October 1, 2002 Letters

first_imgOctober 1, 2002 Letters Lawyers Who Rock As a litigator/rock musician myself, I read with great interest the “Lawyers Who Rock” article in the September 15 News. For the past 12 years, the all-attorney band “The Learned Hands” has rocked Central Florida. As recently as August, the quintet of Steve Ball (Holland & Knight, LLP/guitar), Dave Cannella (Carlton Fields, P.A./guitar), Dave Jones (Holland & Knight, LLP/vocals), Richard Wright (The Wright Firm, P.A./bass) and Richard Whitaker (Motes & Carr, P.A./drums) played before 500 people at the Seventh Annual 1970s Party Fundraiser to Benefit the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. The fall promises to be a busy time for us as well.In the last 12 years, we have played at numerous events that have raised tens of thousands of dollars for causes such as spinal cord injury research, cancer research/treatment, and for the Orange County Bar Foundation. In addition to these events, we also play out regularly at clubs in Winter Park and Orlando. I wholeheartedly agree with the lawyer/musicians profiled in the article. Music is a great release from the daily grind of the practice and our clients love seeing us play in our musical roles (it’s more fun than seeing us in a deposition!). Plus, the music has given us another vehicle to give back to the Central Florida community. Fortunately, our real partners (respective wives and significant others) understand and don’t object to our once-a-week practices.I enjoyed the article. Long live lawyers who rock!Dave Cannella Orlando Dignity in Law Forgive me for lumping all of my brethren into this criticism, for I know there still remain many upstanding lawyers in the community. In fact, I commend newly installed President Tod Aronovitz for his efforts at restoring and upholding dignity. However, far too many of my opposing counsel fulfill the stereotype that has served as the butt of countless jokes and fueled the public’s maligning of the profession. Thus, it seemed quite appropriate, although ironically, that the cover of this year’s new Bar Journal Directory portrays the words “Dignity in Law” scratched in the sand amid the rolling tide. the end of the day, all dignity is washed away.Christopher L. Esco MiamiAt the risk of being politically incorrect, I would like to know why the Bar has to seek money from its members to launch a campaign to make the public love us? We already are asked to keep a record of how many hours of services we give away so that the public will know that we are caring individuals. Similarly, we feel obliged at the local level to teach lay persons how to obtain their own divorces so they will not need our services. Now the Bar News tells us that a Bar committee is preparing a manual to teach lay persons how to handle their own appeals, and we are told that this will not result in a reduction of work for attorneys. Bologna!I would suggest that those persons interested in doing their own legal work will never love us and will always feel we are earning way too much, and those who are willing to hire us and pay us to do a good job for them will be forever grateful for our presence. Let’s stop giving away our services. Let’s stop campaigning to have people love us, and instead let’s get out the word that we spent years being educated, that we are continually upgrading our education, that we are the experts, and that we do a good job. The people who want our good work for nothing will never appreciate us anyway!Paul E. Blade Deerfield Beach Words to Live By Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. Assume arguendo that “Church/State” properly proscribes hanging the Ten Commandments in our schools. Is there then nothing we can do in the realm of morality in that setting?I proposed hanging the six commandments. You may recognize them:1. Have respect for your elders.2. Don’t maim, murder, or torture.3. Don’t sleep around.4. Don’t take someone else’s stuff.5. Don’t lie to get someone else in trouble.6. Don’t be overcome with greed.Note the following: (a) The word “God” is nowhere mentioned, (b) No one could seriously charge plagiarism so God does not even have to be “acknowledged” as the source. (c) Anyone could come up with these or similar maxims, regardless of religious heritage. In short, these rules cannot reasonably be objected to as religious interference in public life.Will this plan be palliative to the ACLU? I hope so, because all kids I know need some type of guidance, as all of us parents can verify. If the ACLU won’t allow assistance from God, how about some from just good old morality? Can the fact that God said it first disqualify it?Thomas F. Harkins, Jr. Ft. Worth, Texas Justice for All Regardless of what one state attorney asserts is the impeccable adherence to the law by state attorneys in seeking acquiescence of criminal defendants to plea bargains, the fact remains that the advantages are so overwhelming on the side of the state, that a majority of the people on death row in Illinois were proved to be innocent when the crimes were thoroughly investigated by college students.To help even the scales of justice, it would seem to be only fair that when a defendant rejects a plea bargain, and goes to trial for the crime alleged, the defendant should be allowed to introduce the plea that was offered, and the rejection of it when the defendant chooses to go to trial rather than to accept the plea offered by the state.Recently I have learned of a case where a woman was charged with first-degree murder, and, after rejecting one offered plea after another, for two years, while she was kept in jail without the right to be bonded out, she was told that if she did not accept a plea where she pleaded no contest to a charge of attempted armed robbery, she would be tried for first-degree murder and was told that the state attorney was so persuasive that the chances were very good that she would be convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death, so she accepted the totally inappropriate plea of guilty of attempted armed robbery and was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.Case cleared for the sheriff and the state attorney, but total injustice for the accused.Is that what “with liberty and justice for all” in the pledge of allegiance means? Should that accused not have been permitted to let the jury know what the state attorney was willing to plea bargain for and the defendant rejected?David B. Higginbottom Frostproof October 1, 2002 Regular Newslast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *