New rules for lawyers who advertise
In the April 16 "It's Your Call" you asked readers to offer their views on the new rules restricting lawyer advertising approved by the Maryland Court of Appeals that take effect July 1. But readers' responses regarding the "fairness" of the new rules will be difficult to measure, since all three were presented incorrectly in your solicitation.
First, you stated that celebrity endorsements by non-lawyers will not be allowed. Wrong -- non-client endorsements are not allowed. Second, you said attorneys will not be able to mention their win-lose records. Wrong again -- they can mention this record but must attach a disclaimer announcing that it is no assurance of future results.
Finally, you stated that ads claiming that clients won't have to pay if they lose their case will be prohibited. The new rule still allows layers to claim there's no fee unless they win, but the ad must also inform clients whether they are responsible for any litigation costs.
The Maryland State Bar Association conducted a comprehensive study of lawyer advertising in Maryland before it proposed these three new rules to the Court of Appeals. It felt there was a need for greater disclosure in legal advertising, reflected by the three correct rules mentioned above.
That the public must agree is evidenced by the results of your poll. Even with incorrect information, 75 percent of your callers found the new rules to be fair.
Janet Stidman Eveleth
The writer is director of communications for the Maryland StatBar Association.
No pen pal
Would someone please take up a collection for Mayor Schmoke and buy him some stamps?
Over five weeks ago I wrote him to inquire whether he was familiar with a Baltimore political-gossip magazine named "Harry." I had bought a $25 subscription to it after seeking it on a newsstand, and had never heard further. Was it a rip-off? Was it a real publication? Did others get snookered, or are copies being published? Could he have someone clue me in? I wrote a second time two weeks ago.
I own the Schaefer Hotel downtown and am in Baltimore every few months. I guess I'll go see the mayor next time I am in town because letters don't seem to do the trick. But I do wish he'd have an assistant take care of his mail if he's too busy.
When I write to Gov. William Donald Schaefer (no relation) I always get a response. Don Schaefer sees to that.
San Diego, Calif.
Regarding millionairess Leona Helmsley's tax evasion conviction, I accept that she is guilty of crimes and should be punished for them.
But having her serve time in prison (at taxpayer expense) only satisfies the vengeful emotions of short-sighted people. Can't we see that punishing a woman guilty of her crimes by putting her away only takes up prison space that could be used for the dangerous criminals who are a threat to society?
She may be "the queen of mean" but it would have been better to have her spend her four-year sentence doing good for others. She could, for example, be running a very successful program for the homeless right now.
Why did we miss the opportunity to use her skills and money for the good of those who desperately needed it? Instead, she is going to rot in prison at our expense.
Ann F. Bond
Events such as the Caterpillar strike suggest that American workers can no longer expect extensive protection from the large unions of yesteryear. Our prospects for employment appear to include longer hours and harsher working conditions.
Some of us hope to escape this cruel possibility by finding employment in jobs we really like. Others will continue the search for ways of reducing oppression on the larger socioeconomic scale.
In a world of 'bunkum' must lie a place for faith
It's so sad to see anyone so totally without hope as Phillip Stahl (Other Voices, April 16). It makes one wonder what traumatic event occurred in his life that has caused him to bend in this direction. While admittedly there are some hoaxes perpetrated on people that are ever looking for the sensational, still this is no reason to discount God's personal intervention in affairs of life.
I believe in a personal God, who has a plan and will for my life. It is my choice whether I align myself with Him to carry out His purpose for my life. Certainly God can't be held accountable for the welfare of those who ignore Him and His principles.
Mr. Stahl is delving a bit into the supernatural himself when he purports to know the reason each person on the airplane died or survived. We humans are mortal and it's a certainty that we won't live in this form forever. Death is not an enemy to those in right standing with God. So don't think that all survivors were blessed of God and all that were killed were cursed by God, but please don't try to discredit those who have been apprehended by God by surviving a plane crash.