More on the 'danger' of too many lawyersIt is with both...

the Forum

January 09, 1991

More on the 'danger' of too many lawyers

It is with both amusement and satisfaction that I have followed the debate on your pages regarding the societal value of lawyers. Those two reactions were particularly aroused by J.W. Walton's Jan.2 letter in the Forum.

My amusement was piqued by the arguments advanced by Walton. What evidence is there of a relationship between the number of lawyers and a system with "too many" laws? The American concept of liberty has always embraced the sanctity of individual rights.

To the extent that a lawyer representing a client advances the interests of that client, liberty and freedom are served. Individual access to the courts is the most empowering and liberating feature of a free society. To the extent that more lawyers means greater access, the cause of freedom is enhanced.

The great hue and cry of dissatisfaction about lawyers is really our greatest compliment. It means lawyers take seriously our charge to represent those whose causes are unpopular. It means we are giving a voice to those who might otherwise be silenced by the tyranny of the majority. After all, it is not public opinion which we seek to sway. We generally only need to convince 12 people of the virtue of our client's cause, and having done that we succeed as lawyers and advocates.

Leo Ryan Jr.


The writer is Baltimore lawyer

Random testing

Regarding your editorial "Fighting on all fronts" (Jan. 3), is random drug test constitutional? Probably not.

Let's make it optional for workers of large companies. For those who refuse, don't take away their needed income. Let them work in positions that lack a responsibility factor. Sorry if these jobs don't pay much, but we should be fair to both sides. Revoking their work permits is only fair if they decline responsibility.

Charles Johnston


Biased criticism

Having read Lou Cedrone's review in "The best of films, the worst of films" (Accent Plus, Dec. 27), I have concluded that the article best expresses Mr. Cedrone's vicious and ignorant prejudice as a so-called "film critic."

He goes out of his way to bash horror and science fiction films. An example: His picks for the top 20 best films of 1990 don't include one horror/sci-fi, but eight of the 20 worst are horror films! I always thought that critics were supposed to be objective and impartial. There is a difference between panning a single horror film and condemning the whole genre.

In past reviews Mr. Cedrone has pointed out his dislike of the "slime, gore and killing" often seen in the genre. However, the "ugly, brutal" violence in "Goodfellas" is fine and dandy. Why? Perhaps because it had a big name director and cast, not some unknown struggling for recognition in Hollywood. I wonder, would Mr. Cedrone not change his tune if Martin Scorsese directed "Friday the 13th, Part IX," starring Kevin Costner and Jessica Lange?

I have a good suggestion: Hire a non-biased critic to review horror/sci-fi/action films, and put Mr. Cedrone in charge of the "sweet, lovely and touching" little movies that he seems so fond of.

Rachael Riffee


Education needed

Now that the elections are over, it is interesting to look back at who stood for what. When it came to abortion, even the most strident supporters of the right to choose were "personally opposed, but . . ."

If everyone is opposed, why is abortion still with us? Our leaders have abdicated in favor of leaving the "decision" to the 1 percent who are the frightened victims of rape or incest, the 99 percent who are either uninformed or irresponsible and the few greedy doctors who perpetuate this tragedy.

It is precisely these groups who require the corresponding support, education and regulation that our elected leaders must provide.

George H. Burns III


Not hypocrisy

A recent letter, titled "Mideast hypocrisy" (Forum, Dec. 18), stated: "Resolutions are passed authorizing the use of force to remove Iraqi troops from Kuwait, yet the U.N. Security Council many times tried to pass resolutions that condemned Israel for its actions in the Middle East, only to have the U.S. use its veto power to shield Israel."

The United States has not been shielding Israel so much lately; it seems to be doing just the opposite by supporting the newest U.N. resolutions against Israel so as to appease the Arab oil barons.

To compare Israel to Iraqi is absurd. The Iraqi troops were not attacked by the Kuwait people or by Saudi Arabia. However, the Palestine Liberation Organization has declared war on Israel. Israel is responding in self-defense to Palestinian attacks.

For Israel to deport Palestinians for terrorist acts of stoning, firebombing and knifing of innocent civilians, as well as for numerous arson attacks on Israel's forests, is a much more lenient punishment than what Saudi Arabia or Kuwait would do to the Palestinians under similar circumstances.

Barbara Bloom

Owings Mills

A great governor

I wish Frank A. DeFilippo would stop belly-aching and complaining about the best governor in the United States ` William Donald Schaefer!

DeFilippo's article, "Schaefer has only one person to blame" (Other Voices, Dec. 27), is a lot of nonsense!

Voters know that we are lucky to have a man like Schaefer!

Betty D. Edlavitch


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