You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

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

November 16, 2005

is 45 too old to become a lawyer?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:45 pm

The Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana (India) has proposed “barring

entry of a person in the profession after the age of 45.”  (ExpressIndia.

com, Speakout “Age bar: Advocates divided over answer,” Nov. 17,

2005).Judging from some of the comments submitted to the Chandigarh

News-line, lawyers in that part of the world are far less worried about

appearing politically incorrect in print than we Americans. 

mountain village–
the old man doesn’t know
the dance


tiny check My very quick research, suggests that life

expectancy at birth in India is currently 64.4 years.  A

person living to age 45 would, naturally, have a life ex-

pectancy of more than 20 years — probably significantly

more.  (you can check out your life expectancy here)


the old dog
looks as if he’s listening…
earthworms sing


We’re told that the proposed rule “has fetched a mixed response from city

advocates. While the veterans feel that the new rule defies logic and

practicality, new entrants feel the rule will be fruitful for the new crop entering

the profession.”  Here are a few quotes:

Virinder Issar: I do not think that the proposed rule will do any  old&newYearSF

good to the profession. . . . An assimilation of experience and

expression is the most lethal combination one can possess in

this profession, which normally a youngster lacks, and which,

comes from passing a certain age.


N.S. Minhas: I feel its a welcome decision and should be imple-

mented. This would benefit the young generation that has entered

the profession lately. People generally have a myth regarding our

profession that older the advocate more the experience he has.

When a client walks in and sees a grey-haired advocate, he will

certainly opt for him, may be not knowing that he is as new to the

profession as is a young lawyer.


in leafy shade
an old one’s voice…
a frog!


Malkiat Singh: It takes more than five years to understand the

legal procedure and settle down in this stream.


Surinder: It’s a wise step taken by the Bar Council. This will cut

down the traffic of people entering the profession.


even the pine tree
I planted grows old!
autumn dusk


old&newYearS Dinesh Kumar: I wonder, at the age of 45, what will

these grey haired people do? Will they have time to devote to the

profession? I think they will be more busy with their geriatric problems.

It’s a good decision as it will motivate young lawyers to enter into the



Well, what do you think?  Are you, or do you know, any gray-haired law students

or recent grads?   Is this unjustified age discrimination?  Guild mentality?  It seems

darn unAmerican to Prof. Yabut et al.

afterthoughts (9 AM):  A question and a memory: (1) how do law schools

in America treat applicants who are in their forties or older? 


(2) When I first moved to Schenectady, NY, in 1988, I met lawyer Mary

Coffin. Mary didn’t go to law school until she was over 40 years old, after

having a career as a registered nurse and raising eight children.  The legal

profession of Schenectady and New York State would have been far poorer

if Mary had been refused entry to the bar because of her “old” age.  Decades

of service to children at Family Court, to a myriad of clients in her “Main Street”

lawyer practice of Antokol & Coffin, and to the Bar, by Lawyer Coffin, belie any

notion that she didn’t have enough time after graduation to serve the profession

and her society.




lightning flash–
in pampas grass ensconced
a fifty year-old’s face




all haiku by Kobayashi Issa 
       translated by David G. Lanoue  


                                                                                              exit f



the plot reserved for me

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 6:00 pm

Autumn cold; curtained window

of the fortuneteller

softly glowing









Rainfall pelts the roof–

smell of fresh pine chips

from the pinto’s empty stall









autumn evening —

yellow leaves cover

the plot reserved for me




“autumn cold” & “autumn evening” – Shadwell Hills (Birch Prees Press, 2002)           

 “Autumn evening” — A New Resonance 2Modern Haiku XXX:2 


Indian Summer —

a squirrel tips over 

the rock salt bag

[Nov. 16, 2005]




tiny check  We are again eschewing all A3G/UTR Talk, but Evan and Howard

both have it covered.



quarterback  Methinks Ted Frank is over-reaching with his suggestion that Ralph

Nader’s complaint over the Eagles cutting Terrell Owens is representative

of the state of consumer fraud jurisprudence.  Ted alleges that Nader is

“arguing that the Philadelphia Eagles’ decision to suspend star wide receiver

Terrell Owens . . . is consumer fraud because season-ticket holders had an

expectation that Owens would play for the team.”  In his

post, he continues:

“(But what about all those New York Times subscribers who

expected to read Judy Miller?) The suggestion rises to self-

parody, though it exhibits the absurdity of modern consumer

fraud law in that it isn’t crazier than suits that actually succeed.”


tiny check At Slate, Robert S. Boynton has a balanced article on whether junior

academics can afford to be opinionated webloggers.  “Attack of the

Career-Killer Blogs,” Nov. 16, 2005, via Bashman).   I believe too many

law professors pull their punches on weblogs on any topic that might

interfere with appointment to academic chairs, political plum positions,

or prized judicial seats.


                                                                                                                                 go out long quarterback flip


price-gouging: the ftc doesn’t convince me

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 3:30 pm

While I was in Washington in a hypo-blogging mode, the FTC told a

Senate committee that “Federal Price Gouging Laws Would ‘Unne-

cessarily Hurt Consumers’.” (FTC Press Release;,

FTC against price-gouging law,” Nov. 9, 2006)  To my surprise,

many of the weblogerati who had opined so loudly on this topic

in September and October were silent last week. (for example,

Steve Bainbridge, Dave Hoffman, Dale Oesterle, Max Sawickly,

and Mark Kleiman)


gas pump g


In her Statement to the Committee, Deborah Plattt Majoras cautioned,

“that a full understanding of pricing practices before and since Katrina

may not lead to a conclusion that a federal prohibition on ‘price gouging’

is appropriate. . . .  [P]rice gouging laws that have the effect of controlling

prices likely will do consumers more harm than good . . . While no con-

sumers like price increases, in fact, price increases lower demand and help

make the shortage shorter-lived than it otherwise would have been.”  Majoras

added that “Enforcement of the antitrust laws is the better way to protect


tiny check Noting that at least 28 states currently have statutes that address

short-term price spikes in the aftermath of a disaster, the FTC advised

that enforcement of any federal anti-“gouging” law  – “should be left up

to the states, based on their proximity to retail outlets and their ability

to react quickly to consumer complaints on the local level.”

I believe that I understand the economic arguments made by those against

price-gouging bans, but I’m not at all sure that they settle the issue.

1. Arguments about the effects of long-term price regulation

are simply not very helpful when talking about the immediate

reaction to a natural disaster and the short period of panic and

urgency that follows;


2. Defining it for the purposes of a statute or regulation may be dictionaryN
tricky, but the notion that “price-gouging can’t exist” is silly



3. The public and its representatives have every right to declare

a particular economic activity to be anti-social and unlawful in

the context of a state of emergency.  Such laws, backed with

effective enforcement and publicity, surely do help to reduce

a practice that often serves to increase panic and paranoia, 

and decrease morale in a time when public-spirited cooperation

is vital.


4.  MaxSpeaks answers those who say that attempts at price-

gouging cannot last for long in a competitive market.  We, of

course, do not require the successful exercise of market power

in other price-manipulation contexts (such as price-fixing

and boycott conspiracies).   The short-term, opportunistic

nature of many instances of price spiking in emergencies would

seem to suggest that the many virtues claimed for the practice

in theory are merely fig-leafs to cover a particularly anti-social

instance of greed.


fill gas


5. Like Dave Hoffman, “I dislike folks who intentionally profit on

others’ misfortune.”   Many of the neo-conservative opponents

of price-gouging bans are often, in other contexts, more than

willing to legislate morality.   It’s a cliche to ask “What would

Jesus Do?”, but I’m darn certain I know the answer.


half a tank —

Old Glory in tatters

above the gas pump



              (hat tip to elizabeth macfarland)


Irony? In researching this piece, I discovered another Bainbridge weblog

that has discussed price-gouging.  At Talk About Bainbridge Georgia 

I learned that a lot of folks were quite unhappy with the local gasoline

prices after Katrina — especially those of their hometown company,

Southwest Georgia Oil Co, which operates SunStops stations and

distributes its private brand of Inland gasoline. Southwest Georgia Oil

was accused of price-gouging by the Florida state consumer services

commissioner on October 27, 2005.  The Inland homepage states:

“Southwest Georgia Oil and Inland’s mission statement is,

‘Outrageous Customer Service,’ and our goal is to provide

outrageous customer service to employee customers and

external customers alike.”

Outrageous in deed. 


update (8 PM): Prof. David Hoffman‘s response to this post at

Concurring Opinions made me realize that I need to clarifiy

a point or two.  So, I left Dave this Comment:

Dave [Hoffman], I agree that there is no urgent need

for federal legislation — unless someone on that level

comes up with an especially workable definition that

can be uniformly applied across the nation.


As with most opponents, the crux of the FTC Statement

went to ALL price-gouging laws, so the remarks at my

weblog are aimed at the general opposition. As a former

FTC antitrust lawyer, I surely agree with Chairman Majoras

that we need continuing close scrutiny of the petroleum

industry, and effective antitrust enforcement, should price

or supply manipulations be discovered that unreasonably

restrain trade in any important product in the wake of natural

or manmade disasters.

                                                                                                                          gas pump n


Powered by WordPress