'Chutzpah Defense'Every once in a while an attorney...


May 16, 1993

'Chutzpah Defense'

Every once in a while an attorney encounters so outrageous a claim that it can only be classified as "chutzpah." For those who do not know what "chutzpah" is, it is colossal nerve. The term is best exemplified by the story of a man who murdered both his parents and then asked the judge to have mercy on him because he was an orphan. . . .

Now comes a middle-aged teacher who's been keeping little girls off the streets by taking them from the classroom to the bedroom. He blames the school board for not stopping him. I suppose that if they had, he would claim he was only engaging in a little extracurricular sex education.

Joey Buttafuoco should learn a lesson from this defense: "My mechanics knew I was bedding down little Amy, your honor. They should have stopped me." And, maybe, even Woody Allen: "The other kids knew I was sleeping with Soon-Yi, your honor. They should have told their mother."

When you think about it, what does all this notoriety do for the man? . . . To parade him before the television public with such an outrageous story does neither him nor his victims any service. But it does give him the means to pay legal fees.

And, therein you may have the ultimate chutzpah!

Anthony J. Girandola

Severna Park

The writer is an attorney.

There's A Better Way To Pick The School Board

Recently your paper took an editorial position regarding the selection of the school board for Anne Arundel County. It is interesting to me to see your paper take such a strong position on this issue.

During the second term of the Lighthizer administration, I introduced the exact legislation that you proposed in your editorial. Needless to say, when we held public hearings, the entire educational establishment turned out en masse to oppose the legislation. Many parents and citizens supported the proposal. . . .

Prior to introducing the bill, a majority of the County Council members told me that they would support the legislation. By the time the bill came before the House delegation, the educational establishment managed to evaporate the County Council support. . . .

This proposal makes good common sense and I may introduce this bill next year. I will seek your support, and ask that you seek the position of each County Council member with regard to this issue.

Del. John Gary


The writer represents District 33 in the Maryland House oDelegates.

Video Smut

One Friday afternoon, my girls (ages 8 and 6) and I were in the Pick Your Flicks video store on Mountain Road to rent a film. By chance, they were showing "Summer School" (PG-13), and we (( were there during a particularly gruesome scene -- butchered bodies, still living, laying around in bloody masses, all part of a "makeshift chain saw murder prank."

The attention of my girls was readily captured by the screaming in the film, coupled with the gory scenes (Hollywood at its finest). I immediately called them aside until the scenes were over (a couple minutes). I then complained to the manager about such films being shown when small children can easily see them.

He replied, "I show what I'm allowed -- G, PG, PG-13." I suppose, if he were "allowed," he'd show R and X as well. . . . Ultimately, we all "allow" them to show such films by not complaining, continuing to give them our business and not forcing legislators to pass decent laws. . . .

James R. Millford


Women's Safety

A Crofton-based, non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of women's personal safety deserves your attention, and your support. The Greater Women's Information Network (GWIN), serving Anne Arundel County, is making a solid contribution in the struggle for solutions to the problem of the victimization of women, at a time when statistics demonstrate a rise in incidents of sexual assault and rape.

GWIN conducts education and awareness seminars, lecture programs, disseminates reading materials on personal safety and preventive measures, and publishes a newsletter, at no charge to the public. Another important program is a referral service which women can call to find help for specific concerns. . . .

My office has received a number of calls from both men and women expressing gratitude for assistance rendered by GWIN. The director of the program is Sheila Schneider, a competent and highly respected professional whose unique talents and compassion forged a network formidable in its response to women in need. . . .

Jordan L. Harding


The writer is Crofton town manager.

Crofton Gridlock

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