Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lawyers and . . . Integrity?

Today's Birmingham News contains a classic quote about Alabama's justice system, and it comes, in all places, on the sports page.

The story is about the grade-changing investigation at Hoover High School, which of course is famed for its powerhouse football team that was the subject of MTV's Two A Days. The investigation is being led by former U.S. District Judge Sam Pointer and three other lawyers from his firm.

Looks like the final bill for the investigation, including some discounts, will top $80,000.

Then we have this wonderfully naive quote from Andy Craig, superintendent of Hoover schools, who doesn't seem perturbed by the hefty bill. "I still think it's an investment in the integrity of our system."

Craig actually thinks he's likely to get integrity from an operation led by four lawyers? This man obviously hasn't seen lawyers perform up close.

To be fair, I'm sure there are honorable people in the law, and Pointer and his team might be among them. But I'm convinced, from painfully close personal observation, that many lawyers are not trained in getting at the truth--or justice. They are trained to be advocates, and that often means obscuring the truth and grandstanding. Most of all, they are trained to bill. Man, can they bill.

My guess? Nothing of substance will come out of the investigation, and Hoover High will go on happily winning football games. What will Hoover taxpayers get for their money? An expensive whitewash.

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