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

March 24, 2006

post-pourri . . .

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 5:39 pm

. in which we try to keep our punditry as pithy as our poetry.                                                                                          

tiny check So, what happened in Smith v. Peterson?  Was son Sheldon able

to save the elderly Marvin and Goldie Smith from the abusive early-

bather upstairs?  As we reported on Feb. 28, the initial hearing before

Denver District Court Judge Ronald Mullins was set for March 22nd. 

I’ve been checking Google News, the Denver Post, Suz at Large, 

and Overlawyered, but haven’t learned a thing.   Could sanity have

prevailed and the case settled?  Do you know? 



update (April 26, 2006) see our water-torture bathtub suit still afloat 



tiny check  He usually gives advice (whether asked or not), but this week

Prof. Steve Bainbridge has been seeking advice.  Steve , who has

been trying out new mastheads had a poll seeking input on two new

designs, plus his original classic version.   His favorite — a swatch

of a waving USA flag — was not well received, and the classic version

was edged out by a slightly by an image of stock certificates.(yawn) 

Steve is going to experiment.  I really like the color-scheme, tagline

[“Law, Business, Economics, and Culture” — what’s left?] and image

on his newest attempt — which looks like Bacchus, the god of wine. 

Of course, it could be Steve tending his vineyards.   Let Prof. B know

what you think?



tiny check You may recall that, two weeks ago, I was checking whether we

had AA or AAA lawyers trying to get to the top of the Yellow Pages

listings in my local phone books.  At the time, I noticed that one

attorney was near the front of the cue, because he listed himself

as Abogado Warren Redlich — to let consumers know, I presumed,

that he speaks Spanish.   Serendipitously, I discovered this week

that lawyer Redlich is in fact the weblogger behind Albany Lawyer Blog.

At his firm website, Warren uses the tagline “a lawyer who speaks your

language,” and reports that he speaks Spanish, Japanese and French,

along with his native English.  Yes, I’m envious.



tiny check Warren’s got an engaging style at his weblog, sharing

thoughts on criminal, personal injury, and traffic law, and

other legal topics, as well as life as an almost-solo practi-

tioner (see his the busy lawyer, where he’s doing an all-nighter

on a Saturday night — oh, to be young and healthy again.)

He has also started a Town Court Directory for counties in

our region (and hopes to go statewide and then spread to

NJ & MA).  Warren is finding many ways to differentiate

himself from the crowd, as he builds his law practice.


washerN  The Wall Street Journal editorialized in favor of the Maytag –

Whirlpool merger on March 13, stating that antitrust merger enforce-

ment was irrelevant (and harmful) given globalization and the new

technology.  My friends at the American Antitrust Institute offered

an op/ed piece in rebuttal, which was rejected by WSJ.  Having their

(March 23, 2006), even posting the WSJ’s “Antitrust Spin Cycle.”

Written by AAI Vice President, Diana Moss, the pro-antitrust piece

wins my vote. Among other insights, Moss points out two truths:


“One truth is that the consumer should matter. . ..  If busi-

nesses successfully serve consumers, stockholders will

have opportunities to profit. . . . And any merger that unduly

reduces competition is the enemy of the economy, even if

it benefits a limited number of shareholders. 


“Another truth is that not all mergers are good deals for the

shareholder. For the proof, we can look at Bruner’s Deals

from Hell or Scherer and Ravenscraft’s more academic–

but equally compelling–Life After Takeover. . . .




“If shareholder interests are paramount–as proponents of the

Whirlpool/Maytag dicta would attest—then the lessons of

history recommend caution in equal measure to the enthu-

siasm for eliminating antitrust oversight.


“. . . These truths also recognize the symbiotic relationship

between consumers and shareholders. Together, they drive

the need for antitrust policies that provide a flexible framework

for allowing pro-competitive deals to go through while stopping

the harmful ones. That is why one important component of

merger analysis is figuring out whether the cost savings a

merger’s proponents claim it will produce are genuine.”



Granted, this post got a little longer than I had hoped.  Let me make

it up to you with a handful of haiku from Lee Gurga, the midwest

dentist haijin:


fishermen’s cars

parked along the road . . .

cold rain









spring horse auction —

a cluster of Amishmen whispering

through their beards






fishing pole

sweat steaming

from a team of geldings;

endless stars






farm dog calling

calling to her echo

deep in the forest




lee gurga from Fresh Scent (Brooks Books,1998)   

except: “fishermen’s cars” – The Haiku Anthology (3rd Ed); 

  The Measure of Emptiness (1991)


                                                                                                          Abogado Redlich  WRedlichMug


inadvertent neglect

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:54 pm

Since 2006 began, I’ve been forgetting to update my favorite SideBar feature —

The Inadvertent Searchee.  In a week when your Editor has been accused of being

old and over the hill, intellectually lazy, and — gasp! — a writer of both gibberish and

poetry, I’m happy to make up for that neglect with a few new entries.  They suggest

that the major search engines like us a lot more than p/i lawyers do:


weblog culture>  #1 and #2 of 44,500,000 Google results went to our page




As for legal profession issues dear to our heart and important

to consumers:

lawyer client self fool> We had the #2 and #3 of 1.6 million results in this

Google query.  In one post, we spoke of George Fool in the Forest Wallace and

self-regulation on the same page.  In the other, we quoted a NYSBA brochure

that was discouraging self-help by consumers. Google should have featured

our quote from Edward Day Parsons:

“He who pleads his own case may have a fool for a client; but it’s

more probable that he who employs a lawyer will have a knave for

an attorney.”


lawyer value billing>  The first two results out of 17 million in this Google search.

came from f/k/a (the internet’s lone voice of caution on this issue). For example,

see Value Billing and Legal Ethics — honest, guys, clients want to pay less,

not more, in lawyer fees when they seek better value.


                                                                                               not  one third gray



What Is An Appropriate Contingency Fee> The first two of nearly 4 million results 

for this crucial Google query were here and here at f/k/a (despite the insults of a

certain dignified p/i lawyer).  Now, if only the good-guy tort lawyers would read

up and take it too heart.



lawyer telling clients when they are damned fools> The first two of almost half a

million Google results came from f/k/a, for this very important concept.  We

were quoting Sol Sol Linowitz‘s book Betrayed Profession:   

“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




fiduciary obligations of attorneys> #1 of 2.5 million Google results, on

a topic that doesn’t get enough discussion in the legal profession, was

this post, which focused on the obligation to better inform clients when

setting fees. 


Of course, some of the search engine results seem to be a bit inadvertent

(or inauspicious):


haiku perspiration> #4 of 15,000 in the Google search,

which lets me repeat the poem in question from my alter 

ego dagosan:

perspiration rolls

across flat abs —

her innie



Stop buying expensive coffee and save>  #3 of 3.8 million Google results

 was our commentary about law students spending far too much on luxuries

and adding needlessly to their law school debt.  (Sometimes, we sound like

old fuddy-duddiesaround here.)





how big is a F cup> #1 of almost 9 million Yahoo! search results.

As usual, old Master Issa is the culprit (along with the “f” in our name):


in a big sake cup.

moon and a flea


We were only the 9th result for men with spiked hair>, but it’s a good

excuse to re-post two ed markowski follicle poems:


           late day showers…

                   my hair gel









                       winter pines…

                             the ski instructor’s

                                  spiked hair




          ed markowski 


owen wilson erection in speedo> –  Yesterday, we were #1 out of 309 in this

Yahoo query.    That’s what I get for featuring the book Taboo Haiku. Go here

to see the provoking poems.  [Oddly, the same Yahoo! search today doesn’t

even show f/k/a in the top 40.  Talk about inconsistent performance.]




update (5 PM, March 24):  I don’t know who’s looking up halloween sex> in

March, but our post on pols vs. sex offenders was the #2 result out of 5.3 million

in a Yahoo! Search today.  Meanwhile, our own attempts to find out more about

the Smith v. Peterson “early bather” case, revealed that the f/k/a post of the subject

is the #1 result when Googling “Sheldon Smith” lawyer>.


just one glass of wine

Google keeps asking

“Did you mean _____?”



blind date tomorrow —

will she

Yahoo! me tonight?





                                                                                                                                                  computer weary



sex offender Michael Boxley back at the Bar (already)

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:00 am

The appellate court here in the NYS Capital Region reinstated Michael Boxley

to membership in the state bar yesterday. Matter of Boxley, App.Div. 3d Dept,

D-80-06, March 23, 2006.  Boxley had received a one-year suspension in June

2004.  The new Order does not mention any facts in the case, but merely recites


Jones & Boxley  Jones&Boxley

              S. Dickstein/Times Union

“We are … satisfied that respondent [Boxley] has complied with the

requirements of this court’s rules governing reinstatement and that he

possesses the character and general fitness to resume the practice of


The per curiam order also noted that the Committee on Professional Standards

was not opposed to his application to have the license reinstated.  So, is this

just a run-of-the-mill lawyer discipline story, of no interest to the public or the



scales rich poor neg


post from Feb. 26, 2004, for a detailed look at the story.  Here’s a summary:

Boxley was the chief legislative assistant to the most powerful Democrat

in the State, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. 


He was accused of raping a young legislative staffer (similar charges had

been made by another staffer in 2001). 


He was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor sexual assult.  His lawyer,

E Stewart Jones, said a black man could not get a fair trial in Albany, so he

took the plea, to save Boxley’s law license.  Jones then slurred the young



Boxley tried but failed to get the Assembly to pay his legal fees.  


The Assembly paid $500,000 to Boxley’s victim, when the legislative assistant 

sued for sexual harassment.  


                                                                                           complaint billF


Boxley has been doing “consulting work” for Powers & Co., the lobbying firm

headed by former state Republican Chairman William Powers. (Capital Connec

tion weblog, March 23, 2006; Democracy in Albany, March 24, 2006).

Newsday, March 23, 2006]


Sorry, Michael, we consider this disciplinary interruptus to be extremely premature.

While the leaders of the NYS Bar fret over assaults on their dignity and image from

lawyer advertising, we can’t help but wonder what the public thinks of sexual assaults

by, and slaps on the wrists for, politically-connected lawyers with high-profile counsel,

who assails the justice system and decries his client’s excessive punishment.




the first snowfall
doesn’t hide it…
dog poop







smelling like sake
smelling like piss


the defeated wrestler, too
joins the crowd…
bright moon





baby sparrow
move aside!
Mr. Horse passes




how annoying!
among chrysanthemums too
the nobles win


translated by David G. Lanoue

                                         scales over



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