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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hope for the Legal Profession

At times during my legal travails, I have asked myself, "What in the world is being taught in our law schools? Why do so many lawyers and judges seem to be morally challenged (at worst) or ethically indifferent (at best)? Do legal ethics classes have any impact at all?"

I'm starting to think maybe there is hope for the legal profession. Missouri lawyer Paul Benton Weeks is the latest to renew my faith in the justice system. His affidavit alleging both ethical and criminal misconduct by U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller took both guts and a significant amount of effort. The affidavit is 39 pages long, and it's not an easy read. But it's worth the effort for anyone interested in matters of justice. Weeks' work is laced with intellectual rigor and moral clarity. Our justice system desperately needs more of both.

You can read the affidavit through this post, and it's at Scott Horton's No Comment blog at Harper's.org.

And of course, we have Rainsville attorney Jill Simpson, who recently testified before Congressional attorneys about her allegations that the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman was politically motivated.

Glynn Wilson has an update about Simpson and how she is handling the stresses and challenges of speaking "truth to power." Simpson has faced relentless attacks from "Pravda of the South" (The Birmingham News), but she knew that kind of thing was coming. Any signs that her resolve is cracking? Sure doesn't seem like it.

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