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

January 31, 2006

potlawk (don’t you just love cute lawyer puns?)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:36 pm


Are you calendar-challenged?  You are not alone.  Yesterday, I spent the   deskCalR

entire day knowing it was January 30th, and believing today would be the first

day of February.  As a self-help  measure that I hope will be of assistance

to those similarly afflicted, I found a link today to a rock’n’roll version of

by Jack Hartman. 



tiny check Like many others, Monica Bay, the Common Scold, was saddened

to learn of Wendy Wasserstein‘s death, at 55, from lymphonia. In

response, Monica wrote a truly moving appreciation, titled “Sweet

Dreams, Sweet Twin.”  It concludes, “Yesterday, the lights of Broad-

way dimmed in your memory, but your light will remain fierce in our



tiny check In a New York Times op/ed piece today, “28 Days to Save Darfur,”

Kenneth H. Bacon makes a very good recommendation to the U.S.,

as it starts a month at the head of the UN Security Council:                                                                              

“The United States has a vexing and inconsistent record on

Sudan. Periods of engagement have been followed by longer,

and troubling, periods of inaction. Now, with a month to lead

the Security Council, the United States has a chance to

show the world that we can do more than just talk about



phone old  Ever striving to help lawyers provide Perfect Client Service

Patrick Lamb reminds us that Speed [Is] The Essential Ingredient, when it

comes to answering client email or phone calls.  Lamb says:

Clients call when they do for a reason.  Its their reason and,

most of the time, it is an important reason.  You are the

SERVICE PROVIDER.  It is your job to honor their reasons.


Think minutes, not hours and certainly not days



a coyote call

goes unanswered

evening star

first blossoms

my cell phone

set to vibrate








winter hills

what the truck’s insurance

doesn’t cover




“first blossoms” – Walking the Same Path; Heron’s Nest VI:4 

 “a coyote call” – Acorn No. 6 (Spring 2001)

“first blossoms” – Hermitage

                                                                                                         coyote moon small     


a few more words on eschewing “blawg”

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:23 pm

Here’s a quick summary of my position against calling law-oriented

weblogs “blawgs“.  It now appears at the top of my original piece, the

full-length essay (with updates), “let’s make the term ‘blawg’ obsolete.”

Quick Summary:  Lawyers don’t need a special word to

designate their weblogs.  Weblog technology is not being

used in any special way at law sites.  No other group or

profession has coined a special word for their category

of weblogs.  By insisting on using the trivializing, confusing

and too-cute word “blawg,” lawyers appear to be elitist, clan-

nish, or childish (likely, all three).  Those who agree can help

stop the terminology from becoming a generally-accepted

part of the English language (and spread worldwide), by not

using the term “blawg” and by declaring their choice publically.



Yes, there are many things I would prefer to be writing right now, and

that you would surely prefer to be reading about — so I hope I can

let the subject percolate on its own for awhile.  Before leaving it,

though, I want to say that there was no need for Denise Howell (who 

coined “blawg”) to print, and Dennis Kennedy to second, a not-very

veiled insult of anyone who cares about this topic. The insult was com-

pounded by not even bothering to link to the major posts raising the

issue — mine, and the earlier argument from Kevin O’Keefe, who is not

exactly a minor character on the legal weblog scene.  Not linking, of

course, made it harder for their readers to encounter our arguments

and less likely that search engines would find them. 




On the bright side, Evan Schaeffer was good enough to point to
Kevin O’Keefe’s post and this one (as well as the defense by the Editor

at Blawg Review (“Who let the blawgs out?“), and to risk being unpopular

by reiterating his position on the word “blawg:”

“Not only does the indiscriminate use of the word “blawg”

lead to obscurity, but it gives readers the unintended impres-

sion that the weblog writer is running a private club.”

He received quite a few dissenting Comments, including one from

the well-known Jargon Sheriff, Monica Bay, who stated:

“. . . i don’t mind blawg.


“Why: because it adds meaning to blog. It accurately

describes a specific thing. You see “blawg” and you

know that it is a law-related blog. It defines, it narrows,

and it doesn’t obfuscate.”

My response at Legal Underground was:

Monica, I don’t agree that “blawg” adds significant meaning.

If your audience already knows the proprietor is in the law

community or the topic is law, it adds nothing. If they don’t

know that, just tell them, rather than using a word that does

confuse the uninitiated, and can refer to anything from the 

cultural musing of George Wallace’s “Fool in the Forest,” and

my punditry & poetry weblog, to How Appealing‘s small blurbs,

and the major essays of Judge Posner.

Judge Posner.

Of course, I should have added that “blawg” is also applied to both the  

personal diaries of law students and the topical legal and political

commentary of well-known law professors and public intellectuals. 


Come back to the fold, Dear Scold.

tiny check  Again, let me stress that I am not against

new words, nor trying to dictate what others should



tiny check  Two years ago, I wrote a post pointing out that a

lot of the fun of being in a weblog community was lost

when Comments and Trackbacks are deleted because

the weblog owner disagrees with what was said.  Today,

I’m waiting to see if Dennis Kennedy will ever post the

Comment I left at Between Lawyers two days ago, con-

cerning the use of the word “blawg” in Europe. or allow

the related Trackbacks.


update (11 PM, Jan. 31): Last Friday, Dennis Kennedy pointed to a

post by Edwin Jacobs, at his Law & Justice weblog, saying “Interest-

ingly, I noticed in the post that legal blogs are apparently being called

‘blawgs’ around the world.”  I’m happy to see that Mr. Jacobs has

now clarified his own feelings about the word “blawg,” in Comments

at his own site and at Blawg Review #42.   Here’s what Edwin had

to say: 

“Indeed, I prefer to use the term “blawg” to explain it and when

it appears in the name of some site/blog I am citing.  Otherwise,

I use “lawyer blogs” or “law-related blogs”. The reason is that it

better says what it really is, I think, i.e. a blog related to law or

made by a lawyer in his capacity of a lawyer, e.g. not about his

pet or hobby or whatever.


“I think it’s a simple matter of communication with the target

audience and I don’t make a big issue about it. I don’t care which

word is used, as long as it is clear what person A is communicating

to person B. But I think in communicating with non-lawyers, or with

non-tech savvy lawyers for that matter, it just makes more sense to

talk about a “law related website, lawblog, …” instead of “blawg”.

Frankly, even using the word “blog” is often complicating things.

So, use whatever you want, but “keep it simple” for your target






heavy clouds

the snowplows’ rumble

drifts into town







he changes into play clothes

after school





a fat horse

gallops with the others

a bit behind







swaying branch

the warbler’s song

rises and falls





“a fat horse” & “swaying branch” from

                something to sing about, pawEprint 58 (2003)

“heavy clouds” from HSA Members’ Anthology (2003)

“snowmelt” – from Walking the Same Path 




NY’s Chief Judge wants a statewide public defender system

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:20 pm

The New York Commission on the Future of Indigent Defense, established by Chief

Judge Judith S. Kaye, has unaminously recommended “a single, statewide, state-funded

system for the delivery of indigent defense services.”  Judge Kaye will give the details of

her resulting proposals, in her State of the Judiciary address, next Monday, February 6,

2006.  (Albany Times Union, Jan. 31, 2006) According to Ray Kelly, president of the state’s

Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers:


                                                                                                                    jailbird neg

“They are talking about setting up a statewide public defender office that would

be responsible for handling 60 percent of the state’s cases. They would then set

up a statewide system of assigned counsel to handle any conflicts.”

Last February, this weblog voiced the opinion that “indigent defendants are far more likely

to receive consistently competent representationin a system with fulltime public defenders

(with statewide monitoring and funding) than from situations that rely heavily on assigned

counsel.   (And see, David Feige’s excellent Slate article “Public Offenders,” where he says

that onlya comprehensive public defender system, not one relying heavily on assigned counsel,

will provide adequate service. )  Gideon’s Broken Promise, the ABA 2005 report on indigent

defense, states that national standards for indigent defense favor fulltime public defenders,

whenever the population and caseload can support them.


The New York indigent defense “system” has been organized and funded on the county

level since Gideon v. Wainright.  Many private attorneys count heavily on the assigned

counsel cases they received under this system and fought hard for a rate hike, finally 

passed in 2004, that brought fees long stuck at $25 to $75 per hour to $60 to $95 dollars 

per hour.  It is somewhat ironic, but the impetus for this change is reaction of the sixty-two

counties to the rate hike.  The TU reports that, without additional State funds to help pay

for the hike:



“They opted instead to set up in-house offices, which were not subject to the

higher rates, to save money. the state’s 62 counties have established more than

122 individualized programs to defend the poor, with no cohesion, unified standards

or consistent format, said Ray Kelly….”

Indeed, just last week, the Schenectady Gazette reported that “Eighteen months after it

began operations, the Schenectady County’s Conflict Defender Office has helped save

taxpayers more than $100,000 in outside attorney fees, a review shows. (Jan. 29, 2006,

p. B2).


Don’t be surprised if this trend spreads across the nation, as more and more assigned

counsel (who are in private practice) push for higher fees.  The Bar Advocates in Mass-

achusetts are clearly afraid that the fee hikes they coerced from the Legislature last year

may result in the establishment of public defender offices that will take away work they

consider to be “theirs.”  Thus, they adamantly oppose the hiring of more public defenders.

(see our prior post)  Perhaps, like auto workers, their organized successes may prove to

be their undoing. 




the mountain moon              
gives the blossom thief



     translated by David G. Lanoue



January 30, 2006

can’t let january end without frampton & morden

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:49 pm

First, two old favorites from Matt Morden:



winter sickness
my daughter tucks me in
for the first time






an old resume
my son colours in
his rainbow







      – and two new ones from his Morden Haiku 




a compost heap
listening to
the sound of worms








loft clutter
sweeping up flies
woken from sleep





 “a compost heap” – Morden Haiku (Jan. 24, 2006

“lost clutter” – Morden Haiku (Jan. 23, 2006

“winter sickness” – The Heron’s Nest, (July 2003)

“an old resume” – bio page at World Haiku.  


                                                                     bike sketch gray


tiny check  And, three poems that first introduced me




last goodbye –
scent of his wool coat
deeper into my nose





wishing fountain

outside the cancer clinic:

some heads, some tails








morning milking

the white

of mother’s breath



“last good-bye” – The Heron’s Nest Volume IV No. 2

“wishing fountain” – Frogpond XXV: 1

“morning milking” – Haiku Canada Newsletter XVI: 3

                                                                                         alaska gray




don't forget tack  Don’t forget: There is a great

list of daily haiku weblogs at Matt’s Morden Haiku. 

One of the best parts of visiting haijin weblogs

is reading the comments on their work.




admonish D.A. DeAngelis

Filed under: pre-06-2006,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 7:15 pm

Never having been a public defender, I’m not a kneejerk hater of prosecutors.

However, I can’t let another day go by without saying that a series of con-

victions overturned due to prosecurtorial misconduct in Rensselaer County

[Troy], New York, is shameful and can only weaken the public’s trust in our

justice system.


In the latest case, involving defendant Burton Jeffrey Hunter, the district

attorney’s office failed to inform the defense, in an acquaintance rape case,

that then-17-year-old victim had accused another man she knew of rape only

two or three weeks before Hunter’s trial. [That’s two such charges within

eleven months. In addition, the “victim’s” father testifeid at trial that she had

accused him of rape when he tried to discipline her. Troy Record, Jan. 26,

2006] Hunter was convicted of sodomy, and has spent the past four years

in jail.

tiny check The fact of the second accusation came to light last year,

when Hunter’s trial lawyer, Paul DeVane was working out a

plea bargain for Delbert Parker, a Schenectady man convicted

of armed burglary and charged with rape. Parker told DeVane

that he had been accused of rape just before Hunter’s trial, by

the same young woman.

Current Rensselaer District Attorney Patricia DeAngelis was not D.A.

at the time of the trial, but was an ADA and had presented the case

to the grand jury. “[S]ources familiar with the case say she did most,

if not all, of the pre-trial work and then handed the case over to another

prosecutor.” (WTEN.com, Jan. 25, 2006).


When the issue was raised last year, trial judge Patrick McGrath agreed to

hear arguments for a newtrial, because the prosecution “failed to deny or

admit actual knowledge” of the material that could assist the defense. De-

Angelis was (unsuccessfully) running for county judge at the time and asked

for several extensions to answer the allegation. Not until Dec. 28, a few

days before the argument on the new trial, did she finally fax a stipulation to

Hunter’s counsel, saying that former prosecutor Mark Portin, who succeeded

DeAngelis on the case, never disclosed the victim’s subsequent allegation to

Hunter’s lawyer. (Albany Times Union, Jan. 5, 2006)

tiny Red Check At the time of the hearing, I recall DeAngilis telling a tv reporter that

her office considered the fact of the second accusation to be “infor-

mation” but not evidence that had to be disclosed.

Judge McGrath disageed, ruling that Assistant District Attorney Mark Portin

improperly failed to inform Hunter’s attorney of the second accusation. Accord-

ing to the Troy Record (Jan. 26, 2006): Judge McGrath wrote:

“A prosecutor should not intentionally avoid pursuit of evidence

merely because he or she believes it will damage the prosecutor’s

case or aid the accused. . . A prosecutor has a duty to seek justice

and not merely to convict.”

McGrath noted that the “victim” was the only person who had direct knowledge

of the event and that establishing her credibility was paramount to a just verdict.

The Judge continued: “Surely, in the context of this case the People knew the un-

disclosed Brady material would have been useful to the defense. The only reason

not to divulge it would be for the People to gain some tactical and unfair advantage

that clearly violates the People’s professional responsibility.” Therefore, “The People

should be admonished for their failure to disclose the Brady information.”

None of this was persuasive to D.A. DeAngelis, who told the press: “While my

position on this matter has not changed as to our obligation to disclose this information,

the decision of the court is now the law in this county, and obviously we will prosecute

future cases in line with the court’s decision.” Two other sex abuse convictions were

recently overturned due to the misconduct or incompetence of DeAngelis’ office, along

with a fourth major conviction.


An editorial titled “Enough, Ms. DeAngelis” (Jan. 27, 2006), the Albany Times Union

called for the D.A. to step down, saying it quite well:

Justice is a more tenuous concept than ever today in Rensselaer

County, upheld by Judge Patrick McGrath but undermined by District

Attorney Patricia DeAngelis. It’s a familiar but depressing pattern, of

unfair and inept prosecution that requires judges to reverse convictions

obtained by the district attorney’s office or, in the latest such case, to

order a new trial for a man convicted of sodomy after critical evidence

was withheld from his defense lawyer.

When does it end? Only when Ms. DeAngelis steps aside as district

attorney. . . .

… Ms. DeAngelis has quite a bit less to say [than Judge McGrath] about

the denial of such an essential right of Mr. Hunter’s. Just like [tial ADA

Mark ] Portin, she doesn’t think the evidence that was withheld was

relevant to Mr. Hunter’s trial.

Her reaction to the vacating of Mr. Hunter’s conviction amounts to yet

another strike against Ms. DeAngelis and her office’s reckless approach

to criminal prosecution. The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court

has reversed convictions obtained by Ms. DeAngelis or her colleagues

three times in the past two years for reasons of prosecutorial errors or


coyote moon small

How much longer must the people of Rensselaer County put up with such

ignorance of the law in, of all places, the district attorney’s office? The same

voters who so wisely rejected Ms. DeAngelis’ candidacy for a judgeship of

her own last year remain stuck with her as county prosector.

“The prosecution has a duty to seek justice and not merely convict,” notes

Judge McGrath.

Such a reasonable statement, such a far-fetched notion.

I’m not as sure as the TU that the D.A.’s Office has made these mistakes out of

ignorance or incompetence. A former ADA is suing the D.A.’s Office, saying she

was fired for complaining about unethical conduct. Two days after the order was

issued for the new trial, Ms. DeAngelis had this statement:

coyote moon sn

“My number one responsibility as District Attorney is to ensure that

justice is served. My office has a conviction rate of 98 percent. This

is the result of a talented and dedicated staff who take their duty to

protect the citizens of Rensselaer County seriously.” (Capital9News,

Albany, NY, Jan. 27, 2006)

Justice 101: Convictions do not always equal justice. Overzealousness doesn’t assure justice. Often it prevents it.

tiny check After another dreary-gray winter day, I deserve some Tom Painting haiku — and so do you:

storm warning
the watercolorist works
in shades of grey


paint by number

the child’s river

escapes its bank

winter dusk
she paints her nails
deeper red


false dawn
a ruffed grouse drums
the woods awake

spring plowing
a flock of blackbirds
turns inside out

Tom Painting

winter dusk” – The Heron’s Nest (2003)

storm warning” from The Heron’s Nest

“paint by number” – tug of the current: RMA 2004

false dawn” – The Heron’s Nest


big wave to billie

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:04 pm

low-lying clouds —
trumpeter swans
rest near the glacier


pickup g

centuries of shale
crunching underfoot —
coots bob offshore




patches of snow-

he walks his first bike

back up the hill








coffee brewing —
the moon and Orion
light the way


Billie Wilson from Haiku Harvest (Spring 2001)  

except: “patches of snowModern Haiku (Spring 2004)    

                                                                                                                                                bike sketch




January 29, 2006

maybe women lawyers are just wiser than the men

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:16 pm

 briefcase women neg small flip   The latest edition of Harvard Law Today (Jan. 2006) appeared in my real-world mailbox on Saturday. In it, I learned that HLS Dean Elena Kagan has been assessing “the status of women in law” and is quite concerned that women “still lag behind men in most measures of success.” (see her full remarks in the Leslie H. Arps Memorial Lecture, to ABCNY, Nov. 17, 2005).

Dean Kagan thinks the problem starts in law school, because women law students are less likely to speak in class, or graduate with honors, and give themselves poorer evaluations for the use of legal logic. Then, once they leave law school, Kagan believes that the numbers tell an ominous story:

femaleSym maleSym“While women account for almost 30% of lawyers, they account for only about 15% of general counsels of Fortune 500 companies, 17% of law firm partners, and 23% of federal district and circuit court judges. At law schools, women account for roughly 19% of deans and 25% of tenured professors.” (from ABA 2005 Women at a Glance stats)

Virtually every law student, by the end of their first year, should be able to explain to the Dean why these numbers alone don’t tell even half of the “story.” Kagan says time has shown it is not just a “pipeline” problem — getting enough women into the profession’s pipeline. But, I believe much of the so-called problem is indeed related to how long the female lawyers have been practicing, what areas they have chosen to specialize in, and what other priorities have shaped their career choices and timing.

Many women make choices early in their careers that start them on paths that are far less likely to end up in the CEO’s suite — or the Dean’s chair. Kagan notes that they leave law schools for jobs in non-profits and in government at a higher rate than men. When they do go to law firms, Kagan is concerned that “even just two or three years into practice, women are far more dissatisfied than men with every aspect of their jobs except the work itself.” I say, that’s a healthy sign, in what Professor (and federal court nominee) Patrick J. Schiltz calls our “Unhappy and Unhealthy Profession (52 Vand. L. Rev. 871) See our prior post.


Kagan echoes issues raised recently in many parts of the media about whether highly-educated women are “off-ramping” or “opting out”: deciding, once they have children, that they “can’t — or don’t want to — ‘have it all’.”

See Ellen Goodman, “Homemakers, heed opt-out warnings,” Jan.
17, 2006; Boston Globe, “Relaunching Mothers,” by Carol Fishman
Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin, Jan. 23, 2006; Kansas City Star, “More
women opt out of work, but why?,” by Donna Vestal, Jan. 10, 2006;
Sarah Gilbert at BloggingBaby, the feminist elite talk back, Jan. 25,

However, Dean Kagan points out that Lisa Belkin’s “opt-out revolution” may
be a mirage. Kagan notes that 93 percent of women who leave the general
workforce want to return. She wants law schools to help off-rampers get
back into “successful” career paths, and they surely should. But, I’m
afraid the Dean shares Linda Hirshman’s notion that taking the off-ramp
to raise children (or to take advantage of your spouse’s high income and
the choices it brings) somehow demonstrates that feminism has failed.

femaleSym Kagan frets that not enough women say that having a “powerful
position” is a worthy career goal. She suggests that the preferences
shown by women may in fact reflect “contingent circumstances”
and “unnecesary structures and constraints that prevent them from
creating the work lives they most desire,” rather than their fully-
informed, mature judgment. She also wonders why so darn many
women go into “public interest” jobs.

My sentiments are far more with “Dani,” an interviewee at Blogging Baby,
who asks: “And how exactly is Hirshman treating women with respect by
accusing them of opting out when they prioritize their families over financial


Dean Kagan points out that many off-ramping lawyers want to go in very
different career directions when returning to work — heading for non-profit,
or solo, or part-time practice. We might suggest that this helps explain,
a least a little, why women as a whole in the legal profession “still lag
behind men in most measures of success” and never seem to quite catch
up after their child-rearing break from the partneship track. (In “Relaunching

Mothers”, Cohen and Rabin point to the improved post-offramping career of
Justice O’Connor as a role model and sign for optimism.)


I’ve been working for equality of the sexes for several decades. If any
real discrimination exists in our profession, it must be eliminated. How-
ever, if women are lucky enough to have, or smart enough to make,
choices that get them out of the most dehumanizing, demoralizing, or
stressful parts of our profession — or out of it completely — I say “bravo.”
If they find their priorities greatly changed — and their willingness to make
tradeoffs increased — once they give birth, we should not devalue their

There are an awful lot of male attorneys who would love to have such
opportunities, such courage, and such common sense.

tiny check By the way, over the weekend, J. Andrew Lockhart, a
poet and music teacher, left a Comment at dagosan’s
haiku diary, that said: “p.s. – I used to be an attorney
but left 10 yrs ago after a stroke -best thing that ever
happened to me!


my daughter asks where
we are going …

first snow gone —
this steady need
to practice

autumn colors–
how assertive
she becomes


framed photo
the three of us
close back then

lingering in bed
the ceiling
has no answers

……………………………… by Tom Clausen- Upstate Dim Sum (2004/I)

Peering into

the deep well, two boys

talk about girls

……………………… by george swede

The Heron’s Nest (Dec. 2005)

briefcase women neg small

January 28, 2006

renku’d into submission

Filed under: pre-06-2006,Schenectady Synecdoche — David Giacalone @ 11:58 pm

John Stevenson and Yu Chang introduced me to the poetic genre

of renku today — the short-form Junicho Renku, with twelve stanzas

of linked verses written by a group of poets. Although I literally had

never read an entire renku, Yu and John insisted that I start writing ths

highly-structured, over-regulated (many, many rules) genre over lunch

and, eventually, dinner.

tiny check At the bottom of this post, you will find a brief

description of Renku from the Haiku Society of America.

You can find links to sample renku and much information

about the genre at William J. Higginson’s Renku Home.




With sturm und angst (and a Thai dinner in an old German Bierhaus

located in downtown Schenectady), we produced twelve verses that

actually fit together rather well (I am still not at all sure what makes

a renku “good”).. We’re going to do some polishing.


It seems I survived, but I barely got home in time to post some haiku before turning into a pumpkin at midnight.

(update: Sheer Irony: the resulting poem, “Chinese New Year”, was selected as the 1st Place winner in the 2006 Einbond Renku Competition, of the Haiku Society of America; see our post)


Here are a pair each from John and Yu, along with my thanks for their guidance and patience:



children’s gardens
all the scarecrows
dressed like mom

another winter
the furnace

………………….. by John Stevenson


– Upstate Dim Sum (2004/I)






rough landing
the warmth
of your hand

wishing well
a borrowed coin lands
on the bronze monkey

…………… by
Yu Chang Upstate Dim Sum (2004/I)






dog black Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Dog!

dog tired —
no laurels
to rest on

………… dagosan

HSALogo From the Haiku Society of America Definitions page:

RENKU Definition: A renku is a linked-verse poem in the popular haikai style, particularly as practiced by Basho and later poets writing in his style.

Notes: In Japanese, “renku” is a modern equivalent for haikai no renga. Usually written by two or more people, a renku’s most important features are linking and shifting. “The best English approximation of the verse-rhythm of Japanese renku seems to be a poem . . . beginning with a three-line stanza, followed by a two-line stanza, and alternating three- and two-line stanzas thereafter. This parallels the gentle longer/shorter/longer rhythms basic to renku in Japanese . . . .”

Typical renku consist of eighteen, twenty, thirty-six, or more of these alternating stanzas, though even shorter forms have been popular in recent decades. “Note that the starting verse of a renku is what evolved into the ‘haiku’ as we know it, with its emphasis on the here and now. The remaining stanzas . . . should connect well with their preceding stanzas and provide opportunity for movement in a new direction for those following. . . . A major point of renku writing is to move forward, from stanza to stanza, through a great variety of time, weather, environment, activity,fauna, and flora. . . .

Stanzas focused on human activities and concerns should be balanced throughout with stanzas concentrating on landscapes, animal and plant life, and other subject matter.” (Quoted material from the “Report of the HSA Renku Contest Committee”, published in Frogpond XIII:2, May 1990, which contains more detailed guidelines for traditional-style renku and a bibliography of materials on the subject.)

computer weary

January 27, 2006

N.H. Bill would create Teeny Claims Court

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:16 am

Former judge and retired lawyer Robert H. Rowe is a Member of New Hampshire’s

lower legislative body — and he has some explaining to do.  Here’s a description of

his House Bill 1234 (text), from the legal reform group HALT‘s eJournal (Jan. 25,


New Hampshire

“In an outrageous move, Representative Robert H. Rowe introduced

House Bill 1234 to cut in half the current small claims dollar limit

from $5,000 to a mere $2,500, which would be the fourth lowest limit

in the country. No state has ever lowered its dollar limit, and if the bill

were approved it would do serious harm to legal consumers by denying

the remedy of small claims court to all but the most trivial of cases.”

courthouse1 …………………………………. courthouseSF


That’s right: while legislatures around the nation are increasing dollar limits

in small claims courts, in reform efforts that would help increase access to

civil justice by making these “peoples’ courts” available for the disputes most

likely to arise in modern consumer and tenant transactions, Rep. Rowe

wants to decrease a dollar limit that is already below the national average

for small claims jurisdiction — the first such rollback in our nation’s history.

Go to HALT’s Small Claims Reform Project for more info

on this important movement, including Report Cards and

background materials on each state.  Also, see Your

Editor’s Prairielaw article “Supersize Small Claims” and

a thorough discussion, with relevant links. at Crime &

Federalism, “small claims, big potential,” Jan. 24, 2005).  

Rep. Rowe is an author (e.g., Quest for Liberty, a historical novel, and

Walking Tour of Amherst Village.), and he lives in the historic Jones

Tavern in Amherst. 



Action Alert: On Feb. 9, 2006, there will be a public

hearing on HB 1234, in Rm. 208, LOB, 10:30 AM,

in Corcord, NH. [directions]  You can also write Rep.

Rowe at P.O. Box 1117, Amherst, NH  03031-1117. 

I just might try to be there, to hear Mr. Rowe explain his reasoning for

gutting New Hampshire’s small claims courts.



snow pile flip  HB 1234 has put me in a sober mood, just right

for some Andrew Riutta poetry:


a hillside

overlooking the cemetery—

distant orchards  





in the scent of summer
a homeless man






cat burial . . .

the snow

up to my waist




snow pile




old stomping grounds

the river still follows

its path




“old stomping grounds” – from Full Moon Magazine (2005) 

“deep” – Haiku Harvest (Fall-Winter 2005)

p.s. Off topic: Is Denise Howell, coiner of “blawg,” right to suggest

it is a waste of time to worry over the use of that term (see her

I, Sandwich Dominatrix,” Jan. 25, 2006), and/or scroll down to

our response at our original post on making the word “blawg” obsolete.”


January 26, 2006

dr. bill’s prescription

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 9:56 pm

There is far too much prose at the top of this webpage.

Dr. Bill Owen will cure that problem:




winter sun
the boy burns a circle
in a leaf










the changes

in his face





lifting the hammer
the old carpenter’s hand
stops shaking







spider web small





after his death

the width of our

favorite path







her estate


the children




“winter sun” – Mainichi News (No. 679, Jan. 2, 2006)

“whittling” – lose change (HSA Members’ Antholgy, 2005)

“lifting the hammer” – A New Resonance 2; Mayfly #30 (2000) 

“after his death” – Selected Poems of W.F. Owen

“her estate” – The Loose Thread; Modern Haiku XXXII:1;



clearing out

the spider webs —

again, I spare the cricket



 pot luck

At his Death & Taxes weblog, href=”http://www.jas-law.com/”>Joel A. Schoenmeyer has an interesting    2bits

post today dubbed “ADR and George Washington’s Will“.  Joel, an estate

planning lawyer, who is training to be a mediator, wants to use those

skills in probate court.  He was inspired to learn that the Real GW included

a mandatory “alternate dispute resolution” provision in his will (using the 

ancient method of tapping the wisdom of trusted elders).   It’s a nice com-

plement to Abe Lincoln’s more general advice to young lawyers — long

ignored — that they

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.” 

George and Abe: they warm this old lawyer-mediator’s heart.  (see prior post)



action alert: Guild-Bar, Columbus (OH)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:55 pm

If you care about legal ethics and client rights, and can be in Columbus,
Ohio, tomorrow afternoon, Jan. 27, please start making plans to be at the
headquarters of The Ohio State Bar Association by 1 P.M.  If you can’t be
there — and especially if you are a member or future member of OSBA or
the Ohio Bar — you should also read on, and take action by email or phone,
or at your website.
As explained below, we believe OSBA is (or is about to be) a
prime example of our Bar & Guild TheoryMost bar groups
spend much of their time acting like guilds — promoting the
interests of their members, and “protecting” the public from
competition, information, innovation and choice.
The Urgency: On Jan. 27, 2006, the OSBA House of Delegates
will consider whether to support a completely revamped set
of ethics rules.
The two issues I will focus on here are: (1) Should lawyers be
allowed to characterize their fees or rates in ads as “discount,” 
“cut-rate,” “lowest,” or “special,” when the terms are not used
in a false of misleading fashion?  (2) Should lawyers be required
(for matters bove $500) to communicate in writing with a client
concerning the scope of engagement and the basis or rate of
fees and expenses? [You may find other favorite issues that
need your or our attention.] [UPDATE: Our efforts failed. The Ohio Bar included the ban on advertising discount fees in its recommendations to the Ohio Supreme Court, which then included the provision in the Comment to Rule 7.1, which has been in effect since February 2007.]

After lengthy consideration on how to modernize the current Ohio ethics
Code, and to bring it more into line with the ABA’s Model Rules, a Supreme
Court Task Force issued its Report and Proposed Rules (with Comparisons
to the Model Rules and the current Code) for comment, in October 2005.
An OSBA ethics subcommittee has also issued its Bar Recommendations.
As OSBA President E. Jane Taylor recently announced:
On Jan. 27, 2006, at 1 p.m., the Council of Delegates will hold a
special meeting at OSBA Headquarters, 1700 Lake Shore Drive,
Columbus, to consider recommendations of the Supreme Court
Task Force on Rules of Professional Conduct.
In addition, all members of the Association “have the privilege of the
floor on a parity with delegates. . . [and] Members wishing to address
this matter at the upcoming Council of Delegates meeting are asked
to communicate their interest to Bill Weisenberg in advance so
they can be recognized at the meeting. [you can contact Bill at
wweisenberg@ohiobar.org; phones: (614) 487-8585; (800) 232-7124;
FAX (614) 487-8808]
Here’s why I am concerned and am asking for your help:
First: As the ABA eJournal reported last week, and Carolyn Elefant
at My Shingle decried yesterday (via Lisa at Inside Opinions): “Ohio
Bar Won’t Allow Lawyers to Say They Offer Cut Rate Service,” Jan.
25, 2006). In Opinion 2005-9, (Dec. 2, 2005), the Bar Ethics Committee
held that it had no choice but to apply the current Code to the “coupons”
in question.  Ohio Code DR- 2-101(A) specifies that a lawyer shall not
use any form of publicity that:
(5) Contains characterizations of rates or fees chargeable by the
lawyer or law firm, such as “cut-rate,” “lowest,” “giveaway,” “below
cost,” “discount,” and “special;” however, use of characterizations
of rates or fees such as “reasonable” and “moderate” is acceptable.
Clearly, this antiquated rule, which almost certainly violates 1st Amendment
commercial speech rights, and would violate antitrust laws if promulgated by
the Association rather than by the Court, deserves to be thrown out.  There is
nothing inherently misleading about a discount claim — there is, of course,
something inherently competitive about them, which might be the rub. Rules
such as these, which have been eliminated in all but a few jurisdictions, are
wrapped in concern for misleading claims, but “belie the legal profession’s
basic dislike of lawyer advertising, competition, and affronts to its bloated
feelings of self-importance.” (see prior post on the NYSBA war against adver-
tising, and a round-up of recent action by the profession’s “dignity police.”
They contain excerpts from the ABA and the Federal Trade Commission,
on the harm to consumers from broad lawyer advertising bans that are not
narrowly tailored to prevent unfair or deceptive acts or practices.)
“Complaint BillF”
The Ohio Supreme Court Task Force recommends new Rules 7.1 and 7.2,
which largely follow the much-improved ABA Model advertising rules. They
move many prohibitions “in deference to constitutional concerns about the
regulation of commercial speech.” (Task Force Report) The Model Rules ban
only a false or misleading communication — that is, one which “contains a
material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make
the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.”  In a
Comment to Rule 7.1, there is this appropriate conclusion about fees:
“[A]n unsubstantiated comparison of the lawyer’s services or fees
with the services or fees of other lawyers may be misleading if
presented with such specificity as would lead a reasonable person
to conclude that the comparison can be substantiated. The inclusion
of an appropriate disclaimer or qualifying language may preclude a
finding that a statement is likely to create unjustified expectations
or otherwise mislead a prospective client.”
It is unfortunate (and misleading), however, that the Proposed Ohio Rule 7.1
removes the ban on terms such as “discount” and “cut-rate” from the body
of the Rule, but insert the provisions again in Comment [4] to Rule 7.1, which
4] Characterization of rates or fees chargeable by the lawyer or law
firm such as “cut-rate,” “lowest,” “giveaway,” “below cost,” “discount,”
or “special” is misleading. [emphasis added]
It is a per se rule making discount advertising by lawyers unethical.  That can
only have one purpose (eliminating or reducing price competition) and one
result: higher prices for consumers of legal services.  The higher price will,
of course, mean that more and more Americans will be functionally eliminated
from the legal services marketplace, and have their legal needs unmet or met
through nonlawyer sources.
The drafter of the Task Force Report sounds rather unhappy about this result,
reading between the lines.  And, the OSBA ethics committee could have
corrected it, advocating for the Model Rule version, the First Amendment,
and competition.  However, it did not.  The committee’s Recommendations
adopt the Task Force’s version of the advertising rules in their entirety.
boy writing The written fee and scope of engagement requirement has a bit
of a different posture.
The current Code says, in relevant part:

EC 2-18 As soon as feasible after a lawyer has been employed,

it is desirable that he reach a clear agreement with his client as

to the basis of the fee charges to be made. Such a course will

not only prevent later misunderstanding but will also work for

good relations between the lawyer and the client. It is usually

beneficial to reduce to writing the understanding of the parties

regarding the fee, particularly when it is contingent.

Model Rule 1.5 (b) states that the engagement/fee agreement must be

communicated before or within a reasonable time after commencing the

representation, “preferably in writing.”  But, the Ohio Task Force decided

to go farther — giving, in reality, both the client and lawyer more protection,

by requiring a written agreement unless the matter is expected to cost less

than $500.

Rule 1.5 (b) The scope of the representation and the basis or

rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible

shall be communicated to the client in writing, before or within a

reasonable time after commencing the representation, unless the

lawyer will charge a client whom the lawyer has regularly represented

on the same basis as previously charged or the fee is $500.00 or less.

Any change in the basis or rate of the fee or expenses is subject to

division (a) of this rule and shall also be promptly communicated to

the client in writing.


How did the OSBA “ethics” subcommittee react to this written requirement?

The majority of the members rejected it — with the following eloquent and

thoughtful, but remarkably frank analysis:

“A majority of the subcommittee recommended changing Rule 1.2

to eliminate the writing requirement concerning scope of representation

and fee-and-expense agreements to prevent violations of that requirement

forming the basis of a disciplinary complaint.”

Ironically, the OSBA website has a LawFacts e-pamphlet, titled Lawyers,

which states:

“You should ask the lawyer to put into writing fee and billing agreements

to avoid any misunderstanding.”

In a modern, information world — with clients who can almost always read and write

(and with the scope of representation in more flux than ever ) — many of us surely ask

ourselves: “What kind of a lawyer wouldn’t use a written agreement when representing

a client.”   My reply: Exactly the type of lawyer who would oppose this Rule and whose

clients most need the in-writing mandate in Rule 1.5(b) for their protection.

“tinyredcheck” Ohio consumers need your voice in support of the proposed

Rule 1.5(b), and to help make it easier for Ohio lawyers to compete

on price (with its resulting benefits in innovation and acces).

courthouse1 In addition to letting the OSBA know how you feel, you can

write the Supreme Court of Ohio, which is seeking comments, until Feb.

15, 2006.  Ask them to keep the in-writing requirement and to junk

the ban on discount advertising.

tiny check You might also contact OSBA President E. Jane Taylor (click for her
firm profile and email address), or Robert K. Leonard, Chair of OSBA’s Legal
Ethics and Professional Liability Committee (at 119 N. West, Lima, OH 45801,
(419) 228-1020 ,  (419) 228 5490 Fax.
tiny check Please excuse the lateness of this alert.  Youf humble editor
learned of the OSBA Meeting this morning.

Ohio weblogers (and other concerned citizens), please do whatever you can at

your website to help bring Ohio’s lawyer ethics rules into the 21st Century and the

era of Consumer Sovereignty.    How about it, Modern Esquire; Dale Oesterle at

Business Law Prof; the (in)famous Law Dork, Chris Geidner; the anonymous

proprietor of Law v. Life (who recently started to take criminal cases, too); Prof.

Dan Tokaji of Equal Vote; and Prof. Douglas A. Berman at the award-winning

p.s. In August 2003, in a moment of deep insight and/or cynicism, I

suggested the following Warning be placed on all bar association


Warning:  We are a guild, here to serve the economic interests of our

members.  We’ll fight (’til your last dollar) to protect you from any legal

adversary and to secure your legal rights.  However, when it comes to

your financial interests versus our own, we will put ours first whenever


afterthought (Jan. 27, 2006):  Another aspect of the Proposed
Rule 1.5 bothers me — the Model Rule 1.5‘s ban on “unreasonable”
fees or expenses is rejected in favor of keeping the current ban in
Ohio’s DR 2-106 on “clearly excessive” fees.  Furthermore, the
fee, to be excessive, under the current and the proposed rule,
must leave a “lawyer of ordinary prudence” with “a definite and firm
conviction that the fee is in excess of a reasonable fee.” [emphasis
added] (Apparently a layperson on any Ohio grievance committee
cannot apply his or her own prudent judgment on the excessiveness
of a fee, after studying the circumstances. That’s one more concern)
complaint billFN
Good lawyers use or choose particular words purposefully. Here,
it is hard to avoid the conclusion that merely banning “unreasonable”
fees seemed too harsh for Ohio’s lawyers.  Indeed, even a ban on
“excessive” fees was apparently too draconian — a fee needs to be
“clearly” excessive to be unethical.
tiny check I do not buy the excuse, if offered by the
Task Force and the Bar committee, that the
benefits of continuity outweighed adoption of
the standard used in most jurisdictions. Keeping
the “clearly excessive” standard is a clear signal
that the burden of proof for anyone challenging a
fee is extremely high — so that few, if any, fees will
be held to be excessive by your peers.  If your fee
isn’t illegal or fraudulent (e.g., demonstrably padded),
you’re safe in Ohio.
One final point of irony:  The current Ohio Publicity Rule, DR 2-101 (5),
prohibits the advertising of fees as being “discount,” but allows you to
call your fees “reasonable” and “moderate.” Comment [4] to Proposed
advertising rule 7.1, also declares discount claims to be misleading
and therefore banned. Notice how this ties in with the current and
proposed ethics rules on fees: any legal fee that is not “clearly exces-
sive” is “reasonable” in Ohio.  It makes you wonder which is more likely
to mislead the public, a “discount” claim by a lawyer whose fees are
genuinely lower than the local norm, or a “reasonable” claim by an
Ohio lawyer whose fees are just shy of being “clearly excessive.”


fresh snow
for the hands,
for the face


the mime

in our mittens

under the

blackest doodle

something unerasable

“applauding the mime” – Quiet Enough (2004)

“under the” – Something Erasable (1995)

fresh snow– The Heron’s Nest (June 2005)


January 25, 2006

speak Bocce?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:03 pm

Our Referer/Came-from statistics page is always leading us into distraction

of temptation.  Yesterday, it led us into some extra-legal bocce fun  Some-

body did a Google Blog Search for bocce> and ended up at this website. 

We’re delighted to see, only four months after declaring ourselves to be

bocce advocates, that the top three results came from f/k/a.


As is our wont, we checked out some of the other results and want to

share with you some of our findings — which did not necessarily relate to

big balls and little balls.





tiny check  First, If you are under 20 and over 40 years old, you should probably

stay away form the International League of Extreme Bocce, which

specializes in “Reckless Urban Beyond-Lawn Bowling. “


tiny check Second, thanks to Emily Gaston’s weblog, we learned that last

December, Star Wars the Musical was unveiled.  One of the tune,

available for MP3 downloading, is “Do You Speak Bocce?”  In the

scene, Uncle Owen is looking for a droid that speaks Bocce, and

breaks into song upon examining one unit:

Do you speak Bocce?
Do you speak Bocce –
not Splocce, not Blocce,
not Crocce.
Do you speak Bocce?
Do you speak Bocce?

I hope our Fool in the Forest friend will give us a review of the

score and book in the near future.




tiny check Last, but far from least, we discovered that Miba Whiber of


To save my weblogging colleagues some time, I’ve compiled

sentences that they might find particularly useful.  At the end,

there are some we all may need:


tiny check  Here are English-to-Bocce phrases for:


George Wallace at Declarations & Exclusions

& Martin Grace at RiskProf:

I do not want the collision insurance and medical coverage.
Noy’meetix goyatoixee he manux ii mediizal.


I have insurance.
Kazz ma kazz.


The payment is in the HoloNet.
Ker pazet on bpnip Holonot.


Evan Schaeffer at The Legal Underground

My program is faster because I have the

latest moomaws.
Bixtix hit yilly rev moomaws.

My neighbor is spacesick.
Zee dopi peeza peeza.


Scheherazade at Stay of Executiion

What do you do?
Finitez cetex detox?


Steve Bainbridge at Prof. Bainbridge & On Wine

Are there good drinks on board?
Openex co pakaz di hunhiy?




I’d like to rent a Legion Condor EX.
Kizzee mit rentaz hu Legion Condor EX.  


Matt Homann at the [non]billable hour

Can I upgrade to first class?
Keez meeza foy wunclaz?


Benjamin & Mark at Language Log:

Do you speak Basic?
Bazi batza Bazic?


Carolyn Elefant at My Shingle

Can you turn the gravity down a little?
Peez doz gravorti dow pinti?


How do I exit this spaceport?
Deeza va deeza copex?


Ben Cowgill at BC’s Legal Ethics

Can you send a pilot to guide me in?
Mil weez joto ne dimiix?


The Editor at Blawg Review.  

What are my coodinates?   restrooms
Motex coff keez hopiz?


Nancy Stinson in the Stark County Law Library


Will the bill list the title of the holo?
Beetix fo fee fi nototex ge holo?



Walter Olson at Overlawyered.com  

Send help!
Geewaaz hokokeez!


Mike Cernovich at Crime & Federalism

When are we going to get there?
Hwen dorix bijunize?


oilCanHFs Monica Bay at The Common Scold

Move aside and stop hogging the space lane!
Jeeza goz dobo ipinahex colax!


That _____ is in my seat.
Cee ____ feeth ur nockneez.


Denise, Dennis, Tom,

Marty & Ernie at Between Lawyers:

My droids will talk to your droids.
Keliza l’gik droi to talk droi.


Will we be jumping to hyperspace?
Tuz de ju mugee hyperaaze?


To Paul Caron at TaxProfBlog:

May I have a receipt?
Tirez meez canto ripit?


Another hot towel, please.
Kitex co kopad nikozax, bleeze.


JR at Jeremy Richey‘s weblog:

That scratch was there when I rented the ship.
Zat x’ratch keezo bopaz ha sheep.


The eponymous David Maister,:

I am vice president and systems consultant for
personnel development and managment consulting.
Lyo waza kinateze u kuntatezaz
u pizolooiz un tazax goniteezex.


Lisa Stone at Inside Opinions:

This is ____.
Deemeezz bo treeza ____.



Of course, there are quite a few we could all use:

I will get back to you on that one.
Vitex fo gobaj ka zu zux.  I

Where is my luggage?
Infinez topi lopiz?


Where is my seat?
Infinez tope ur nockneez?


Clear the landing zone!
Kiz kiz fee dolomitex!


Can you turn the gravity up a little?
Peez doz gravorti oop pinti?


I am spacesick.
Meez peeza peeza.





I don’t know yet if Hilary Tann speaks bocce,

but I’m hoping she’ll learn soon.  Until then,

she sure does speak haiku & senryu:


river mist

shadows of the geese

I hear





radio interview

the candidate

adjusts her hair







my dog’s nose

to the ground



weekday morning

gulls gather

round the ice-fishing hole






first warm day

looking for eagles

and finding the sky




bocce blind date –

she smashes into 

my male ego






January 24, 2006

speak blawg?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:47 pm

This morning, at Language Log, linguist Benjamin Zimmer from, 

UPenn, posted Blawgs, phonolawgically speaking” as a

follow-up to Mark Liberman’s piece at the same weblog “Who

Let the Blawgs Out?”.  Both were inspired by our war on the

use of “blawg” terminology and the defense of its usage by

the Editor of Blawg Review.   Zimmer takes a look at what

makes “blawg” such an interesting portmanteau or “blend

word,” with special emphasis on the morphophonological

aspects of the word.


shift key neg


For an interesting peek at another profession that is (literally)

focused on parsing words and making fine distinctions, law-

types could not do better than checking out Zimmer’s post 

bisecting the blog-law-blawg portmanteau.


For example, he explains that one type of blended word is

the sandwich variety, where part of one of the blended words 

is inserted into the other word (rather than attached to it). A 

famous example is Lewis Carroll’s “chortle,”  where  chortle =

ch(uck)le + (sn)ort. .  But, “blawg” is unique:

“The recipe for such sandwich words is pretty constant:

take a polysyllabic word and replace the primarily-stressed

syllable with a punchy monosyllabic word of your choice.

It’s clear, however, that blawg is a different beast, morpho-

phonologically speaking. Denise Howell took a monosyllabic

word (blog) and inserted another monosyllable (law), such

that the “bread” for the sandwich consists merely of one

initial consonant (b-) and one final consonant (-g). I know

of no other sandwich word so dominated by its filling.




What’s more, the two component words are maximally over-

lapping for some speakers and nearly so for others. . . . “

[Ed note: a discussion of whether “blawg” sounds like

“blog,” and if it matters, follows.]

After this brief exposure to linguistics, it seems to me that linguists

are science-minded persons, who like words more than numbers,

and are too nice to want to be lawyers.  Like lawyers, however,

they apparently do tend to take liberties when describing the pos-

itions of others.  Thus, where I said I was surprised, Benjamin says

I am “shocked.”  Where I merely gave a prominent example, he says

I am “troubled.” 


One thing for sure, I bet Benjamin and Mark would be quite annoyed,

if someone wanted to permanently call their weblog a “bling“, merely

because weblogs by linguists are so unique.


p.s. (Jan. 25, 10 AM): Just a quick apology to Benjamin Zimmer

for mistakenly calling him “Zimmerman” in the first version of this

post.  All the portmanteau talk led me astray: “when it comes

to morphophonology, Zimmer is the Man!”


update (Jan. 27, 2005):  Denise Howell, coiner of “blawg” and still

one of our very favorite persons in the entire blogiverse, has a piece

at Bag & Baggage about the recent discussion at Language Log,

by linguists Benjamin Zimmer and Mark Liberman on the use of

“blawg.” Denise suggests, in “I, Sandwich Dominatrix,” Jan. 25, 2006) 

without ever linking to f/k/a or mentioning us, that:


                                                              Tyler, the original “baggage”tyler swinger

“If you are among the folks — linguists excluded; it’s their

job — who might be spending a little too much thought and

energy on this borderline microbial issue, please consider

channeling your efforts toward something of more tangible

benefit to mankind.”

See our response by scrolling down to the update to our original post

on making the word “blawg” obsolete.”

“snowflakeS” Speak Brooks?  We sure do.  So, here are a

half dozen haiku and senryu from Randy Brooks:


big brother’s grin . . .

the last piece of the puzzle

out of his pocket





mourning dove

returns to the porch rail

      new snow fluffs off






the sap begins to flow

out of the evergreen




expect delays 




eyeing the spot

where our bumpers bumped–

snow in his thick eyebrows







cedar walking cane

hangs from the coat rack

dust on the handles curves





“schoolBrooks” Randy Brooks,

from School’s Out (Press Here, 1999)  


                                                                                                            trashman small

speak, Barry!

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:51 pm

We just found them last night and can’t wait to share a stash

of never-seen-here poems by Barry George — found at Dietmar

Tauchner’s Bregengemme website (where you’ll also find Guest

pages by Peggy Lyles and Ed Markowski, among others, as

well as haiku auf Deutsch).


after our quarrel

mousetraps grimly loaded

for the night  





in a vacant lot

firemen practice—

shooting at the sun




“Mouse Lawyer horiz”


dining out—

the comedian faces

away from the crowd  






boy watching

his parents talk…

sipping both straws




“dining out” – Paper Wasp (Spring 2004)

“after our quarrel” – Modern Haiku 23.3 (1997)

“in a vacant lot” – Frogpond 15.1 (2002)  

“boy watching” – Cicada 30 (1999); *Psychopoetica 46 (2000)



tiny check  Like Matt Homann, I want to welcome the new weblog by

David Maister,   In a post dated Jan. 23, 2006, David asks:

“Why do law firms find it so hard to understand that a feudal

warlord system forcing everyone to work harder is not the

height of mankind’s achievement in civilization? I have spent

twenty years trying to say all professions look similar and can

learn from each other, but I’m finally prepared to concede that

lawyers are different – and it has nothing to do with economics.”

Go to David’s website to find out what he thinks the problem is with

lawyers and law firms (and see the proposed solution, which includes

a “mutually committed force that can throw off the oppressor and craft

a more civil and economicallyfunctioning society”).  


fiddle bow 


Of course, we believe that lawyer greed is part of the problem and

greed seems to us to be economic, despite all of its psychological roots. 

I hope David Maister would agree with our sentiments from Jan. 2005,

“When it comes to fees, our legal profession is fiddling away

its scant goodwill, while its clients — and youngest members —

scream “fie” and are treated like foes.” . . .


“If young lawyers want to work saner schedules but don’t

want to sacrifice income or “prestige,” they need to stop

whining and realize that they are part of the problem.”

                                                                                                                                                              diner dude gray



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