The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana (India) has proposed “barring
entry of a person in the profession after the age of 45.” (ExpressIndia.
2005).Judging from some of the comments submitted to the Chandigarh
News-line, lawyers in that part of the world are far less worried about
appearing politically incorrect in print than we Americans.
the old man doesn’t know
My very quick research, suggests that life
expectancy at birth in India is currently 64.4 years. A
person living to age 45 would, naturally, have a life ex-
pectancy of more than 20 years — probably significantly
more. (you can check out your life expectancy here)
the old dog
looks as if he’s listening…
We’re told that the proposed rule “has fetched a mixed response from city
advocates. While the veterans feel that the new rule defies logic and
practicality, new entrants feel the rule will be fruitful for the new crop entering
the profession.” Here are a few quotes:
Virinder Issar: I do not think that the proposed rule will do any
good to the profession. . . . An assimilation of experience and
expression is the most lethal combination one can possess in
this profession, which normally a youngster lacks, and which,
comes from passing a certain age.
N.S. Minhas: I feel its a welcome decision and should be imple-
mented. This would benefit the young generation that has entered
the profession lately. People generally have a myth regarding our
profession that older the advocate more the experience he has.
When a client walks in and sees a grey-haired advocate, he will
certainly opt for him, may be not knowing that he is as new to the
profession as is a young lawyer.
in leafy shade
an old one’s voice…
Malkiat Singh: It takes more than five years to understand the
legal procedure and settle down in this stream.
Surinder: It’s a wise step taken by the Bar Council. This will cut
down the traffic of people entering the profession.
even the pine tree
I planted grows old!
Dinesh Kumar: I wonder, at the age of 45, what will
these grey haired people do? Will they have time to devote to the
profession? I think they will be more busy with their geriatric problems.
It’s a good decision as it will motivate young lawyers to enter into the
Well, what do you think? Are you, or do you know, any gray-haired law students
or recent grads? Is this unjustified age discrimination? Guild mentality? It seems
darn unAmerican to Prof. Yabut et al.
afterthoughts (9 AM): A question and a memory: (1) how do law schools
in America treat applicants who are in their forties or older?
(2) When I first moved to Schenectady, NY, in 1988, I met lawyer Mary
Coffin. Mary didn’t go to law school until she was over 40 years old, after
having a career as a registered nurse and raising eight children. The legal
profession of Schenectady and New York State would have been far poorer
if Mary had been refused entry to the bar because of her “old” age. Decades
of service to children at Family Court, to a myriad of clients in her “Main Street”
lawyer practice of Antokol & Coffin, and to the Bar, by Lawyer Coffin, belie any
notion that she didn’t have enough time after graduation to serve the profession
and her society.
in pampas grass ensconced
a fifty year-old’s face
November 16, 2005
Autumn cold; curtained window
of the fortuneteller
Rainfall pelts the roof–
smell of fresh pine chips
from the pinto’s empty stall
Indian Summer –
a squirrel tips over
the rock salt bag
[Nov. 16, 2005]
both have it covered.
Methinks Ted Frank is over-reaching with his suggestion that Ralph
Nader’s complaint over the Eagles cutting Terrell Owens is representative
of the state of consumer fraud jurisprudence. Ted alleges that Nader is
“arguing that the Philadelphia Eagles’ decision to suspend star wide receiver
Terrell Owens . . . is consumer fraud because season-ticket holders had an
expectation that Owens would play for the team.” In his Overlawyered.com
post, he continues:
“(But what about all those New York Times subscribers who
expected to read Judy Miller?) The suggestion rises to self-
parody, though it exhibits the absurdity of modern consumer
fraud law in that it isn’t crazier than suits that actually succeed.”
At Slate, Robert S. Boynton has a balanced article on whether junior
academics can afford to be opinionated webloggers. “Attack of the
law professors pull their punches on weblogs on any topic that might
interfere with appointment to academic chairs, political plum positions,
or prized judicial seats.
go out long
While I was in Washington in a hypo-blogging mode, the FTC told a
Senate committee that “Federal Price Gouging Laws Would ‘Unne-
“FTC against price-gouging law,” Nov. 9, 2006) To my surprise,
many of the weblogerati who had opined so loudly on this topic
in September and October were silent last week. (for example,
and Mark Kleiman)
In her Statement to the Committee, Deborah Plattt Majoras cautioned,
“that a full understanding of pricing practices before and since Katrina
may not lead to a conclusion that a federal prohibition on ‘price gouging’
is appropriate. . . . [P]rice gouging laws that have the effect of controlling
prices likely will do consumers more harm than good . . . While no con-
sumers like price increases, in fact, price increases lower demand and help
make the shortage shorter-lived than it otherwise would have been.” Majoras
added that “Enforcement of the antitrust laws is the better way to protect
Noting that at least 28 states currently have statutes that address
short-term price spikes in the aftermath of a disaster, the FTC advised
that enforcement of any federal anti-“gouging” law – “should be left up
to the states, based on their proximity to retail outlets and their ability
to react quickly to consumer complaints on the local level.”
I believe that I understand the economic arguments made by those against
price-gouging bans, but I’m not at all sure that they settle the issue.
1. Arguments about the effects of long-term price regulation
are simply not very helpful when talking about the immediate
reaction to a natural disaster and the short period of panic and
urgency that follows;
2. Defining it for the purposes of a statute or regulation may be
3. The public and its representatives have every right to declare
a particular economic activity to be anti-social and unlawful in
the context of a state of emergency. Such laws, backed with
effective enforcement and publicity, surely do help to reduce
a practice that often serves to increase panic and paranoia,
and decrease morale in a time when public-spirited cooperation
4. MaxSpeaks answers those who say that attempts at price-
gouging cannot last for long in a competitive market. We, of
course, do not require the successful exercise of market power
in other price-manipulation contexts (such as price-fixing
and boycott conspiracies). The short-term, opportunistic
nature of many instances of price spiking in emergencies would
seem to suggest that the many virtues claimed for the practice
in theory are merely fig-leafs to cover a particularly anti-social
instance of greed.
5. Like Dave Hoffman, “I dislike folks who intentionally profit on
others’ misfortune.” Many of the neo-conservative opponents
of price-gouging bans are often, in other contexts, more than
willing to legislate morality. It’s a cliche to ask “What would
Jesus Do?”, but I’m darn certain I know the answer.
half a tank —
Old Glory in tatters
above the gas pump
(hat tip to elizabeth macfarland)
Irony? In researching this piece, I discovered another Bainbridge weblog
that has discussed price-gouging. At Talk About Bainbridge Georgia
I learned that a lot of folks were quite unhappy with the local gasoline
prices after Katrina — especially those of their hometown company,
distributes its private brand of Inland gasoline. Southwest Georgia Oil
was accused of price-gouging by the Florida state consumer services
“Southwest Georgia Oil and Inland’s mission statement is,
‘Outrageous Customer Service,’ and our goal is to provide
outrageous customer service to employee customers and
external customers alike.”
Outrageous in deed.
Concurring Opinions made me realize that I need to clarifiy
a point or two. So, I left Dave this Comment:
Dave [Hoffman], I agree that there is no urgent need
for federal legislation — unless someone on that level
comes up with an especially workable definition that
can be uniformly applied across the nation.
As with most opponents, the crux of the FTC Statement
went to ALL price-gouging laws, so the remarks at my
weblog are aimed at the general opposition. As a former
FTC antitrust lawyer, I surely agree with Chairman Majoras
that we need continuing close scrutiny of the petroleum
industry, and effective antitrust enforcement, should price
or supply manipulations be discovered that unreasonably
restrain trade in any important product in the wake of natural
or manmade disasters.