Monday, September 14, 2009

An appropriate farewell to Jim Thome

From Smells Like Mascot by Carl Skanberg. (Click to enlarge.)

I seldom have a rooting interest in the National League playoffs. But I'm looking forward to watching the Dodgers this October.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ABA announces "Legal Rebels" project

The ABA sent me an email last week announcing the rollout of its "Legal Rebels" project. If you follow the link, according to the email from Edward A. Adams, Editor and Publisher of the ABA Journal, you can read about "50 of the profession's leading innovators" -- seven to start with and at least three more added each week until Thanksgiving.

The magazine site explains that these rebels are "remaking their corners of the profession. These innovators are finding new ways to practice law, represent their clients, adjudicate cases and train the next generation of lawyers. Most are leveraging the power of the Internet to help them work better, faster, different."

I went to look at the site and I could tell right away that the individuals profiled were rebels indeed: In their photos, none of the male lawyers were wearing neckties.

Note to the ABA: Lawyers make lousy rebels. There's a reason why Benjamin Franklin became one of our most beloved Founding Fathers and his son William clung to the post of Royal Governor of New Jersey until he was clapped into irons: Ben had done so well in the printing business and, later, as a lobbyist that he was able to obtain a legal education for his son while they were living in London. Ben the scientist and non-lawyer could envision a society without a King; William the London-trained barrister could not.

Well, you say, Adams and Jefferson were lawyers and they were rebels, right? Yes... but... Adams and Jefferson were educated in the Colonies. Adams was a trial lawyer involved in some of the most famous cases of the age; Jefferson didn't practice much. But, either way, their 'rebellion' can be seen as a defense of the status quo against unprecedented British intrusion into Colonial prerogatives. There's a reason why the American Revolution has been called 'conservative.'

This is not to say that lawyers are, as a group, conservative. Lawyers may be found at every point along the spectrum of political opinion -- but it's not, for example, conservative lawyers who are trying to blow up the jury system.

You know, I don't always wear a necktie on days I don't have to go to court... and I use this Internet thing on a regular basis. Could it be that I too am a rebel and don't know it?

I didn't think so either.