Why I Was Disbarred

I exchanged some email earlier today with Scott Horton over at Stress blog. Here’s his writeup:

What the Hell is a “Person of Interest”?
I first heard the phrase used by John Ashcroft in his wild unfounded accusations against Steven Hatfill in the anthrax case and here and there a couple of times since.

Now Thursday’s New York Times quotes a California criminal investigator as saying that they have a “person of interest” in custody in the case of the arson fire set out there which killed some fire-fighters.

When I get stuck on things like this, I usually turn to senior Stress blog legal correspondent, James Bovard.

Me: James, help me out here buddy, “person of interest” is just a made up term that doesn’t exist anywhere in law, am I right?

James Bovard: I think the technical translation is this: “Someone who the government wants to fuck with but doesn’t have enough evidence to indict.”


After Scott blogged on our exchange, I chucked in my two cents on his riff:

Jim Bovard Says:
November 1st, 2006 at 10:02 pm
My law degree is worth every cent of the $49.99 I paid for it.

But I think I got ripped off – they charged $30 for the wooden frame for the diploma that Wal-Mart sells for $8. (Shipping and handling were included, though).


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5 Responses to Why I Was Disbarred

  1. Tom Blanton November 2, 2006 at 12:41 am #

    In Oliver Twist, Mr. Bumble said that the law is an ass. If Dickens were to have written that tale now, the story would be called Oliver Twisted and a character named Mr. Bungle would say the law is an asshole. But that would be wrong. Actually, the law is a whole bunch of assholes.

    From the legislators and judges to the snooty law office receptionist and her slimey bosses, the profession is riddled with a-holes – I’d guess about 90% or so.

    I once thought of going to law school until I worked at a law firm for a couple of years as a paralegal where I developed an allergy to neckties. I’ve since discovered the lawyers will pay you more money to hang out at the courthouse wearing a t-shirt and read documents – freeing them up to be assholes back at the office. So while I saved the $49.99 for a law degree, I am only allowed to advise lawyers on what legal documents say. If I were to advise an ordinary person on such matters, I would become a “person of interest”.

    I think Ashcroft redefined “person of interst” to be someone who the government fucks with, despite having no evidence at all, so that officials can hold a press conference to congratulate themselves for keeping the taxpayers safe.

  2. Jim November 2, 2006 at 10:43 am #

    Tom – I agree with you neckties. They have a harrowing resemblance to nooses.

    There are some good lawyers out there, and maybe a slightly higher percentage than that of good congressmen. But I’m not sure that rates as ‘statistically significant.’

  3. lawhobbit November 2, 2006 at 11:03 am #

    There are plenty of good lawyers out there, and plenty of good congressmen! John Wesley Hardin and Henry Clay come to mind as sterling examples – cf. the 19th century phrase regarding “a good Indian.” But as for Tom advising others and becoming a “person of interest,” I’ll just say that I paid a bit more than $49.00 for my degree (though I didn’t get a frame) and when you’ve got an investment in a monopoly you work very hard to protect it. Again, cf. “two party system.”

    I’ll thoroughly agree about the necktie part, though. I’ve been to some of those offices that Tom describes, where all the Stepford Lawyers are wearing their ties and suspenders and walking around in an atmosphere not unlike that of a morgue and it ain’t the life for me.

  4. Jim November 2, 2006 at 11:16 am #

    Hmmmmm… Maybe I made a mistake by not plunking down the $79.99 that it would have cost to get embossed lettering included on the diploma.

    On those “Stepford Lawyers” – were they wearing white shoes? White shoed lawyers is such a wonderful notion.

    Just be careful about placing any ads in Muslim Yellow Pages out there in Oregon. It could make it very difficult for you to keep in touch with your clients.

  5. Patrick November 2, 2006 at 1:07 pm #

    It’s all about the scapegoating.

    when our well funded (but painfully ineffective) gov’t fails us in a crisis (as they are oft to do)

    the first thing they do is mount a campaign in the lapdog media, highlighting villains for the citizenry to fixate on

    never mind the fabulously expensive/criminally inept government that couldn’t seem to get a handle on a fire short of 60 square miles of burnt property.

    Speaking of criminals, today the press is abuzz with news of mass arrests by the feds one week last month.

    Nearly 11,000 arrests

    I feel safer already…