Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, March 25, 2011

Leonard Weinglass has died, an occasion which makes me reflect on what we do, why we do it, and why it is important. Among the things we do is to tilt at windmills. We do this because we also fight City Hall, and sometimes the windmills look as thought they might be City Hall. We fight City Hall because that's the only way to keep the system honest, and keeping the system honest is a lot more important than the guilt or innocence or rightness or wrongness of any particular individual or cause. People lose track of this. Smart guys like Chuck Schumer, for example, shoot off their mouths about people who have been accused of crimes as though the accusation is the same as a conviction. Leonard Weinglass represented unpopular people, which is probably the most important, least glamorous thing we do in our glamor profession.

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We started watching the TV series, "Harry's Law" because we are fans of Kathy Bates, it's star. We found it to be witty and different than the usual lawyer show (it's written by David E. Kelley who used to write "the practise" another lawyer show we enjoyed). The latest episode concerned a rather down-at-heels lawyer, apparently an old friend of "Harry" (Kathy Bates), who asks her to take on a very guilty seeming client accused of armed robbery because he, the friend, is under sanction and cannot do it. The point of the story was a very moving defense of the kind of defense lawyers who take on very possibly guilty clients with no great remuneration at the end, just the necessity of every client deserving a lawyer's defense in our system of law. This post makes the similar point and equally well. You might enjoy this show. It uses very good actors.

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