I’ve read 5 books so far on my new toy, and expect to write a review of the Kindle soon. Assuming I ever get around to posting it, one of my few complaints, and an unfair one at that, will be that it just doesn’t feel like a book. I knew that, of course

Starting with a little free market theory, let’s assume that he who builds the best mousetrap will eventually dominate the mousetrap industry. (I don’t insist that this is so; just throwing it out there to start the post.)

It follows therefore, that in the service industry, the better services you provide, the more customers will come your way. Surely then, the best way to measure the worth of a lawyer is by the number of his clients.

From a Houston Chronicle article on overworked defense lawyers comes this line:

Some felony cases are resolved in minutes.

It’s a true statement, sad but true.  I actually can’t tell if the author of the article is using the factual accuracy of the statement to justify the result.  According to the article, one lawyer in Houston has accepted representation of 360 felony cases or more, every year, presumably for years. In a recent post, “It All Adds Up To Incompetence”, Houston defense lawyer Paul Kennedy breaks down the math:

There are 52 weeks in a year and five working days in a week. That’s a maximum of 260 days at the courthouse — not counting holidays. That means that [this lawyer] accepts, on average, at least 1.3 felony cases a day, every day. There is no way a competent attorney can provide meaningful representation to his clients working that type of case load.


Continue Reading A Good Lawyer Is A (Very Very) Busy Lawyer

From my stats package…

The blank in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt — Uh, blank = standard of proof?

Unethical undercover tactics SCOTUS has already answered this: there are none, that matter anyway…

What charges can revoke someone while on probation for posession of marijuana in Texas? — Usually not traffic

Via email:

I’ve recently gotten serious about attending law school and started studying for the LSAT last week.

I have been speaking with as many lawyers I can in order to get a realistic outlook on law, however I have not spoken to any criminal defense attorneys.

If I could ask you a few questions

This is an exaggeration, but sometimes I feel like I could start a whole blog responding to Randy Cohen’s incorrect answers in his weekly “Ethicist” New York Times Sunday Magazine column. (The truth is I’d probably only get one good post every other week, but that’s still an astonishingly high rate of bad “advice” – if that’s even what it is attempting to be. On the opposite end of the hypothetical niche blog topic spectrum, I would have to quit my full time job to track Mike Lupica’s bad predictions and silly statements; and that’s really just counting the 30 minutes of Sports Reporters, never mind his columns in the Daily News.)

Back to Cohen… I’ve got several 80% complete yet-not-quite-fully-polished posts about his column in my “unfinished” folder regarding past logical transgressions, but this morning I felt compelled to ask Mrs. ACDL to watch the kids by herself – I’ll have to pay that back – while I came over to tap out a few thoughts about today’s column.

If you’ve already read the column, Truth in Suspension, you may be guessing that I objected to the first scenario, where a reader asks Cohen if it had been ethical for a private school to label the discipline meted out to some kids caught using marijuana a “restriction” instead of a “suspension”, presumably, the reader posits, so as not to ruin their college admission status.


Continue Reading Mathematics and Faulty Ethics Advice

From the recitation of facts in the Supreme Court of South Dakota’s recent decision reversing a defendant’s disorderly conduct conviction on the grounds of free speech:

[A]t approximately 2:00 a.m. in Brookings, South Dakota, the bars on Brookings’ Main Avenue had just closed, and the bar patrons were gathering on the sidewalks outside the bars.