|Were the good old days really all that better?
I the only one suspicious of older lawyers who bemoan in editorials what they describe as
the "erosion of professionalism?" Are you one of the old guard who pine for the
dissension-free days of a predominantly white male bar?
If so, cuddle up with Schware v. Board of Bar Examiners, 60 N.Mex. 304, 291 P.2d 607
(1955), for a trip down memory lane. Or perhaps you'd rather reminisce about the halcyon
days when established attorneys conservatively concentrated power in their own hands,
stifled competition, and kept fees artificially inflated by unconstitutionally restraining
the speech of new lawyers seeking work by - gasp - advertising?
Today is imperfect, but the golden era probably never existed. Query also whether the
elders' grievances are the result, at least in part, of their feeling threatened by newer
lawyers who are more - take your pick - (i) competitive; (ii) efficient; (iii) diligent;
(iv) risk-taking - or perhaps less homogeneous - or maybe simply not male.
Established citizens in the U.S. throughout history have looked with disdain at the
next wave of unwashed, uncouth immigrants. Is their disdain qualitatively different from
Dr. Phillip C. Stone's editorial in January? Have I irritated my elders by talking back?
Am I therefore part of the problem Dr. Stone describes?
No apologies, please
I just read the first two paragraphs of the February opinion column from State Bar
President Ray Marshall, and that is as far as I could go. He seems to be apologizing for
the board of governors because they cannot give refunds for, or otherwise give credit for,
voluntary dues payments made last year, from the special assessment for the discipline
activities allowed by the Supreme Court.
Am I missing something? Did he and the board want to use discipline money for refunds?
If that is the case, then obviously the special assessment for discipline activities is
too high because the money must not be needed for discipline activities.
Here we go again. Our bar is a joke.
Curtis C. Welke
A business or a profession
I read George Kraw's column in the February issue, and all I can say is, right on!
It's long past time for the legal consumer's interest to be put ahead of the attorney's
if we would purport to be performing a public service. If we're not, we're just a business
like any other and it's time to pass the regulatory reins over to the Depart-ment of
Consumer Affairs and stop this pretense of being above everyone else.
An onerous nuisance
Todd M. Mareno's letter in March is right on the ball.
It has always been my belief that a lawyer should, on his or her own, keep current with
respect to matters relative to his or her practice. Being compelled to attend MCLE, which
may perhaps be acronymized as "mandatory continuing lawyer exploitation," is an
onerous and expensive nuisance.
If MCLE is eliminated, it will be interesting to see how many of the bar-created
businesses which produce and market the continuing education programs continue to
flourish. I detect that very few of us will continue to purchase their wares.
William H. Hoogs