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

September 5, 2004

ATLA & Lincoln & tort reform

Filed under: — David Giacalone @ 7:26 pm

at least one third gray bar assoc.

The ATLA Press Room prepared a comprehensive (pre)response to the attack on Trial Lawyers at the Republican National Convention, under the rubric The Party of Lincoln Smears Trial Lawyers; What Would Lincoln Say?.’s Walter Olson, Evan Schaeffer at Legal Underground, and Jim Copland of Point of Law have all talked about the convention and tort reform, as did Slate’s William Saletan (taking on Dr. Frist).


As I mentioned at Evan’s place, I believe the blanket “trial lawyer” slurs at the RNC were just silly.  However, if the ATLA folk wonder what Lincoln really would think about today’s “trial lawyers,” I suggest they get a feel for Lincoln the lawyer from the materials in our post on his birthday this year.  Also, close attention should be given to Lawyer Lincoln Was a Bargain, where we noted:

penny over Our Feb. 12 post “A Lincolnesque Law Practice? has been very warmly received, suggesting a craving for positive lawyer role models.  Today, a savvy visitor was kind enough to share the result he received when converting into today’s dollars the highest fee mentioned in the materials quoted in our posting — the $500 fee in the 1838 murder case of People v. Truett, becomes $9434 in 2003 dollars.

Using our own arithmetic wizardry, we estimate that Abe’s $5 fees for many client matters would have been about $95 now.  And, his annual income while riding the circuit, about $2500, would be about $47,000 now Those numbers should humble a lot of modern lawyers, and hopefully make them reflect upon what the search for ever-higher income has done to the practice of law in America.

harvest moon–
digging in the teacup
for sake money

penny over

a money-making
the peonies in bloom

translated by David G. Lanoue

– Join the lively discussion that includes Evan Schaeffer, UCL and your Editor, by clicking on this thread.

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