My reply is posted here: http://www.knowyourcourts.com/News/news.htm (see March 4th entry), where your "judicial" capacity to strike a reply is unavailable.
I regret that you conflate one dissenting view with "flaming." And because you have, I now understand why you would resort to, "It's good to be the judge," approach, rather than receive opposing views or, heaven forbid, enter into dialogue.
Newsflash: I work with law enforcement and prosecutors, and many of them are not appreciative of inefficacy and speciousness of certain regulatory agencies, including attorney regulators.
I doubt many of you would take the time to read the reply where "the "judicial" capacity to strike a reply is unavailable." I had fifteen minutes to kill before going back to court, so I took the bait and clicked on the link. Here's the shocking reply (in part).
"However, Shannon Edwards of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association and administrator of the forum does not have very thick skin (for a prosecutor), abhors a dissenting view and comically provided us all with some insight as to her character: [a copy of Shannon's post from this site is copied in the blog, but not repeated here]"
"Lady, I don't need any legal advice from you (evidently, a judge wannabe). And I certainly wasn't giving any (if you think I was, file a complaint with your UPL committee --you probably know some folks on it, anyway). However, I will give some practical advice: ignore Edwards' advice and avoid calling the State Bar of Texas, unless you enjoy being lied to. And, Shannon, welcome to you and your OCDC colleages to life under the KnowYourCourts.com magnifying glass. (See my Feb. 27th entry, below). "
I could deal with the unexpected news that Shannon is really a lady. Who knew? And I can even swallow the idea that Shannon is comical. I can see how somebody could say that.
But a JUDGE, Shannon? Tell me no! Please don't be a judge wannabe!
It seems that your whole life may be specious.
Well, what can I say? I didn't do my research on Shannon T. Edmonds before posting my rank speculation and innuendo? Is Shannon really a guy? Is Shannon already a judge? I don't know.
Apparently, Shannon's made such a big splash in the Texas legal community that I can't seem to find anything out about her (or him) on Google to conclude anything one way or the other.
Hence --the lack of due diligence notwithstanding-- a reasonable person in my shoes would draw his or her inferences from the post alone, as I have done.
And shame on you for taking "the bait!"
[This message was edited by PeteSmith on 03-04-09 at .]
Mr. Smith's statement begs the question, what IS his personal experience with Texas' Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel? Or has Mr. Smith merely taken third-hand hearsay/anecdotal accounts found on the internet and extrapolated those incidents as indicative of the entirety of attorney self-regulation in Texas without first analyzing the strength, adequacy, or accuracy of those third-hand sources? (HALT? The Texas Lawyer? Few would describe those two entities as being entirely unbiased.)
I, for one, believe there are many ways attorneys can improve the policing of the legal profession. But I also note that Laura started this discussion thread with the goal of opening up a line of communication between her office and prosecutors as a means of improving her office's job of policing the profession.
Rather than casting philosophical stones with rocks that are of questionable merit or analytical weight, perhaps we should applaud Laura for reaching out and taking affirmative steps toward improving the legal profession.
It's easy for the fan in the stands to criticize the umpires when the fan has never played the game or studied the rules. It takes integrity to congratulate the umpire who both does the best job she can under difficult circumstances and who is also affirmatively looking for ways to improve the overall fairness of the game being played.
[Stepping off soapbox now....]
That's a fair question. Now for the answer.
I've had extensive experience not only with the Texas OCDC, but also with attorney regulators in other states. My findings are independently consonant with HALT's empirical findings, the anectodotal findings published by others, and the findings of respected scholars who have evaluated the subject.
In particular, I have been lied to by attorney regulators, including the OCDC, which suggest to me that they are ill-prepared to discern and enforce violations of these Rules. (Please pardon my avoidance of PC circumlocutions, such as "prevaricate," "false statement of material fact," "assertions made with a reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity thereof," or "statements that a disrespectful of the truth.")
These findings indicate that nothing has changed since the 1970 so-called Clark Report, notwithstanding protestations to the contrary (e.g., ABA's 1992 Report of the Commission on Evaluation of Disciplinary Enforcement) and similar self-appraisals by the various states' bar associations (of which I am a member of three).
Unfortunately, many attorneys --including some visiting this forum-- are vulnerable to selective prosecution. When I read of a regulator trolling for candidates, I wonder what animus is behind the endeavor (given my conclusions set forth in previous posts, about the specious agenda of the OCDC). That, which I have posed, is a fair question, too.
And when I hear an attorney declare that he or she, "believe[s] there are many ways attorneys can improve the policing of the legal profession," I recognize that as more meaningless sophistry.
We all stand to improve from a transparent, genuine and effective regulation system, or we don't deserve the privilege of self-regulation at all. Fifty years was enough of a chance.
C. Allen, you have made me laugh out loud. Thank you, everyone needs one of those each day.
I was thinking the same thing....
So you are suggesting I not get out my Roget's to translate?
Mr. Smith (aka Sean Harrington),
How do you have time to troll the TDCAA newsboards? One would think you would be too busy with the appeal in your pro se federal lawsuit against your ex-wife, her attorney, the CASA psychologist who worked on your child's behalf, a Jefferson County (Colorado) court clerk, a Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel, and the Colorado trial judge who presided over your divorce case (whom you called an "unindicted co-conspirator" in your amended complaint), and several other "bad people" you threw in for grins.
For some interesting reading about Harrington's lawsuit, see U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Watanabe's written recommendation to the district judge to dismiss Harrington's lawsuit: No. 05-cv-01858-EWN0MJW (D. Colo. Sept. 7, 2006)
...In light of the obvious axe Harrington has to grind with the American legal system, I don't find much persuasiveness in his claims of valid personal experience to back up HALT's "empirical" evidence.
Instead, I'll return to my original point: Laura has shown a great deal of personal integrity by reaching out to one facet of the bar. I doubt this forum (and its general audience) is the only segment of the Texas bar from which she has sought help. Unless Harrington has evidence to the contrary, his personal attacks on Laura's otherwise laudable (there I go being polysyllabic again) efforts are just mean-spirited and unwarranted.
[Stepping off my soapbox and leaving the room.]
Gosh, it looks like Shannon completely misjudged the potential for a flame war. And he's usually so insightful. Prescient even.
It would be nice if he would flame out on someone else's website instead of ours.
Can I start citing blogs in my motions to the court? They seem so . . . I don't know, objective? Surely they are more reliable than corrupt maggots and deposed judges.
And now Smith/Harrington's posts have such a Bob Dole quality about them - what's with the third party references?
Who's posts are you reading, anyway. I haven't attacked anyone on this site. Just the opposite: untoward comments have been made about me and my purportedly nefarious motives.
Have you read about me doing research on each one of your psuedonyms and revealing that the reason you went to law school and became a prosecutor was because your sister was raped when you were a child or because your policeman father was killed on the job? No, you certainly have not.
It's ironic that one of my letters of recommendation for law school was written by a district attorney and another was written by a Constitutional Law professor. And yet you claim that I have disdain for the American legal system?
What a typical defense, when you've been challenged to acknowledge and improve the profession.
The smug complacency and thinly-veiled vitriol on this site is an excellent anecdote for why the American public distrusts our profession. Yes, I said, "Our profession."
As for the "blog reference," it's interesting you should mention that. The increasing role of bloggers has been recognized by many courts and even cited by judges in their opinions. Bloggers and the "New media" have been the subject of several recent law symposiums and, I note, many of them toil as vanguards of accountability and accuracy in public discourse. See, e.g., Walaika Haskins, Bloggers Greatest Hits, Volumes I & II, TECHNEWSWORLD (June 27 & July 11, 2007), available at http://www.technewsworld.com/story/58038.html and http://www.technewsworld.com/story/58253.html (chronicling 10 significant news stories broken by bloggers, including the firing of U.S. prosecutors, Senator George Allen's use of the epithet "macaca," the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Dan Rather "memogate" scandal, and Trent Lott's comments at Strom Thurmond's birthday party).
Given that I've won most every appeal I've ever drafted (including even the rarely-granted Petition for Rehearing, granted statistically even less than a SCotUS cert. petition), I'm not really concerned about your conjecture as to my motions and brief-writing abilities.
[This message was edited by PeteSmith on 03-05-09 at .]
You're right. I don't know where anyone would've gotten the impression you were being inflammatory. Nothing in your postings suggest you intend to be provocative. I often italicize the word "persecute." Right after I take exception to sophistry (to put it mildly), and shortly before I criticize the forum moderator for being narrow-minded.
But I'm an appellate attorney. I don't make a habit of choosing my words carefully. I guess that's why I'm not as successful as you.
Then, as a stellar appellate advocate, you can discern between the terms "persecution" and "sophistry" concerning some agency or organization --terms, which doubtless have appeared somewhere in one or more of your briefs-- from ad hominem attacks, that go to the character of a person or her motives (rather than to the substance of the argument or assertion).
You mean ad hominem attacks like that one?
You mean the "ad hominem attack" defending my character and motives? So now, my defense of my [attacked] character and motives is an ad hominem attack?
It's okay, folks. I have thick skin. Keep on attacking me, and avoid the substance of the original post concerning the inefficacy and illusory nature of the OCDC altogether.
It's a great strategy, when you can't counter the opponents' briefs on the merits to district from the topic (or else file a Motion to Strike). I'll pretend like I'm stupid and don't notice.
Where, in any of this, is there a proposal on how to fix the system that is supposedly so broken? Rather than b*&^$ing about how lazy people appear to be and how little work they are doing, try to resolve the perceived problem; contribute something to the solution. In private practice, I guarantee that there are clients who don't realize how much time it takes for their lawyers to do something, and are shocked when they get the bill for the hourly rate that it took so long to get it done. Sometimes things just take a long time, especially if there are limited resources. Sometimes it is truly a matter of inefficiency that can be improved. But spewing venom back and forth isn't going to take care of the problem, if there is even a problem. And by the way, other than reporting other attorneys, since when is it the prosecutors' fault whether OCDC investigates fully or not? Go chew on their website for a while instead.
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