).

 

 

 
tiny check The Florida Supreme Court has refused to re-admit to the bar a lawyer who resigned after 

misappropriating client funds, due to his “continued failure to be financially responsible with

regard to his own finances as well as in his dealings with others.”  The Court concluded:


“[U]ntil and unless [Lawyer] makes a concerted effort to become personally

financially responsible and accountable to those that he has harmed through

his misconduct, he should not be successful in his attempts to be readmitted

to The Florida Bar.” 


1411, 4/28/2005; via sunEthics).  (As suggested here, personal financial responsibility is 

a very important part of the question of fitness for bar members.)

12 Comments

  1. Hi David!
    I don’t want different or lower standards for solos and small firms. My point here was that the type of of networking supported by BNA has never been found unethical in the context of biglaw areas of practice. As I said, many of my large firm colleagues belong to trade associations where they serve on the board and network with non-lawyer counterparts who often refer cases (and vice versa). I just don’t see how this type of set up is different from BNA where members join and trade referrals (there are no quotas, as the decision points out). The only difference is that BNA is less costly and more accessible to solos than trade associations.

    I see nothing unethical about the trade association marketing example or the BNA one. So I am not advocating to allow solos to engage in unethical conduct – rather I’m questioning why activity that has been deemed ethical for large firms is considered unethical when applied to small firms.

    Finally, I will say it again – one goal of MyShingle is to improve the quality of practice by solo and small firm lawyers. We should adhere to the highest possible standards.

    Comment by Carolyn Elefant — May 12, 2005 @ 7:27 pm

  2. Hi David!
    I don’t want different or lower standards for solos and small firms. My point here was that the type of of networking supported by BNA has never been found unethical in the context of biglaw areas of practice. As I said, many of my large firm colleagues belong to trade associations where they serve on the board and network with non-lawyer counterparts who often refer cases (and vice versa). I just don’t see how this type of set up is different from BNA where members join and trade referrals (there are no quotas, as the decision points out). The only difference is that BNA is less costly and more accessible to solos than trade associations.

    I see nothing unethical about the trade association marketing example or the BNA one. So I am not advocating to allow solos to engage in unethical conduct – rather I’m questioning why activity that has been deemed ethical for large firms is considered unethical when applied to small firms.

    Finally, I will say it again – one goal of MyShingle is to improve the quality of practice by solo and small firm lawyers. We should adhere to the highest possible standards.

    Comment by Carolyn Elefant — May 12, 2005 @ 7:27 pm

  3. Hello back at ya, Carolyn.  Thanks for stopping by to explain your position.  I hear what you’re saying, but I simply do not think your analogy to BigLaw colleagues in trade associations or chambers of commerce is apt, cogent, relevant, on-point (pick your adjective).  The BNI chapters have ONE member from each “profession” and the chapters exist almost entirely to create referrals.  That means that referrals are expected, and are expected no matter the merits of the particular referree.  Members of BNI may not have quotas, but they know what is expected (and, probably, what is necessary to keep the position within the chapter).
    Where I live, most members of the Chamber of Commerce are tiny businesses, including many solo and duo law firms.  As a solo, I joined ten years ago, in order to use their group health insurance plan.   Joining is not onerous financially — but, of course, the chance of getting referrals is a lot smaller, given the broader membership and the need to stand out in some way from other lawyers in order to get a referral from other members. 
    A lawyer who has distinquished himself or herself enough to be put on the board of a trade association is also a far cry from someone whose only distinction is being the only lawyer in a particular referral chapter.  (Often, of course, business that is generated through such contacts comes directly from people met at Association functions, not from third parties sent by nonlawyer association members — they aren’t really referrals.)
    I think the Grievance Committee can rightly see differences between such organizations and ones that exist in order to create referral networks, where chapter members can be closely monitored in order to produce the desired referral tit-for-tat.  
     

    Comment by David Giacalone — May 12, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

  4. Hello back at ya, Carolyn.  Thanks for stopping by to explain your position.  I hear what you’re saying, but I simply do not think your analogy to BigLaw colleagues in trade associations or chambers of commerce is apt, cogent, relevant, on-point (pick your adjective).  The BNI chapters have ONE member from each “profession” and the chapters exist almost entirely to create referrals.  That means that referrals are expected, and are expected no matter the merits of the particular referree.  Members of BNI may not have quotas, but they know what is expected (and, probably, what is necessary to keep the position within the chapter).
    Where I live, most members of the Chamber of Commerce are tiny businesses, including many solo and duo law firms.  As a solo, I joined ten years ago, in order to use their group health insurance plan.   Joining is not onerous financially — but, of course, the chance of getting referrals is a lot smaller, given the broader membership and the need to stand out in some way from other lawyers in order to get a referral from other members. 
    A lawyer who has distinquished himself or herself enough to be put on the board of a trade association is also a far cry from someone whose only distinction is being the only lawyer in a particular referral chapter.  (Often, of course, business that is generated through such contacts comes directly from people met at Association functions, not from third parties sent by nonlawyer association members — they aren’t really referrals.)
    I think the Grievance Committee can rightly see differences between such organizations and ones that exist in order to create referral networks, where chapter members can be closely monitored in order to produce the desired referral tit-for-tat.  
     

    Comment by David Giacalone — May 12, 2005 @ 9:31 pm

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