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View Diary: SCOTUS: Actually, We've Already Won (350 comments)

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  •  I really don't understand this line of thinking (4.00)
    How would it be unprofessional or unproductive to refuse to represent a client who was despoiling the environment?

    "If cows and horses had hands, they would depict their gods as cows and horses." Xenophanes

    by upstate NY on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 07:58:14 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Because (4.00)
      we are dealing with attorneys' special definitions of "unprofessional" and "unproductive."

      Keep thinking like a regular citizen: if someone helps a corporation that literally destroys mountains, that person is bad.  Don't be dissuaded from this common sense.  But be careful--there are a bevy of lawyers posting here who will try to convince you otherwise.

      The news is not the news. I support ePluribus Media.

      by ubikkibu on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:19:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's my dilemma here. (none)
        I know for a fact there are lawyers on our side who post here regularly - a lot of them. I know they worked hard to get the education, background, jobs, and private practices that they have. I know they probably have a much greater understanding of the law than I ever will. I also know they have bills and families that their work helps to support - and the paycheck has to come from somewhere.

        As with most cases, it comes down to individual choice. If they feel they can handle the work without letting their personal objections to a case get in the way, it only demonstrates their professionalism. You don't necessarily have to like a client to argue their case.

        Joe Lieberman and Lincoln Chafee are ON NOTICE - John Orman and Sheldon Whitehouse for Senate 2006!

        by Scoopster on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:39:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Devil's (none)
          Advocate here.

          How do you feel about criminal defense attorneys who represent violent criminals and do their best to get them off even when it is likely that their client is guilty?

          I saw a lot of defense of the great things Johnny Cochran did outside of the OJ trial on this site but that doesn't change the fact that he successfully defended a murderer that everyone knew was guilty...

          Or how about the  antithesis of corporate attorneys?  You know the ones who advertise with billboards "Hurt on the Job?  Ever take this now-pulled-from-the-shelves) drug?  Dying of lung cancer (even though you willingly smoked your whole life)?  Big $$$ can be yours!

          In my experience here at Kos I have seen quite a bit of an anti-corporation bent that sometimes I think it muddies the waters unfairly.

          •  We ought to hang 'em up! (none)
            Actually, I'm still not convinced OJ was guilty.

            But otherwise I think you make a good point.

            Everybody deserves proper legal counsel, even Saddam Hussein or Eichmann.

          •  Apples and Oranges (none)
            I don't think it's a good analogy to compare criminal defense attorneys, to corporate or tort law attorneys.  The reason is this:

            Criminal defense attorneys are not really serving their clients--not in the traditional sense of the word.  They are, first and foremost, officers of the court, serving the Constitution.  They are there as a check on the government.  They are there to keep the constitutional machine well-oiled and functioning.  They're a cog in a larger machine.  The ethics of defending the constitution are clear-cut.  That it benefits the client is really a side-effect.

            Tort lawyers would claim they were having a similar function, protecting the consumer from corporations--and maybe they are.  But it's a different kind of calling when the dispute is between two private entitities. . . and the government and its citizens.

      •  Yes! A bit of common sense . . . (none)
        seems to be a bad thing around what often passes for lawyerin' in our day.

        I'm increasingly astonished at how the profession of law appears to be quite content with disassociating itself from the actual effects of its actions, and that you're automatically painted as some kind of anarchist radical for pointing this out.

        Sure, plenty of lawyers do good things, and plenty of them have designed a practice around important, progressive work. But if you lawyers think---in any way shape or form---that you somehow get pass when you participate in the mechanics of big over little, rich over poor, safe over the afflicted, forget it. Not from me, and not from most people I know.

        There's as many "bad lawyer" jokes as there are for a pretty damn good reason . . .

      •  Having worked in several law firms... (none)
        not being able to choose your clients is really only applicable to a new attorney.  One who has been with a firm a long time, who is respected and on the "partner track" can indeed refuse to work with a client he or she does not want to work with.  The best indicator of his political leanings is the timeline of his decisions.  The most recent ones, when he was at the most powerful point in his career as an attorney, are pretty indicative.

        "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." Frank Zappa

        by cclough on Wed Jul 20, 2005 at 08:48:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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