Wednesday, June 15, 2005

What Exactly Did You Expect?

Um...hey, Norm, if you had managed to win your case, it might be me he was trying to kill next instead of you...having a hard time feeling pity for you here.

I realize that lawyers have convinced themselves that defending people whom they know to be guilty is the height of ethical heroism. Norm is doing what he thinks is right, but I never have bought it, myself. And yes, I've heard the social-utility arguments. I just don't buy 'em, at least not in the extreme form to which the ABA has committed itself.

I suppose if I knew Norm socially I probably would like him, and it is too bad that he has to live under a death threat, even a death threat from such an incompetent (and therefore likely to be unsuccessful) threatener as his former client. But hey, Norm, he did it before to somebody who wasn't you, and even knowing that full well you'd've gotten him off scot-free if you could've -- scot-free to do it to somebody else, who also wouldn't be you. So all in all, if he's going to be after somebody, you seem to be the potential victim who would have the least to complain about. Not saying you deserve to get whacked, you understand, 'cause you don't...just saying I think I'll save most of my pity for somebody whose own choices haven't had quite so much to do with his present predicament.

As long as the lawyers' code of ethics requires defense lawyers to spend significant portions of their careers as, essentially, accessories-after-the-fact-with-a-special-exemption-that-keeps-us-from-being-able-to-throw-their-butts-in-jail-for-it, the rest of us are going to have a hard time thinking of them as ethical persons.

Though I do hope it works out okay for Norm in the end. Seems a nice guy, except for his habit of helping criminals get away with crimes.



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