Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Lawyer Can Be A Real Jerk

        It bugs me that lawyers think  they know everything.


        Church choir, softball team, condominium board, trivia competition, swim meet.


        If there's a lawyer in the group, he will likely try to make his presence known because, well, he thinks he knows a better way.


        For this reason, you find lawyers running things where you wouldn't expect to see a barrister.


        Maybe it has to do with law school training.


        Law schools use something called the "Socratic Method".


        That's an elegant way of identifying a brutal educational technique.


        The law student stands before her peers in a  huge tension-filled lecture hall and answers the questions of the professor.


        If she fails, she is humiliated.


        Lots of students quit in year one.


        If you can't stand the heat,  ditch out of the kitchen before the second year.


        The result is that lawyers, having survived the academic equivalent of Paris Island, are often cocky know-it-alls.


        So they try their hand at anything.


        Take Tony LaRussa, Florida State University College of Law graduate.


        Loaded with self-confidence.


        Enough to help him manage the St. Louis Cardinals to several World Series crowns.


        Carmen Policy: this lawyer thought he knew everything about professional football.


        Browns fans found out that Policy's swagger couldn't  be converted to success on the field.


        And then there are the politician lawyers.


 Congress is loaded with 'em.


        Of course the slimiest of overconfident attorneys in politics was John Edwards.


        Nixon comes to mind  as well. 


        That's part of the reason Jimmy Carter got elected.


        Americans saw in Carter a chance to elect a normal person: a non-lawyer.


        Sometimes that I-can-do-anything attitude of attorneys does have its benefits.


        Atticus Finch called upon his confidence to help him defend the unpopular case of Tom Robinson.


To Kill A Mockingbird is fiction to be sure, but it shows that it takes guts to stand up for the oppressed.


        Abraham Lincoln was a fearless lawyer.


        In the midst of America's greatest crisis, that attitude served him well.


        So it was with great fascination that I read a recent News-Herald article about a man dispatched by the government to hunt down missing moon rocks.


It seems that lunar souvenirs have been disappearing for years, showing up on the black market to be sold at huge prices.


        How much would you pay for few pebbles retrieved by Neil Armstrong?


        The going rate is about $20,000 per  pebble.


        So who is the cosmic dust detective?


Some guy named Joe Gutheinz.


        Gutheinz is skulking around taverns in Texas these days, hot on the trail of NASA's most treasured missing children.


Of course Gutheinz has no training in aerospace technology or geology.


        He's a lawyer.


He thinks he can do anything.


        I guess we need people like that on occasion.


But they are a pain in the keister sometimes.


Do me a favor.


If you encounter a smart mouth lawyer, tell him to shut up.


The world will be a better place.


Unless of course his name is Atticus.

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