Does being a lawyer automatically earn one’s trust?

May 12, 2014
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Would you wear a T-shirt that says “Trust me, I’m a lawyer?”

Or perhaps, more importantly, should I trust you because you are a lawyer?

This T-shirt popped up as a promotion in our paper’s Twitter feed this morning.  As of 10 a.m., the website says 35 have been purchased.  The description of the shirt even says, “Are you a lawyer? Then people better trust you. Wear this shirt with pride!”

I see this T-shirt being worn for two reasons: by a lawyer who’s wearing it to be funny (ha ha, I’m a lawyer and my shirt says so!) or by a non-lawyer who’s also wearing it to be funny (ha ha, I’m not a lawyer, but people trust lawyers, so you should trust me when I tell you to …)

We – the general public – should trust lawyers because these men and women have dedicated time and resources to learning the law. They are a small group of people that we can turn to when we have a serious problem: divorce, an arrest, being sued by someone, etc. We expect them to know what they are doing. We TRUST them to know what they are doing. That’s why they get paid the big bucks, right?

But sometimes, just as in every profession (Hello, Jayson Blair), there are bad apples who cause us to second guess or bad mouth attorneys. There are attorneys who take advantage of their clients, only look out for themselves, and abuse their positions of trust. They become the inspiration for bad lawyer jokes.

But I know – and I hope the general public realizes – that these few bad apples aren’t representative of the legal profession. The majority of attorneys are out there working hard and earning the trust of their clients.

So wear this T-shirt with pride, lawyers. I trust you will.


 

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  1. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  2. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

  3. ACLU. Way to step up against the police state. I see a lot of things from the ACLU I don't like but this one is a gold star in its column.... instead of fighting it the authorities should apologize and back off.

  4. Duncan, It's called the RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION and in the old days people believed it did apply to contracts and employment. Then along came title vii.....that aside, I believe that I am free to work or not work for whomever I like regardless: I don't need a law to tell me I'm free. The day I really am compelled to ignore all the facts of social reality in my associations and I blithely go along with it, I'll be a slave of the state. That day is not today......... in the meantime this proposed bill would probably be violative of 18 usc sec 1981 that prohibits discrimination in contracts... a law violated regularly because who could ever really expect to enforce it along the millions of contracts made in the marketplace daily? Some of these so-called civil rights laws are unenforceable and unjust Utopian Social Engineering. Forcing people to love each other will never work.

  5. I am the father of a sweet little one-year-old named girl, who happens to have Down Syndrome. To anyone who reads this who may be considering the decision to terminate, please know that your child will absolutely light up your life as my daughter has the lives of everyone around her. There is no part of me that condones abortion of a child on the basis that he/she has or might have Down Syndrome. From an intellectual standpoint, however, I question the enforceability of this potential law. As it stands now, the bill reads in relevant part as follows: "A person may not intentionally perform or attempt to perform an abortion . . . if the person knows that the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion solely because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or a potential diagnosis of Down syndrome." It includes similarly worded provisions abortion on "any other disability" or based on sex selection. It goes so far as to make the medical provider at least potentially liable for wrongful death. First, how does a medical provider "know" that "the pregnant woman is seeking the abortion SOLELY" because of anything? What if the woman says she just doesn't want the baby - not because of the diagnosis - she just doesn't want him/her? Further, how can the doctor be liable for wrongful death, when a Child Wrongful Death claim belongs to the parents? Is there any circumstance in which the mother's comparative fault will not exceed the doctor's alleged comparative fault, thereby barring the claim? If the State wants to discourage women from aborting their children because of a Down Syndrome diagnosis, I'm all for that. Purporting to ban it with an unenforceable law, however, is not the way to effectuate this policy.

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