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Home Page Official Publication of the State Bar of California November2002
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Letters to the Editor

Kudos for the 75th anniversary special

Your insert "Celebrating 75 Years" was a wonderfully informative and interesting addition to the October issue. The hard work that went into it certainly shows. I was particularly entertained to learn that the State Bar's very first member was a Waste (William Waste, 1868-1940). May our annual dues continue to keep his name fresh in our minds!

Robert J. Cleek

An incorrect ‘first'

Frank F. Chuman is incorrectly listed as the first Japanese-American admitted to the State Bar after World War II. That distinction belongs to my father, Kenji Ito, who was admitted in 1945. Mr. Ito was born in 1909 and in 1936 he graduated from the University of Washington Law School until the war broke out and he was interned with the other Japanese- Americans on the West Coast. Upon release from the Minidoka Relocation Center in Idaho, Mr. Ito established his practice in Los Angeles, assisting former Japanese internees in claims for property they had been forced to abandon upon the relocation.

Mr. Ito retired in 1999 and currently resides in Alhambra.

Ayleen Ito Lee
Palo Alto
Editor's Note: Ms. Lee is correct. Frank F. Chuman was admitted to the bar two years after her father.

What the string theory really means

Much as I have come to admire Diane Karpman's brobdingnagian grasp of the intricacies of State Bar rules and legal ethics, I was dismayed to read her take on modern physics' "string theory" in October. Far from being the physicist's "fantastic rationalization for theoretical failure," string theory is presently the most promising paradigm for explaining the mysteries of the universe; our best attempt to date to harness that great Holy Grail of physics, the Unified Field Theory (roughly the synthesis of quantum theory with the general theory of relativity) that has eluded the best minds of science including, most famously, Albert Einstein's.

To describe string theory as "nine universes connected by a string" is akin to saying Crime and Punishment is a book about a man who kills an old lady. While there may be nine dimensions — or maybe more — in the string theory model, I can assure Ms. Karpman that at least four of them, height, width, breadth and time, exist perfectly understandably and harmoniously in this modest little universe that we share together with rocks, rutabagas and Republicans.

Presumably, the other five dimensions rest comfortably here as well, but only perceptible through the lens of mathematical theory only slightly less dense than the law of legal ethics.

David A. Grey
Beverly Hills

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