West Virginia law professor Jim Elkins has done it
again — produced a mammoth collection of poetry by
lawyer-poets and poet-lawyers, in an edition of The
LSF XXX Cover (2006)
contains more than 700 pages, 500 of which present
poetry from more than sixty living poets, who happen to
have earned law degrees: from New Hampshire public
defender Seth Abramson to Illinois appellate judge Warren
Wolfson. Click here for an image of the cover that lists all
of the contributors.
I’ll have more to say about the legal mind and poetry
soon. Until then, you might want to see what Jim
Elkins has said about the topic and about his labor
of obsessive love, Rattle #23 “In Search of the Lawyer
Poets,” 2005. A newer version of the Rattle essay
appears in LSF XXX.
Hint: Find subscription information
for the Legal Studies Forum here. Don’t
forget: it looks like a law review journal
on your desk or book shelf.
For my taste, of course, there are not enough haiku
poets represented, so I hope f/k/a visitors who are in the
legal profession will take up their pens and start writing
haiku or senryu (click for tips). Meanwhile, here are haiku
from LSF XXX, by two of my favorite poet-lawyers:
the long pull
of faraway children
. . . the deeper quiet
of uncut roses
my daughter’s hands
mend the link
on my earring
the latest skill
I never taught her
“harvest moon” – The Heron’s Nest
“quiet rain” – Paperclips (Press Here 2001)
“my daughter’s hands” – Tanka Anthology (2005)
falling blossoms –
just another tree
frozen river –
the elm’s reflection
“zenJudaismR” “For this you went to Harvard Law School?”
“Let go of pride, ego and opinions. Admit your errors
and forgive those of others. Relinquishment will lead
to calm and healing in your relationships. If that
doesn’t work, try small-claims court.”
When we featured a few of Bader’s Haikus for Jews
at Passover last year (see “haiku schmaiku“), we had
no idea that he was a graduate of Harvard Law School.
Finding him just a couple pages from dagosan‘s work in
LSF XXX was a pleasant surprise.
According to an article, from 2000, in the Harvard Law
Bulletin , Bader disliked the “boredom and adrenaline”
at his two post-degree law firm jobs. “He has heard vari-
ations on the theme of: ‘For this you went to Harvard Law
School?’ . . . Writing humor books was not what he ex-
pected to do when he enrolled at HLS. But he also didn’t
expect that he would not like his job practicing law. So
he plans to continue writing professionally. Because even
though ‘you can make a bad living out of it,’ he said, ‘the
hours are much better’.”
If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?
March 8, 2006
state results; click for compared rankings)
You can go directly to the Report Card for any particular state by replacing
the “XX” in the following URL with the state’s two-letter abbreviation:
In its Introduction, HALT explains that the group “produced the 2006 Lawyer
Discipline Report Card to assess whether states have taken any meaningful
action to improve the lawyer discipline system since our last Report Card in
“Unfortunately, few states showed any improvement, and many states’
systems actually saw their grades decline!
“Consumers today are still not adequately protected by state systems
that investigate only a fraction of cases, almost never impose sanctions,
attempt to intimidate and silence victims, hide misconduct behind a veil
of secrecy, and often take years to process cases,” stated HALT Associ-
ate Counsel Suzanne Blonder. “After years of ignored calls for reform by
our organization, the American Bar Association and ethics scholars around
the country, the situation is not getting any better.”
Summarizing “What’s New Since 2002,” the report notes that there has been little
overall improvement. Three noteworthy exceptions, however, did shake up the grades.
Pennsylvania‘s disciplinary body, which HALT rated as worst in the nation four years
ago, ascended to fifth in the nation in 2006, and was deemed Most Improved. “While
the system is far from perfect, Pennsylvania’s dedication to reform should be a model
to the rest of the nation,” stated HALT Associate Counsel Suzanne M. Blonder.
also changed significantly, but they both fell dramatically in
Another important improvement is the increased use and functionality of grievance
“While disciplinary bodies are not publicized in court-houses and local media
as much as they were four years ago, their online resources have dramatically
improved since 2002. Today, most disciplinary Web sites offer downloadable
complaint forms, information about upcoming hearings and clear explanations
about the disciplinary process – features that most states lacked four years ago.”
Connecticut ranked #1 and won as the Best Disciplinary Agency in the Nation Overall.
“Although Connecticut does not shine in any one category, the state, as a whole, offers
the most effective system of attorney discipline in the nation. The Statewide Bar Counsel’s
office is investigating more complaints and disciplining more attorneys than most states,
offering more complete information about its disciplinary process than the average jurisdiction,
and processing complaints faster than the vast majority of disciplinary bodies.”
Utah had the lowest ranking, coming in 51st with the only F (after a showing
of 19th in 2002). Next-to-last was North Carolina, with the only D.
Here are some other rankings:
Rounding out the Top Ten:
#2 Colorado: “Colorado’s ranking jumped from 13th to 2nd in the nation. The
Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel now processes complaints more promptly
and the system more widely publicizes case outcomes than it did four years ago.”
the top 10 received C+)
public participation; its worse [F] was for promptness.
Florida – 14th
Massachusetts fell from 1st to 17th. “Four years ago, HALT ranked Massa-
chusetts’ attorney discipline system as best in the nation. Since then, Massa-
chusetts’ system has stopped widely publicizing its system and has been
hamstrung by shameful delays in processing cases.”
The worst discipline systems:
From 40th to 44th: Oklahoma, Delaware, Iowa, Alaska, South Carolina,
California At 45th, California’s ranking dropped dramatically — from 12th
in the nation four years ago. “The state’s 2002 grade of C also fell, primarily
because California now only investigates a third of the complaints received.
In addition, the Bar’s automated telephone system has become more confusing,
preventing consumers from obtaining prompt answers to specific questions from
a staff member.”
From 46th through 48th: Arkansas, Alabama, Hawaii
#49: Montana “Montana’s disciplinary system has changed less than any disci-
plinary body in the country, holding firm at an abysmal 49th in the nation overall.
The state’s system continues to withhold information and still threatens complain-
ants with criminal contempt charges if they choose to publicly disclose any infor-
mation about a disciplinary matter.”
North Carolina – got the only D in garnering its 50th spot. “North Carolina’s Grievance
Committee holds steady as the country’s second-worst attorney discipline system.
The state continues to withhold critical data about its handling of complaints against
lawyers and still fails to make its discipline system known to the public.”
Utah – got the only F, and is ranked the lowest, 51st place. “In four
years, Utah’s standing plummeted from 19th in the country to worst
attorney discipline body nationwide. The disciplinary system no longer
releases as much information to the public, utilizes procedures that
are biased in favor of lawyers, fails to mete out sufficient discipline and
lags behind most states in processing complaints”.
HALT graded lawyer discipline systems in six categories: Adequacy of Discipline,
Publicity and Responsiveness, Openness, Fairness, Public Participation, and
Promptness. Click here for brief summaries of the results in each category.
HALT Executive Director James Turner had this wrap-up of the Lawyer Discipline
situation in 2006:
“American legal consumers deserve a system that investigates promptly,
deliberates openly, and weeds out unethical or incompetent attorneys,”
stated Turner. “Until there is meaningful reform, the legal profession has
only itself to blame for the widespread public mistrust that mars every
p.s. The f/k/a Gang has written plenty about our inadequate system of lawyer
discipline. See, e.g., Sustained Objection, David Giacalone, Sunday Gazette
(Schenectady, NY), June 22, 2003; and this page of the ethicalEsq archives.
afterthought (March 10, 2006): There’s a thoughtful post at Ben Cowgill on
Legal Ethics titled “Turnover Contunues at Office of Bar Counsel,” March
9, 2006), on the obligation of mandatory bar associations (and, we add, all
bar counsel) to give attorney discipline top priority — which includes budgets
adequate to hire and keep excellent staff counsel.
the test still incomplete
from School’s Out (1999)
For the reasons given here (scroll down to Link Love?), I have never
had a “blogroll.” Nevertheless, tonight I did place a link in the f/k/a
Sidebar to the myHq law weblog page, which originated with the un-
identified Editor of Blawg Review, and is being maintained by said Ed.
and BR‘s associate editor-elves.
Nice List: The myHq aggregation of law-oriented weblogs is
comprehensive, presented in alphabeticized columns, on one
page, and divided into useful categories: e.g., Lawyers, Law
Students, Law Professors, Judges, Law Libarians, Humor,
and more. I plan to use it to quickly find weblogs I don’t
have bookmarked on my computer, and to browse for sites
that may offer needed information or diversion, as appropriate.
The myHq compilation will be even more useful, if the list of web-
logs is broken into subject-matter categories. Any such list
should, I think, be separate from the current list (perhaps further
down the page), so the current, broader designations can be kept.
If you have a weblog, and your status
changes from student to lawyer, or professor to
public intellectual and rock star, you should do
everyone a favor and let Ed and the guys know.
first tree buds
the list of baby names
tiny words (March 10, 2004)
Naughty: I do want to clear up one thing, however. Editor “Ed” “devil G”
is better at some things (e.g., picking award winners) than others (i.e.,
characterizing my positions). In the post announcing the myHq page,
Ed correctly referred to me as their “favorite curmudgeon,” but he
incorrectly states that
“David Giacalone thinks lawyers, law professors, and
law students have better things to do with their time than
everyone creating and maintaining similar blogrolls on their
law blogs.” (emphasis added; but see update below)
As editor of f/k/a. and in real life, I do have a lot of opinions. How-
ever, I do not take it upon myself to tell other adults how they
should spend their time (at least, not outside a small circle of
supervisees, family, and friends). That is especially true after my
being mightily annoyed, when others told me a couple months ago
not to waste my time fighting the use and spread of the word “blawg.”
even the nightingale
After describing Sean Sirrine’s campaign to increase blogrolls, in
my post “too much to read, to much to write,” I stated my opinion,
starting with the words: “Sorry, it’s not for me” and gave my
reasons. It is not my intention to tell anyone how to spend their
time and energies.
update (March 8, 2006): Mr. “Ed.” has graciously made corrections
to the original post at Blawg Review announcing his myHq project:
. . . our favorite curmudgeon David Giacalone thinks
law professors, and law students havehe has better things
to do with
theirhis time than everyonecreating and main-
similarblogrolls on their law blogs.
the samurai is ordered
to shoo the flies…
translated by David G. Lanoue
Ed should add the brand-new tonight, totally-
redesigned Kansas Family & Divorce Lawyer Weblog
to the myHq family. It’s published by Grant Griffiths
of Home Office Lawyer. As I had my family law and
divorce mediation practice located in my home for
several years in the early 90’s, I particularly hope
Grant’s projects are successful.