Stanley offered me this essay. It actually made me chuckle a little which I really don’t expect from Stanley. The least I could do is pass it along.
Trial by Trade
by Stanley McFarland
My sister’s a lawyer. (We love her anyway.) She likes lawyer jokes. She doesn’t practice law. (You don’t need practice when you get things right the first time.) She helps undergraduates get into law school, writes stories, and helps the one’s she loves do things they could never accomplish without her.
She doesn’t like to bring it up, but I’m pretty sure that the reason she doesn’t practice the profession she worked so hard to attain, is that she doesn’t like the smell.
Centuries ago when you had a problem, the guy with the biggest army or the best sword or the biggest club would sit in judgment and settle it. If your problem was with the guy with the biggest club, you kept your mouth shut or suffered the consequences.
Some people believe that law came about as a natural progression in the cultural advancement of humankind. What really happened is that the guy with the biggest club decided he’d rather go out and kill animals than sit around and hear everyone else’s problems. The judge was an invention of convenience for everyone involved (except the animals).
Potentially, judges cared more about the dispute than making animals bleed. Some only cared about how much each party was willing to pay him but many prided themselves on being fair. Each party would approach the judge, give the best possible spin on their side of the dispute and await the ruling. When the ruling just about equally pissed off both parties, they called it – just – for short.
Everything went along swimmingly until Fred the goldsmith had a dispute with Ralph the actor.
Now Fred figured he was in the right or at least no more in the wrong than that parasite line reader but Fred had a problem. Fred stuttered pretty badly and had a high pitched wheeze from inhaling too much gold dust. There were people in town that held up their own hankies when Fred sneezed just to capture any gold mixed with the spew.
Fred was sitting in a saloon lamenting his chances and was overheard by Juris who, like Ralph, was an actor.
Juris offered to speak for Fred if Fred would construct an object of gold to hide his nasty overbite. Fred knew that actors lied and as Juris was a well-known actor – he lied well but prudently. Fred could see some real advantage in this but only if Fred could be sure that Juris would lie for Fred’s benefit. Fred demanded that Juris swear an oath by whatever Juris held most dear. Juris was not a religious man so he swore by the very place they were sitting, his favorite saloon.
Fred, satisfied that Juris would hold to standards of his bar, delivered the golden retainer, and Juris became known as Fred’s mouthpiece.
Today, we live in a land where most of the people who make the laws, prosecute the laws, judge the laws, appoint the judges of the laws, defend people in trouble with the laws, and profit from the laws: hang out in the same bar.
I find it particularly ironic when members of this association put people on trial for what they call “conflict of interest.”
Which ones fit lawyers...?
If Fred and Ralph had a dispute today, the actor would have no advantage. No amount of stage eloquence or even common sense will help if you don’t go to that bar and speak the guild language of “legalese.” Both Ralph and Fred would need to hire members of the mouthpiece cartel to seek what should be theirs. The winner, after legal fees, would be left with a snow cone drained of syrup-
Someday maybe all of us can join this bar and enjoy all the rights and benefits of full citizenship. Until then, I’m looking for a big club.
My sister told me most of these.