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

June 1, 2005

surprise gifts

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:20 pm

Now that The Heron’s Nest is a quarterly, it is a big event around THNlogoG

the haikuEsq household whenever a new edition comes online.

So, we recommend that you head over for the gourmet haiku

buffet in the June 2005 THN — twelve pages of bite-size, fat-free

and nutricious poems.


Among many other of f/k/a‘s Honored Guests, DeVahr Dahl is

represented in the latest THN journal, with this reminder of

a season left behind:  



scotch mints —
the squeak of my walking stick
in packed snow





Here’s another pair of haiku from DeVar:




paper cut —
the origami bird
flaps its wings








long week

a firebug walks

the rim of a glass




scotch mints” – The Heron’s Nest (June 2005)

paper cut” – World Haiku Review (R. H. Blyth Award  2002)

“long week” – from A Piece of Egg Shell (Magpie Haiku Press, 2004)


  • by dagosan                                               


surprise gifts

on a June morning —

smiles for the tardy Santa

                          [June 1, 2005]




tiny check  Need a little diversion?  Head over to the LPOP Collection —  bike sketch

Law In Popular Culture — at the U. Texas Tarlton Law Library. 

You’ll find information and materials on how the profession is

portrayed in the our modern culture — novels, posters, movies, tv,

quotations, and much more.  N.B. Not Billable time.


counsellor or mercenary?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:50 pm

I often wish legal ethics experts would engage in a bit more lawyer bashing.

Today, Legal Ethics Forum‘s John Steele pointed out that “Students are

suing their way to become valedictorians, says this New Yorker article.”

Then, he went on to say:

Now, I can lawyer bash with the best of them, but isn’t this

another case where people were out of control before they

called for lawyers?


In response, I’d like to add these excerpts by Sol Linowitz to my WISTful

quotation –Wish I Said That — collection (Betrayed Profession, DCBA

Briefs, from June 1999):   

“Elihu Root . . . put the matter more simply: ‘About half the practice

of a decent lawyer,’ he once said, ‘consists in telling would-be clients

that they are damned fools and should stop.’


“Today there are too few lawyers who see it as part of their function

to tell clients (especially new clients) that they are damned fools and

should stop: Any such statement would interfere with the marketing

program. The public pays, because the rule of law is diminished. “


SolLinowitz Later in the same chapter, titled “Living the Law,” Linowitz


“The doctrine that professionalism means respect for the client’s

‘autonomy’ and commands doing whatever the client wants is,

after all, most convenient. Nobody ever lost a client by doing

exactly what the fellow wanted, but much lucrative legal work

has been sacrificed by lawyers who regretfully told prospective

clients that this was something they were not willing to do.”

Thanks again, Lawyer Linowitz.


update (June 6, 2005): Ted Frank has more on the Valedictorian

lawsuit craze, including links to prior coverage at Overlawyered.


afterthought (June 6, 2005):  It just occurred to me that there are  %key small

probably quite a few lawyers who would be salivating at the facts

surrounding the selection of the valedictorian the year I graduated

from high school.   The school selected the valedictorian based on

who has the highest grade average — out of 100%.  However, it used

the last report card prior to final exams.  The boy selected, named

Paul, was only 0.1% ahead of the #2 boy.   However, after finals,

Paul slipped down and was 0.1% behind the Real Number One. 

Nonetheless, Paul was deemed Valedictorian.  The real Number

One was skinny little Dave Giacalone.  He got to give the Saluta-

tory speech, however, and got some satisfaction just knowing he

had squeaked past Paul.  This was 1967, and I’m pretty sure that

most lawyers would have called Dave crazy, had he ever conceived

of a lawsuit.     



after speaking importantly
  she quickly resumes
  sucking her thumb


         Tom Clausen from Homework


going solo with lowell komie

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:02 pm

What a happy coincidence: The same day I bemoaned the lack of studies

on the financial realities of going solo, I randomly flipped to the short story

“Solo,” in The Legal Fiction of Lowell B. Komie (Swordfish-Chicago,

April, 2005).   The story begins:

HE HAD REFUSED to accede. So they fired him. 
     He had refused to accede to the firm policy of 2,000

annual billable hours. It was an absolute. He knew about

it but had defied it. He’d turned in only 1,750 hours again . . . .,

  KomieCover  WVU law professor Jim Elkins gives this thumbnail sketch of “Solo:” 

“A young lawyer, pushed out of a big firm, attempts a solo practice and makes

mistakes that come close to costing him his professional life, before he pulls

away from the brink of professional disaster.”

Having discovered Komie far too late in my life and career (like last week, thanks

Jim Elkins), I will have much more to say about this lawyer and author, whose “legal

fiction” should be acknowledged as among the best of contemporary American

literature.  For today’s purposes, I will note merely what Komie had to say, in an

interview with Elkins in 2001, after almost 50 years as a lawyer and two decades 

in solo practice:

 “If I had it to do over again, I would probably still choose the law as my

profession. . . .   My biggest satisfaction in being a lawyer is being my own

‘boss.’  I have freedom, as a sole practitioner, to pretty much come and go

as I please.  It took me many years to achieve this freedom and I survived s

everal “partnerships” where I was a slave to the “time sheet”7 and to the

senior partners in these associations. I should have gone off on my own

earlier, but I’ve been alone now for perhaps 20 years.”

Before the MyShingle gang starts quoting Komie, though, they might want to follow lawyer

through on his next sentence:  “If you want to know more about my life as a single

practitioner, I might refer you to the story “Burak” in The Lawyer’s Chambers.”

The narrator has this to say in Burak, 25 Legal Studies Forum 165 (2001):  \

“[A] solo practitioner is relatively free. But you’re never really free

from the pressures of money or the demands of clients; the freedom

really is a relative concept. If you’re worried about paying your office

rent, you’re hardly in the mood to debate the relativity of freedom.

Also, if you have become tyrannized by irrational clients, you’re not

on your way to becoming a Philosopher King.”


KomieCoverN  Are you one of the solos with lots of time to read Komie’s short

stories, but not enough money to buy your own copy?  Or, are you one who is

at work being her “own boss” about 15 hours a day?    May you instead be like

Lowell B. Komie: satisfied with life in the law, while finding and nurturing his Muse.



rainy day–
alone and diligent
planting rice




all alone
babbling idiocies…
drinking away the year







while I watch
he’s off to make a living alone…
baby sparrow


ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue

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