July 13, 2007

State legislator who thinks there are "too many attorneys" convinces state assembly to cut all funding to my law school!

Here's the news from Madison:
"We don't need more ambulance chasers. We don't need frivolous lawsuits. And we don't need attorneys making people's lives miserable when they go to family court for divorces," said Rep. Frank Lasee, R-Green Bay. "And I think that having too many attorneys leads to all those bad results."
Oh, yeah... people have legal problems because of the lawyers. All those divorced people? Divorce lawyers are to blame. What utter lameness! What an embarrassment to the state!

I agree that there shouldn't be frivolous lawsuits, but how do you get a court to dismiss a frivolous lawsuit? You need a lawyer. And how do you get lawyers not to file frivolous lawsuits? You train them well so they know what is frivolous and what isn't and so they have the professional ethics not to use the legal system to harass people.

Good lord, it's one thing for one legislator to think so poorly, but quite another to convince the assembly to vote along with him.
But it's not that bad:
The plan appears to have little chance at surviving negotiations between the Assembly and Democratic-controlled Senate and being included in the Legislature's final budget.

Even if it did, Gov. Jim Doyle would likely veto it. Doyle, whose late mother was a beloved administrator at the law school, said Thursday that the plan was "a really bizarre thing that came out of nowhere."
What weird emotionalism in government! The governor's dead mother will help to get to the right result? She has no more place in the story than Lasee's fervid thoughts about too many lawyers.

Analyze it rationally, and you'll see that if the funding is cut the law school won't shut down. It will only raise tuition:
[Law School Dean Ken] Davis said ... [t]he school receives only $2.5 million per year in state funding, or 10 percent of its $20 million budget. Still, it would have to increase its $12,600 annual tuition, which is the lowest in the Big 10 Conference and enables many low-income students to attend.

"That would be a very bitter pill to swallow for us," Davis said. "We have a national reputation for access to legal education."
There's an easy emotional argument within reach here: Republicans only care about the rich.
Lasee said he would welcome a significant tuition increase for prospective lawyers or a cut in the school's 810-student enrollment.

"When we have an overabundance of attorneys already, there's no point in subsidizing the education of more attorneys," Lasee said.
Yes, the profession will be improved once you've limited access to the people who have the most money to spend on education. Brilliant.
The proposal, made public the day before the vote, prompted wide speculation. Was a lawmaker angry the school rejected him? Were the cuts retaliation against professors who called a sex offender tracking law unconstitutional? Were they punishing the Innocence Project for freeing a man who later killed a 25-year-old woman?
Yes, legislators, why do you hate us? Well, everyone instinctively hates lawyers and lawsuits, and this is essentially a healthy gut reaction. But you need to think a little harder and see why we need a legal system, why we should deeply value the rule of law and the role lawyers play in preserving it, and why legal education is part of that.

Sigh.

ADDED: A post with amusing comments over at Above the Law.

MORE: My colleague Marc Galanter provides some information relevant to the question whether there are too many lawyers in Wisconsin:
Wisconsin, with about 2.% of the U.S. population, has about 1.2% of the country's lawyers.

The ratio of population to lawyers in the U.S. in 2000 was 264/1. In Wisconsin it was 401/1.

Among the 51 jurisdictions (50 states and D.C.), the Wisconsin's population to lawyer ratio was 38th in 2000.

Wisconsin's lawyer population is slightly older (median 50 vs. 47) and significantly less female (22% vs. 27%) than the nation as a whole. This suggests that it has not been growing at as high a rate as the nation as a whole.

In short, Wisconsin seems to have about one third fewer lawyers per capita than the rest of the country and it's not catching up.

Is this a lawyer deficit? Research has shown a correlation between economic growth and lawyer population. Causality may run in either or both directions. But it is clear that lawyer population does not have an inhibiting effect on economic growth.

The lawyer population also seem to be associated with such non-market goods as civil liberties and political democracy.

(Marc's comment is based on research done done by the American Bar Foundation, Frank Cross, and Charles Epp. It dates back to 2000, but Marc says "there is no reason to suspect that any of this has changed more than marginally.")

58 comments:

AlphaLiberal said...

Agreed!

Lasee is a real wanker. What was the other embarrassing issue he was recently involved with?

AlphaLiberal said...

Aaah.... Says Wikipedia:

"Alan Lasee is not to be confused with Frank Lasee, another American politician from Wisconsin who proposed that teachers have access to weapons in the event of a dangerous person at school."

Now it's Frank's turn to embarrass Wisconsin. It's a family thing.

Megan said...

Lasee thinks that raising tuition will reduce the number of lawyers? I doubt it. People still pay loads of money to go to Marquette, don't they? We'll just end up with lawyers who have lots more debt and are thus less interested in low-paying government or public interest jobs. Instead, to pay off their debts, they'll have to become....ambulance chasers!

Brilliant!

Thorley Winston said...

Yes, the profession will be improved once you've limited access to the people who have the most money to spend on education. Brilliant.

This is nonsense for two reasons. First most law students (like most college students) aren’t paying for the tuition themselves, they’re getting loans and other forms of financial aid which they (presumably) will be paying back themselves when their degree enables them to get a higher paying job then they would have been able to get without one. In which case it’s perfectly fair to have them pay the cost of their education (even if the payment is deferred) rather than forcing a taxpayer to pick up the tab.

The other option, particularly if you’re concerned about improving the profession is to have a part time option (assuming there isn’t one already at the UW) where students can attend in the evening or weekend while working to support themselves (which is what most people in the working world do when we want to make our skills more marketable). That way they could complete the program in four or five years rather than three but pay less per semester in tuition which makes it more affordable. It would probably be better to have more lawyers with the experience of having spent a few years between college and law school working to support themselves and learning to balance school and a full-time job rather than just going directly from college to law school.

John Kindley said...

"Yes, the profession will be improved once you've limited access to the people who have the most money to spend on education. Brilliant."

I don't have any problem with a legislature defunding a public law school, though not for the idiotic reasons Lasee cites. As for not limiting access to lawyerhood to the people who have the most money to spend on education, this would best be accomplished by the legislature repealing the unjust laws that only allow people who have attended three years of law school to practice law.

From the Life of Lysander Spooner, one of the greatest legal minds of the 19th Century:

The rule of Massachusetts courts required a student to study in a lawyer's office before admission to the bar - three years was required of a college graduate; but for a non-graduate, five years were required. In those days a college education was purely classical; it offered a lawyer no advantage other than ornament and polish.

Believing this rule discriminated against the "well-educated poor," Spooner set out to test the legality of the provision. Although Davis had graduated from Yale, and Allen from Harvard, they encouraged their young protégé to set up his own practice in defiance of the rules. Spooner printed cards which read: "Lysander Spooner, offers to the public his services in the Profession of the Law. Offices in the Central Exchange. Worcester, April 8, 1835." (note 5) To justify this action, Spooner published a petition in the Worcester Republican, August 26, 1835, which was sent to each member of the Massachusetts General Court. Inasmuch as John Davis was then Governor and Charles Allen was a state senator, Spooner already has two important men on his side, and it was no surprise that the restriction was voted down easily in the 1836 legislative session. Spooner's petition, "To the Members of the Legislature of Massachusetts." Certainly was not the only force to bring about the change, but it did crystalize the prevailing sentiment. Spooner's principal pleas was that every man should be given an equal chance to prove himself. He argued that "no one has yet ever dared advocate, in direct terms, so monstrous a principle as that the rich ought to be protected by law from the competition of the poor."

Internet Ronin said...

IIRC, when Barbara Roberts was Governor of Oregon, the administration proposed abolishing the school of veterinary medicine because of a budget shortfall. It was the only veterinary school in the state, which at that time, was still 67% rural. The shortfall was only a shortfall because the prior occupant, Neil Goldschmidt, had bequeathed her a pie-in-sky lets-make-everybody-happy budget raising expenditures in almost every department by unasked for amounts as one of his last acts.

Poor Roberts was taken to task for unreasonably cutting budgets everywhere when she was actually raising expenditures, except by a percentage closer to what reality and tax income dictated. In the end, the only government programs suffering actual dollar losses in funding were those having to do with higher education.

dix said...

This guy sounds like a wack job but the question remains. Do we have too many lawyers, too few or just right? Don't we have a lot more lawyers per capita than any other country? Let's make them go to med school and reduce health care costs a little.

Synova said...

I almost do blame lawyers for divorce being worse than it has to be.

Granted, I never went through it, but even if I try to disregard television and just go by what people I know have said, it seems like divorce isn't a good subject for an inherently antagonistic system when there is usually plenty of antagonism to start with.

And I suppose that's not the *fault* of lawyers, but I'd feel a whole lot better about it if I occasionally heard that the lawyers on both sides got together and told the couple to grow up and do what is right and fair and not just see how much they can get away with and how much punishment they can gleen from the process.

Mike said...

Well, this is beyond stupid, but as to your comment:

"Oh, yeah... people have legal problems because of the lawyers."

I think it's fair to say that, for those people who are the victim of a frivolous or harassing suit, their legal problems are because of lawyers.

Modern Otter said...

This sounds to me like fairly classic (buy mighty hazy) political pandering, feeding on today's supposed popular distaste for lawyers. More than anything, though, it sounds like the kind of thing one-time state Sen. from Darlington, Gordon Roselip, might've come up with. (Anybody here have old enough Wisconsin memories to remember Roselip?)

PC said...

What a bizarre justification... if a legislator really wants to limit law school enrollment, why not condition state funding on meeting an enrollment cap?

Furthermore, Megan's post above is spot on. Increased tuition wouldn't dissuade people from attending law school but would merely increase the amount of student loans that a student takes out. Thus, this provision could have the opposite effect in that large student loan payments are often cited as a reason for taking the best-paying law jobs when their interests lie elsewhere.

Seneca the Younger said...

Could be worse --- at least he didn't propose the Henry VI solution.

Roger said...

As much as I delight in lawyer bashing, it takes the possibility of being charged with a DUI to establish just how valuable a lawyer's time can be. As someone said, when you need a lawyer, you generally need them BAD.

Mike said...

Unfortunately, Modern Otter, I am that old.

Paul Zrimsek said...

And how do you get lawyers not to file frivolous lawsuits? You train them well so they know what is frivolous and what isn't and so they have the professional ethics not to use the legal system to harass people.

Cool! When do we start?

Simon said...

Megan hit the nail on the head. I've been concerned for a while - I mean, for once, I agree with Durbin - that there's a problem with tuition being so high that it pushes people into private practice and away from public service just to pay the debts. And ATL ran a piece earlier this week arguing that tuition is already out of kilter with the earning potential of many graduates who do go into private practice. So the higher tuition goes, I have to agree with Megan, the greater the emphasis is going to be on the economic necessity of paying back the incurred loans, and you're not going to do that working as a public defender in Normal, IL.

Revenant said...

The number of lawyers is growing at a faster rate than the amount of legitimate legal business is. This obviously leads to a growth in the amount of *non*-legitimate legal business; lawyers, after all, do need to eat.

If there is an excess of lawyers -- and there is -- then I don't see the compelling state interest in subsidizing the creation of new ones.

Joe said...

This guy may be a wanker, but there are too many lawyers. Too many accountants too.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

And how do you get lawyers not to file frivolous lawsuits? You train them well so they know what is frivolous and what isn't and so they have the professional ethics not to use the legal system to harass people.

There are two problems with this. First, the large majority of the time they already know that the lawsuit is frivolous. Second, by the time they reach law school it is way too late to teach them to have ethics. ( You can teach them what is or is not ethical, but you cannot convince them to behave properly simply because it is ethical.)

The only way to get them to stop filing frivolous lawsuits is to slap them with a penalty any time they try. Only when the likely costs ( to the lawyer ) of the frivolous lawsuit exceeds the likely return will the lawsuits stop.

Mike said...

I agree with Bliss. Lawyers are no different than people. Many will behave only if there are consequence to misbehaving.

texasyankee said...

Considering how much lawtyers make, taxpayers should not be subsidizing the law school anyway. I'm sure there are enough successful graduates that raising $2.5 million should not be a problem.

Slim999 said...

Ann,

Nice bit of lawyering.

You totally papered over the rational factual discussion and went straight for the emotional appeal to the jury - raising red herrings all along the way.

Touche!

The issue is: Do we have so few attorneys that we need to subsidize the education required to produce more of them? Or do we have enough lawyers already such that no subsidy is required.

The $2.5 million the state provides the law school in subsidies amounts to $67.50 a year for each of the 40,000 students who attend the school.

I hardly think tuition rates would have to be raised so that "low-income" students could pay $50,000 to get a law degree.

That your Dean would stoop to such a poor argument, so easily swatted down by a mere layperson, demonstrates why prospective students might want to steer clear of this particular university anyway.

blake said...

I just wanted to say that 2.5 million is not ten percent of 20 million.

That is all.

blake said...

I just wanted to add that if thinking 2.5 million is 10% of 20 million is the extent of your mathematical and accounting acumen, you may have problems beyond having too many lawyers.

That is all. Really.

LoafingOaf said...

This sorta reminds me of what Republican state legislators tried to do in Ohio 4 or 5 years ago. They attempted to not just cut funding to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, but they said there were too many law schools in Ohio and out of the blue anounced that Marshall should just be shut down entirely.

There's an easy emotional argument within reach here: Republicans only care about the rich.

That's what I thought when I heard the news. Marshall is the most acccessible law school in Northeast Ohio to non-traditional and less wealthy law students, and makes itself very accomodating for people who are older and working, or whatever circumstances that make going back to school difficult.

Ohio was having budget problems in part because we have the most incompetant and corrupt politicians - from both parties - that you can imagine. (Our last governor was convicted of crimes while in office, for example!) And the Republicans way down in Columbus don't much care for Cleveland and decided they didn't care about some law school up here that was providing opportunities to people in a city that is dying and desperately needs to stregnthen its educational institutions, not shut them down.

They thought it would be easy to say there's too many lawyers, too many law schools, on a short-sighted whim during a budget crisis of their own making, with no consideration that Marshall is an important institution filling a need amongst the array of law schools in Ohio.

What they didn't count on was that a substantial precentage of the judges in Ohio are produced by Marshall and they went ballistic, writing letters to tell them to get their heads out of their asses, and conveyed to them how important Marshall is to Ohio. That saved the school.

I can understand having to cut budgets and require schools to find ways to function with less state funding. But it was so weird - and really kinda reckless and malicious - how they sprung this idea out of the blue and thought it was no big deal to - on a whim - shut down an entire law school forever, because they didn't think they'd take much heat for saying there's too many law schools, too many lawyers.

Slim999 said...

Oaf,

What you seem to be describing is a bunch of "old boy network" judges conspiring to interfere with the legislative process.

How else would you describe a group of judges banding together to guarantee continued state welfare for their favored school by subtlely threatening legislators?

Why, the layman might call that judicially "unethical."

Revenant said...

Research has shown a correlation between economic growth and lawyer population. Causality may run in either or both directions. But it is clear that lawyer population does not have an inhibiting effect on economic growth.

The third sentence does not follow from the first and second.

The bank up the road from me gets robbed far more often (twice that I know of) than my house (zero times so far). Can I therefore assume that security guards, bank vaults, and closed-circuit cameras -- which the bank has and my house does not -- has no negative impact on criminal activity? Of course not. The reason the bank gets robbed and my house does not is that there's a lot of money there, and little in my house.

Whether lawyers are a net benefit to the economy or a net penalty, they are not the *only* influence on it. If lawyers are drawn to money -- and they are -- we should expect areas with lots of money to have more lawyers REGARDLESS of the effect that lawyers have on the economy.

Revenant said...

There's an easy emotional argument within reach here: Republicans only care about the rich.

The problem with that argument is that the lawyers that enrage Republicans ARE rich.

chickenlittle said...

Too many lawyers and too few "recreational chemists"

Mike said...

Blake said: "I just wanted to say that 2.5 million is not ten percent of 20 million."

I just wanted to say that it's damn close.

Get a life. Really.

joated said...

Quick question: What percentage of the state legislature are lawyers?

If it's anything like other states, a fair number of the sitting lawmakers are lawyers. That is a conflict worthy of a Shakespearean solution.

P. Rich said...

I don't know that very many people actually hate lawyers. Perhaps it's more that they are generally perceived as parasitic elements of society who produce nothing of value (not excepting more laws) yet consume resources at an alarming rate. Hence the folk wisdom that the only people who win lawsuits are the lawyers.

This perception is, I believe, created by certain branches of the law and should exclude those for example quietly setting up businesses, protecting intellectual assets etc. And while laws are an extremely important part of the republic's infrastructure, lawyers as a group in actuality tend to fall far short of any principled ideal. I need only point out that the preponderance of Congress are lawyers, and let the assertion stand.

Somewhere there is a functional minimum of lawyers, and that will be far below the number currently in the profession. Some time ago it was true, I believe, that in Japan there was 1 lawyer for every engineer while in the US that ratio was exactly reversed. And I can attest from my travels in other countries that people I've met and discussed the situation with laugh at us and consider the legal system here out of control. That condition did not "just happen."

My point, I suppose: Long ago this ceased to be a nation of freedoms and minimal necessary laws and became a nation of law for lawyers, far too many of whom are engaged in bottom-diving the system for dollars.

/end

dix said...

Research has shown a correlation between economic growth and lawyer population. Causality may run in either or both directions.

Lawyers don't create wealth, they redistribute it. I realize this is a gross generalization. Lawyers also protect rights, particularly mine. His lawyer is an SOB. My lawyer is great. But when you have an oversupply of lawyers they tend to poke around trying to generate work for themselves. That's where I have a problem.

LutherM said...

"Were they punishing the Innocence Project for freeing a man who later killed a 25-year-old woman?"
HOW IN THE NAME OF G-D DID THAT HAPPEN?
I realize that law students can be bleeding-heart softheads, but where was the "adult" supervision?
Were the faculty supervisors held accountable for this action which cost the life of a young woman?
Freeing someone who later murdeded - at the very least, were the names of the students and faculty involved widely publicized, which would allow potential clients to avoid them like the plague?

Mike said...

P. Rich said: "Some time ago it was true, I believe, that in Japan there was 1 lawyer for every engineer while in the US that ratio was exactly reversed.

What?

PJ said...

Is this a lawyer deficit? Research has shown a correlation between economic growth and lawyer population. Causality may run in either or both directions. But it is clear that lawyer population does not have an inhibiting effect on economic growth.

Nonsense on stilts. Causality may run in neither direction, and a correlation may persist despite an inhibiting effect. More specifically, actual parasites proliferate where there is an abundance of available host organisms, but the mere existence of an abundance doesn't mean the parasites have no inhibiting effect on the hosts. Why again should I be taking this Galanter seriously?

I'm a lawyer, and I agree with the general sentiment that the number of lawyers in the US is harmfully high. Where I disagree with Lasee is that I would find someplace other than UW/Mad to begin the cutting.

Thorley Winston said...

HOW IN THE NAME OF G-D DID THAT HAPPEN?
I realize that law students can be bleeding-heart softheads, but where was the "adult" supervision?
Were the faculty supervisors held accountable for this action which cost the life of a young woman?
Freeing someone who later murdeded - at the very least, were the names of the students and faculty involved widely publicized, which would allow potential clients to avoid them like the plague?


The details of what happened with the Innocent Project can be found
here.

I’m not sure what exactly you’re faulting them for. Even the district attorney stipulated that he was innocent of the crime that he was originally convicted of. Are you suggesting that they should have kept him in prison otherwise knowing that he while was innocent for fear that he might commit a crime at some point in the future?

Yes I realize it’s horrible and Avery was later convicted of the murder. But I don’t think it’s reasonable to fault the people who successfully freed him for prison for a previous crime that he didn’t in fact commit. We hold people accountable for their actual crimes not things that they didn’t do because we’re afraid that they might do something else.

s1c said...

What he didn't quote the shakespeare line? Jeez, louizee

Kev said...

"Lawyers are no different than people."

As a non-lawyer, all I can say to that statement is LOL, but some of the lawyers on here might take offense... ;-)

Revenant said...

p. rich,

This perception is, I believe, created by certain branches of the law and should exclude those for example quietly setting up businesses, protecting intellectual assets etc.

The thing about that is that those lawyers are mostly necessary to keep OTHER lawyers from screwing you over.

A guilty pleasure of mine is the movie "Other People's Money" (I particularly recommend DeVito's ending speech). There's a great exchange about the value of lawyers:

Kate Sullivan: Well, for someone who has nothing nice to say about lawyers, you certainly have plenty of them around.
Lawrence Garfield: They're like nuclear warheads. They have theirs, so I have mine. Once you use them, they f*** everything up.

That pretty much sums it up. The arguments for or against lawyers are much the same as the arguments for or against guns, with the significant difference that guns are never greedy or motivated by self-interest.

dick said...

They have a situation in California where the Univ of Calif wanted to set up another law school. They have a shortage of nurses and slots for student nurses and the same for other professions but not a shortage of lawyers. Why would they need to set up another law school and fund one while not funding the schools they need.

In the case of Lasee, could the reason he is suggesting this be that there is a need for the money expended on the law school to be expended somewhere that it meets a need rather than somewhere that there are enough practitioners? That one I could see. Are there really not enough attorneys in Wisconsin that the state needs to fund more when the money might be used elsewhere to better effect?

P. Rich said...

Mike:

SImply stated, engineers create, lawyers do not. Look around you. Everything you utilize in living that did not sprout from a seed was engineered from an idea. And lawyers create what, exactly, that contributes to your everyday life?

I should have thought the point obvious. Societies biased toward creation positively differ from ours, placing a higher value on things other than litigation and complex, inconsistent, contradictory legal tomes. And that 10-1 difference does not in any way make Japan a primitive or inferior culture. Now do you get it?

class-factotum said...

Marc's comment is based on research done done by the American Bar Foundation, Frank Cross, and Charles Epp.

Is that the same Frank Cross who teaches business law at the graduate school of business at the University of Texas? I worked for a finance professor there, Steve Magee, who did similar analyses of the impact of lawyers and litigation on economic growth. (I didn't think Prof Cross would still be alive, or, at least, well enough to work.)

Michael said...

Ann: And how do you get lawyers not to file frivolous lawsuits?

Looser pays.

paul a'barge said...

There's an easy emotional argument within reach here: Republicans only care about the rich

Wrong conclusion, poor effort at reaching... go back and read the legislator's reasoning. It's impeccable.

Lawyers have created this current bit of nastiness. Given an opportunity to clean up after yourselves, you've done little more than throw your poo about the place.

There is NO REASON taxpayers should fund (1) the education of lawyers or (2) that nimrod instructor who peddled the truther nonsense about 9/11.

Don't hit the snooze bar. Better to heed the alarm clock.

Joe said...

One aspect of this that can't be ignored is that government subsidy of higher education is a contributing cause for the cost of education increasing. In other words, every time the government makes it easier to pay for education, Universities up their tuition to the limit of those grants and loans.

PheistyBlog said...

You're right...It isn't the attorneys causing all of the trouble. It's the rediculous laws that make it such a great climate for lawsuits in Wisconsin, and make it more and more difficult to do business here.

http://www.pheistyblog.com/archives/444

Slim999 said...

"The ratio of population to lawyers in the U.S. in 2000 was 264/1. In Wisconsin it was 401/1."

Move to strike as non-responsive, your Honor: The witness has evaded the question by pointing to other states where the problem of too many lawyers is even worse than it is in Wisconsin.

"Research has shown a correlation between economic growth and lawyer population"

Your Honor ... Correlation is not causality, as any scientist would tell you. Research has also shown a direct, causal relationship between lawyers and frivolous lawsuits. In point of fact, 100% of frivolous lawsuits are filed by lawyers (or other people authorized by the court to act as their own lawyers).

"The lawyer population also seem to be associated with such non-market goods as civil liberties and political democracy."

Move to strike as irrelevant, your Honor: Our civil liberties and democracy are protected by the Constitution ... not lawyers. Lawyers merely charge us high fees to defend us against other lawyers trying to take those rights away from us - almost as if they were in cahoots with each other.

"Wisconsin's lawyer population is slightly older (median 50 vs. 47) and significantly less female (22% vs. 27%) than the nation as a whole."

Ahhhh ... there's the crux of the problem, your honor. The "old boy network of lawyers" in Wisconsin, in the form of the Wisconsin Bar Association, is systematically excluding young women from the profession - stripping them of their civil rights.

Hey, maybe someone should sue!

Wade Garrett said...

Paul,

If you think his reasoning is impeccable, then you probably couldn't have gotten into law school even if you wanted to do so.

Wade Garrett said...

I don't understand the Republican hatred of personal injury attorneys. For one thing, most personal injury attorneys are reputable and the number of "ambulance chasers" is very low. Secondly, tort lawyers are responsible for, among other things, getting asbestos out of our buildings, cigarettes out of our bars and restaurants, more safely designed cars and machines of all kinds, warning labels being put onto potentially dangerous products, blood transfusions screening for the HIV virus (we have John Edwards to thank for that one), hospitals having to tell patients the risk of a procedure before performing it.

Too many critics assume that every losing lawsuit is by definition a frivolity. However, nobody who's actually spent a month in a courthouse believes that to be the case. But I'm sure that, if some douchebag from Green Bay said it, then it must be right, right?

Mike said...

P.Rich: I agree with you 200% (my apologizes to Blake), but your original post didn't say 10-1. Read it carefully. It says 1-1. That didn't make any sense, and I wanted to know what you really meant to say, so I asked.

wayne said...

It's too bad that he decided to target the law school which on the whole I think is unjustified.

However, massive cuts need to be made to the University of Wisconsin system as a whole. I don't think these need to be particularly on Madison but their are programs and even whole campuses in this state that can not be truly economically justified given the needs of the state.

I realize that this will get certain folks to howling, but, as one who lives in the "one missed paycheck away from disaster" catagory and who would love to be able to actually put enough money away to have a shot at retiring before I die, the tax burden on the average joe in this state is just too damn high.

We can not afford the luxuries that some folks (i.e. Doyle and the State Senate) seem to think are important.

Don't even get me started on their psychotic plan for universal healthcare. I don't owe anyone (especially not illegal immigrants!!) on this planet to be foreclosed out of my 80 year-old little house just so they can go to the doctor for free.

We haven't gotten tax-increase equivalent pay raises for years and if they throw another $400 or $500 a month of taxes on me I'm going to find the first large group of armed revolutionaries around to march on Madison (carrying at least 300 feet of rope for making nooses for Legislaters!!).

Mr.Murder said...

He's one of yours, is he not?

Also, he does raise an interesting point, one no Libertarians seem to support, about subsidizing the education of lawyers. If they're smart enough to be lawyers, can't they pay extra to get into their position.

Besides, the policy would drive the little guy out of ability to use lawyers except in appointed defense roles...

The little people should not really have the same rights as the upper tier, you know this Ann!

...megan, lawyers cannot be ambulance chasers without clientèle, and the reasons you list for lawyers making such decisions relate to current bankruptcy law as done by the GOP, including loopholes for the rich corporations once again!

...thorley should not stop at one job. Bush celebrated American character meeting a woman who had to work three jobs to see ends meet. Why not the lawyers?
It's the GOP way.

...pc they could model the cap solution on the GWB energy deregulation that Cheney's Task Force modeled, which was to say, no cap at all. Free market and all that, y'know caps did solve that crisis.

Perhaps the same can be imposed on skyrocketing medical costs...

...zrimsek, heh.
...so crime is inversely proportionate to the number of lawyers as rev states?
...Texas Yankee he's simply opening a window for private underwriting, at generous tax benefit, to the groups of lawyers he supposedly distrusts, who in turn rep the big money and can further conflict and insulate their parties from judgements... mission accomplished in quasi-faux populist ways!

...blake it actually is, totals not exceeding a certain amount get counted down to the even number in thousands, tens thousands, five thousands, for some judgments(civil fines imposed for various regulatory agencies). So that .5 million could arguably decrease on a big spread sheet, fuzzy math and all that.

...loafingoaf the law school funding was politicized, four to five years ago there were upcoming elections to steal, heaven forbid competent legal staffing could prevent any mistakes in voting from favoring only one side of the political spectrum.

...slim999, read above. That's enough ethical ammo to last seven lifetimes. Nice to note your outrage about it.

...P. Rich notes a paradigm shift of professional ratios reaches a state of equilibrium in two leading economies. Perhaps there is an extra engineer for every lawyer or missing digits? Typo? The market shapes the career choice in japan is the point. One could infer that as evidence against the original claim, we'll discuss again later.

...rev then confuses guns with their clients in comparison to lawyers with their clients. Both can be assumed neutral until given direction by interested parties.


Not that there's really much reason to use that model in the conversation, we all know guns don't kill, lawyers do(or at least prove in court who did or did not).

Garfield's quote is entirely dishonest, lawyers have been used without nuclear effect and to the good of people. Peace treaties can attest this fact too.

It does seem that a document called the Constitution did indeed have lawyers support it as well, and it's a reasonably honest as a contract, necessary and binding.

...

Mr.Murder said...

If the market is really based on supply and demand then the argument for more lawyers can be made a case for.

Also, the argument can be said that the state does not have enough lawyers, as later data comparisons show.

Individual cases show another need for lawyers as well, to the point an attempt to try and assert due process came so far after the fact that it led to loss. Had more lawyers argued effectively at the start this might not have been the case.

Finally one would expect Wisconsin to see this as a true investment in terms of the return on dollars spent, per capita and for alumnae. The extra lawyers can go into the market and export Wisconsin's mind power(always the greatest resource in the state, sans the said politician). This shapes the market in ways to boost competitiveness. Some business may be steered back, philanthropic pursuits as well, and the other markets continue their upward growth in proportion, to fuel greater demand for legal professionals from the source state, to level the competitive field.

Thus, Ann did a favor for many in the presentation of this thread. The fundamental context(market theory, practices, stats) all show examples of greater demand, made even more relevant with personal stories included.

Alan Lasee has inspired a new movie about lawyers, 'Grishamesque' in its tone, yet steeped with humor.

"To Mock a Mockingbird."

Joe said...

I assume Mr. Murder is being sarcastic since politicians spending money betting on increased business and philanthropy and even improved technology have proven to be a very bad bet (and usually a complete con by those receiving the money.)

The economic reality is that were college graduates, especially lawyers, really that generous with their income to their alma maters government subsidies wouldn't be needed.

Revenant said...

rev then confuses guns with their clients in comparison to lawyers with their clients. Both can be assumed neutral until given direction by interested parties.

You're forgetting "class action" lawsuits and a variety of other means by which greedy lawyers can bilk money out of people without being hired by a specific client.

Dale said...

This coming from a man who would wholeheartedly agree with the statement "guns don't shoot people, people do" as justification for letting people have more guns.

Lawyers don't sue people...

Mr.Murder said...

Bork sues an ivy league school for falling at an event he was attending.

He's real pistol, that GOP firebrand of a lawyer...