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

August 9, 2005

nostalgia in the dark

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:00 pm

August shade–
a heron’s wings
low on the water





high August–

in a grove of radiant leaves
two women talking





Distant tail lights
in the dark



by dagosan: 

a golden sliver of moon —

her wedding ring




[Aug. 9, 2005]

windUpG potluck

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bar associations as special interest groups

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:32 am

At f/k/a, we often complain that bar associations primarily act on behalf of their

favorite special interest: the financial needs of their members (see, e.g., bar & guild,

another important issue today: bar associations acting like any other special interest

group when it comes to rating judicial candidates.   Although I usually favor intelligently-

liberal judges, I agree with Prof. B. that the ABA’s rating process appears titled against

conservative judges.   This liberal bias makes its recommendations less effective,

less valuable, and easy to brush aside, doing a disservice to the public, legislators

and other decision-makers.  (see WSJ.com, “Yes, the ABA’s Rankings are Biased,” 

by Jim Lindgren, Aug. 6, 2005) 


The problem of unacknowledged ideological biases (and the capture of associations fr ventalone

or their sections and committees by special interests) goes beyond judicial nominations,

and is not limited to left-oriented groups.  I believe that many bar association committees

are chaired and/or populated by activitists and extremists, with political and ideological axes

to grind, and produce recommendations and reports that are skewed toward their special

interests.   These proposals are not looked at in depth by an association’s full membership

and often become the group’s “official” position. 


For example, as I’ve noted in posts such as this one on the ABA Standards for Children’s

Lawyers in Custody Cases, both the ABA and the NYSBA have adopted guidelines relating

to lawyer representation of children that swept aside long-established judicial precedents and

ethical norms, in order to promote a radical children’s rights agenda.  If readers have other

examples from their specialty areas, I hope they’ll join the discussion. 


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