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Lawyers Get a Pat on the Head

Contra my jaundiced grumbling at my professional fellows below, Dahlia Lithwick provides an encouraging testimonial to Really Useful lawyers everywhere:

The real reason Ohio didn't become Florida isn't just that Kerry lost the popular vote, unlike Gore four years ago, or that the margins were too close to beat. The reason was that much maligned lawyers all around the country did their jobs. There's a reason we all talk trash about ambulance chasers, yet would never dream of buying a house, or writing a will, without an attorney: Lawyers are troubleshooters and problem-solvers, sherpas through ambiguous terrain. This election they did precisely what they were meant to do: learned from the last time, monitored the rough patches, interceded in the close cases, and backed off when it became irrelevant. The law, at its best, anticipates trouble and builds systems to protect against it. That is what John Kerry recognized this morning, and we are all better off for it.


Prof Yabut

I followed you lead and put up a blurb on this topic a couple hours ago, George. However, in a segment called View from Boston, Margaret Warner of the PBS News Hour just reported that the lawyers in the Kerry camp strongly pressed this morning for immediately going into court in Ohio, not just to challenge the provisional votes, but to demand a full recount. Not exactly the Lithwickian model. Kerry rejected their Scorched Earth approach. It's a lot harder for lawyers (and most folk) to do the right thing when all the marbles are at stake.

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