Ambulance chasers deserve censureYour March 14 editorial...


April 09, 1996

Ambulance chasers deserve censure

Your March 14 editorial, "Maryland Bar's unused disaster plan," showed appropriate empathy for the families and victims of the Silver Spring train disaster who were being bombarded with lawyers' solicitations by telephone or in person.

The Maryland Trial Lawyers Association, whose members represent consumers and injured persons, is also offended by lawyers who disregard propriety and ethics. Solicitation by phone or in person is a clear violation of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct. Those rules clearly prohibit a lawyer from initiating personal contact with a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment, unless the client is a close friend, relative or former client. This is not a ''gray'' area.

Moreover, the rules apply to all situations, Amtrak/MARC disaster or not. Every lawyer is required to observe and obey the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct when he attempts to interject himself into any tragic event occurring in this state, regardless of whether he maintains a law office in Maryland.

It is important that the Attorney Grievance Commission immediately investigate the lawyers who appear to have violated this rule when they sought out the family members of the train crash victims. The investigation can start with The Sun's March 13 article, "Lawyers sniff out victims."

It is unfortunate that the unethical behavior of a few has tarnished the reputation of all hard-working men and women in the legal profession.

William O'B. Finch Jr.


The writer is president of the Maryland Trial Lawyers Association.

In search of honest government

In their March 26 letter, John and Kathryn Venables voice their objections to continuation of the Whitewater investigation. This scandal has already resulted in the jailing of two persons and the indictment of three who are now standing trial, all who were close to the Clintons at the time and all formerly in high positions in federal or state government.

Have we become so blase as to no longer expect honesty in government? Are $50 million to $60 million fraudulently lost in banks that taxpayers have had to cover of so little consequence? Does the shredding of evidence and the convenient development of cases of amnesia by those close to the Clintons have no meaning to decent people?

I hope the majority still hope, as I do, that we can still strive for some honesty in government. One forceful way to achieve this goal is the full and complete prosecution of those found guilty. Money spent in seeking out these white-collar criminals is well spent.

Marion Friedman


Living well on city pensions

As outrageous as the disclosures are about the relationship between Comptroller Joan Pratt and Julius Henson, as a city resident I found even more outrageous the sums of money paid out for pension board members to go to exotic locales.

Evidently, Ms. Pratt was one of 12 trustees reimbursed for trips to China, South Africa and India. The total for only two of these overseas trips was $6,418.55 -- multipled by 12.

At a time when the city is so strapped for funds that it is slashing services to libraries and cutting the education budget, I find such expenditures for far-away conventions unconscionable.

Surely our pension trustees can find a less expensive way to exchange information.

Pamela Seng


Racial exclusivity is bad city policy

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke's recent announcement of a community service summit aimed at area blacks is a fine idea. However, I find its blatant exclusivity troubling.

The Million Man March, which was the inspiration for ''Baltimore's Men of the March: A Day of Commitment,'' sets a disturbing precedent as apparently only African-Americans are welcome.

The Million Man March was organized by a non-elected official and was not supported by taxes. Mr. Schmoke, as our city's mayor, is in a decidedly different position and his blacks-only event will be paid for by all groups.

I believe there is more room at the table, and perhaps the administration will recognize that hosting a city conference of this nature is a form of discrimination.

Hopefully, this African-American ''Day of Commitment'' will take on a less biased flavor as June 29 draws closer.

As a community volunteer who lives and works in the city of Baltimore, I certainly hope so.

R. N. Ellis


Didn't mention Einstein's dyslexia

I enjoyed your March 16 article on Albert Einstein, "Equated with genius." However, I would like to add one important fact about the man. Albert Einstein was dyslexic.

He was expelled from school as a youngster due to the efforts of a teacher who despised him for his inability to learn from her method of teaching. He pursued knowledge on his own until he had developed to such a degree that the reference points needed to continue were available only in universities.

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