Thursday, March 14, 2002

Al's shallow expressions
Several times in the past, I have bitten my lip when reading columnist Al Mascitti's witty rhetoric in the Wilmington News Journal. Those are the times when he deviates from reason and insight to bash lawyers. Today is both different and the same.

Lawyer bashing for the sake of lawyer bashing does a disservice to our system of government, and to the people that we all are. Many, many attorneys work 15 hour days, year after year, in the hopes of making a the hopes of helping people. Most attorneys that I have ever met would much rather reach an agreement out of court than to proceed through the expense and time of a trial.

For the most part it is worse than a thankless job. It is normally thankless because clients frequently mentally link the attorney with the difficult situation that brought them to that attorney, thereby transferring the bad feelings of the event to the attorney.

It is Worse than thankless because despite our best efforts, we wake up to read the verbal slaughter of our reputation in the morning commentary.

And then reading further, I see that Al advocates discriminating against people in democratic elections because of their education or profession!?

"If we want to return to government that gets its work done without overburdening the court system, maybe we ought to be leery of electing so many lawyers."

Please, tell me it isn't so. The logic of Mascitti's column today is that since two legislators have decided to file lawsuits, we should not elect lawyers to public office. Or, if you prefer, that lawyers cause lawsuits. The vast majority of lawyers that I know try to avoid lawsuits, not cause them.

And when we cannot avoid them, we do our best to make sure that the case proceeds in as orderly and expeditious way as circumstances allow. His logic is better described as an exercise in the use of fallacies. An interesting analysis of these fallacies can be found on the internet.

Just like the irrational prejudices that Al swipes at with one key stroke, he emulates with another. In today's News Journal we see an example of a campaign of misinformation and prejudice. I shake my head and wonder what traumatic past events have so warped that commentator's perspective. Perhaps he comes from Philadelphia.

It is fine, as far as I am concerned, to criticize a particular attorney for that attorney's bad acts. We see this in the News Journal also. And, I have no quarrel with it.

But to make such wide and baseless dark comments as he continues to make would be like me saying that all newspaper columnists are hypocritical bigots. I wouldn't say that.

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