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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

February 18, 2005

with ice-floes jammin’ down the block

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:36 am


                                             last night’s snow down river     




snow now rain–

your picture

by mine





green light

from a green bottle

winter morning





by dagosan:  


pink clouds

in the crotch of the bare oak 

the street-walker stares


                                                 [Feb. 18, 2005]




“tinyredcheck”  If you’re interested in the fairness of our criminal justice system, you need to read the recently

posted “Gideon’s Broken Promise: America’s Contnuing Quest for Equal Justice” (ABA Standing Committee

on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, 2004) (pointer from Legaline).  I agree with each of its major Findings:


#1 Forty years after Gideon v. Wainwright, indigent defense in the United States remains

in a state of crisis, resulting in a system that lacks fundamental fairness and places poor

persons at constant risk of wrongful conviction.


#2  Funding for indigent defense services is shamefully inadequate. The lack of funding impacts

on virtually every aspect of indigent defense systems.


#3  In addition to providing constitutionally adequate representation, lawyers who defend the

indigent also are required to provide representation that is “competent,” as required by rules

of professional conduct. . . . Yet, defense lawyers for the indigent sometimes are unable to or

do not comply with this and other requirements, and as a nation we tolerate substandard

representation in indigent defense that is not acceptable practice on behalf of paying clients.

However, ethical violations routinely are ignored not only by the lawyers themselves, but also

by judges and disciplinary authorities.

I also agree that indigent defendants are far more likely to receive consistently competent representation

in a system with fulltime public defenders (with statewide monitoring and funding) than from situations

that rely heavily on assigned counsel. (see prior post)

  • what does it mean that one-third of Massachussetts legislators are

    lawyers, but Massachusetts Bar Advocates went 25 years without a pay raise?

“tinyquestionN”   Norm Pattis is looking for suggestions on how law school or CLE could better help lawyers to

deal with the irrational and unhealthy demands and desires of clients (and of law firms).  Stop over to Crime

& Federalism and give Norm a little counseling.  [I suggested that we can learn a lot from the training given

to social workers in jobs such as Child Protective Services, and who deal daily with highly agitated, angry people, and yet remain unflappable but caring.]


tiny check  Todd Zywicki at Volokh Conspiracy frets over George Mason Univ. being the “other, other George” among

the three D.C. Area colleges, pointing to ESPN coverage.  When I was a college student in the late ’60’s, going

to Georgetown, there was only one other George in town.  Of course, there is no confusing George Washington

and Georgetown with GMU in the great Ideology Games played out daily here in weblog world and Washington. 


tiny check  Bob Ambrogi points to two weblogs with what he calls “stunning design,” saying they show 

“how creative design can help strengthen the impact of a blog.”  I looked at Symtym and Patent Baristas, and I

don’t get it.   For me, large graphics in a masthead or sidebar add absolutely nothing positive to my opinion of

a weblog or the chance I will return to it.  And, dark backgrounds (especially with patterns) detract considerably

from the reading experience.  Lisa Stone wonders if you care:  pared-down or gussied up?

update (7 PM): Thanks to Tara’s pointer at ResearchBuzz, I updated my Google Toolbar

yesterday.  I’ve been playing with its new “WordTranslator: hover your cursor over a word

and the WordTranslator feature will display the word in French, Italian, German, Spanish,

Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, or Korean.”  However, my Windows XP Pro

has completely shut itself down three times, after running very slowly, without asking my

permission, today.  Has  anyone else had a similar problem?  Tara?

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