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Posts Tagged ‘lawyers’

Old gavel and court minutes displayed at the M...

Several times, I have heard the claim: “they haven’t sued me, therefore it’s true.”

Beyond the obvious reason that the claim is a fallacy in that anyone can make that claim, here are other reasons why it’s a fallacy:

1. Suing someone draws a lot of unwanted attention to the detractors. The case of Barack Obama spending $2+ million dollars (according to Phil Berg) defending against lawsuits simply asking he produce his long-form birth certificate to prove his constitutional qualifications for the office of President would have given them the credibility he spent so long ignoring them.

2. Civil suits usually cost a lot of money. See Barack Obama’s case above, and the defamation lawsuit by a lawyer against former Canadian Alliance party leader, Stockwell Day, that totalled $792,000 in costs, of which $60,000 was for actual damages, with the rest going to the lawyers and court costs.

3. They have to prove their case on a balance of probabilities. It’s a lot easier to ignore the allegations, engage in character assassination against those making them, or ascribe sinister motives to them.

4. They have to give their own deposition, potentially revealing damaging information that can be used against them.

5. There’s the chance they could lose, thereby giving credibility to the claims in the mind of the public, whether warranted or not.

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Once, in a law class I was attending, the instructor, a lawyer, asked the class what groups had a disproportionate influence on the law.

Predictable responses include: men, Anglo-Europeans, the wealthy, and those with a higher than average number of years of formal education.

Growing bored, I put up my hand and said, “Lawyers,” at which point, the instructor took obvious personal exception with my answer, and asked me to give an example.

I gave the example of the disproportionate number of lawyers who are elected representatives, and, therefore, responsible for drafting, debating, voting on, and oversight of, legislation.

He then proceeded to ask the class what were the reasons for that. Something he curiously found no need to do with all other responses given.

Someone responded by saying that, naturally, lawyers have a disproportionate influence on the law, since they’re “experts” in it.

However, the law holds a special place in our society. Governments exercise their just powers by the consent of the governed, and have a monopoly on the lawful use of organized violence.

Computer programmers also have a disproportionate influence on today’s society, given the increasing importance of technology in all aspects of our lives. However, they aren’t members of a self-regulated profession with special privileges, as lawyers are.

For example, only lawyers can argue in front of the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land, the court of last resort.

Given the increasing importance of the law in all aspects of our lives, with the ever-growing reach of government, I believe the disproportionate influence of lawyers on the law deserves increased scrutiny.

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