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

May 20, 2005

dozing off

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:00 pm


moist breeeze

the novel’s soft cover

curls up





         dozing off–

     the soft drone

of mosquito flutter









the many stars sink

          into the sand





the widow’s

dead rosebush

so many thorns



[May 20, 2005]


tiny checkMyShingle‘s Carolyn Elephant, chief counsel for LilliputianLaw firms everywhere,

thinks she’s had a Eureka! Moment.  Carolyn has noticed that M. Ellen Carpenter,

the hearing examiner who recently proposed disbarment for three prominent Boston

lawyers, is a “shingler” — the founder of a small law firm.  (see Ambrogi, and LEF 

for the disbarment story)  Carolyn jumps from that s[h]ingle fact to asking: 

 “Could including more solo and small firm lawyers on discipline

panels be what it takes to ensure that complaints against prominent

attorneys are treated as seriously as those against solo and small firm

lawyers?  Or is this just all a coincidence?”  

As John Steele suggests in a Comment at MyShingle, it is unlikely that the Shingler  ooh

Factor has “any explanatory power”.   It appears Carolyn is still haunted by the

notion that bar counsel unfairly discriminate against small-firm lawyers, especially

solos.  As we discussed here, there are many good reasons why we would expect

that the Lilliputians would comprise a large portion of all disciplined lawyers — not

the least of which is that there are so many of them (40 to 60 percent of lawyers in

many states are in firms of 5 lawyers or less); that they suffer far more financial

distress (almost by definition) than prominent lawyers, and have less intra-office 

monitoring, making them more likely to be tempted to bend or break rules related

to defrauding clients; and that they seem to have noisier clients and less subtle

modus operandi


In the case in question, it’s probably also worth pointing out that M. Ellen Carpenter 

is herself, by any definition, a “prominent” lawyer in her State. For example, she served

as President of the Boston Bar Association in 2003.  (see more in the BBA press release)

You’ll have to ask Ms. Carpenter if she still considers herself a “shingler.”



ooh flip  I wonder if the folks at the Phosita weblog (who have an interesting

post on the already-robust pirating of  Revenge of the Sith), or other intellectual property 

lawyers on the web (like Denise and Bill), , have taken a look at author Lewis Perdue‘s weblog

The Da Vinci Crock.  Perdue is suing for alleged copyright infringement by the super-

selling The Da Vinci Code, relating to novels written by Perdue — especially Daughter of 

God (2000) and The Da Vinci Legacy (1983).  At DVCrock, Perdue wonders how

Random House’s lawyers can get away with (purportedly) twisting the facts and putting

words in his mouth, in their submissions to the court.  Take a look at, for example, this

post and this one, and weigh in on whether lawyers get to lie too much in their pleadings.

I believe there is far too much bending of the truth by lawyers in our system, where it often

seems that truth is the adversary.   The problem is diminished a bit, of course, because our

judges are aware of what is going on — both the use of selective “facts” and the use of

hyperbolic conclusions and terms of art by both sides.

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