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Can anyone tell me why lawyers get such a bum rap?

When I decided to go to law school, from Wagnah Collidge, the Dean (Adolf Stern)was so pleased to write a letter, even though he'd never met me.

My parents were so pleased.

I imagine it was like this with so many other students and parents.

Where did we go wrong?

When did we go from potential saviors of society to the Devil hisself?

Could it be that we lawyas represent your worst nightmares? Your guilty consciences?

You do something wrong that makes you feel guilty, whaddya you do? You hope you don't get caught. You pray to the handiest saint, perhaps even to Jesus's mother herself, hoping to get out of your latest jam. And what happens. Someone reports you to the civil authorities. Next thing you know, the guys in blue suits with badges are at the front door and you are standing in front of some judge. He's a lawya, or usta be before he got on the public teat. You're being prosecuted by some lawya who's the age of your oldest kid. And he's proclaiming you Public Enemy (the latest) No. 1, because you turned out to have displayed your latest moral impurity. And/or (a lawyerism, excuse me) you get sued to boot, for more dough than you can raise.

Naturally you don't like lawyers.

Shakespeare said, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyas."

Among the original thirteen colonies, or maybe it was the states, lawyers were outlawed. For about two weeks.

How come?

Apparently we need people who can read. And speak. And reason. And hold one law up against another to see the differences, to see which one makes sense in light of the other, in light of fundamental values, and in light of current circumstances. Because other people are too busy doing other things. So they come to people with modest ability, usually, but who can think, usually, who bothered to study this.

The next time you wonder why a jury could award a lot of money to someone burned by hot coffee, you might want to think about this.

Was it the lawyer who invented the claim?

Or the injured client?

Did the lawyer hunt down the client, or did the client hunt down the lawyer?

Did the lawyer have control of the amount awarded, or did the jury?

After you hang the lawyer, would you hang the jury, the conscience of the community?

I recall buying my then five-year-old son a hot chocolate on a cold day, which he accidentally dumped into his lap. After I got him to the hospital, screaming in pain, and they cut his jeans away, which took away the scalded skin stuck to the cloth, I wanted to kill someone.


The high school kid behind the counter?

I don't think so.

I only wish I'd had the brains to sue the company that superheated a kid's drink.

It took twenty years for the time to be right apparently.

So, the next time you want to kill the lawyers, remember who produced us.

You did.

Because if God didn't create us, you'd have to invent us.


PS: Thanks, Bob C., I remember the Curtis, '59 football team beating New Dorp. Ours, Class of '58, didn't.

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