Lawyers are anti-economists

I recall a comment from an economics professor many years ago that an economy’s growth rate is inversely proportional to the per capita number of lawyers.

Adam Creighton would agree, presenting the depressing news of the ballooning number of lawyers in Australia, breeding like rabbits.

Creighton cites Willem Buiter

… except for a depressingly small minority among them, lawyers know nothing; they are incapable of logic; they don’t know the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions, indeed any concept of probability is alien to them (and) they don’t understand the concepts of opportunity cost and trade-off.

What is the myxomatosis for Australia’s lawyers? I think we need a strong price signal. A flat lawyer income tax rate of 65 per cent and a $200,000 levy on all legal degrees.

This lawyer myxomatosis should cull numbers down to acceptable levels. And then we can ask ourselves: are legal qualifications necessary for Australian judges, or are they undesirable? As the number of lawyers in Parliament falls, it should be possible to remove all regulatory protections that lawyers have voted to themselves.

About J

J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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241 Responses to Lawyers are anti-economists

  1. Bruce

    Rabbits breed where there is lots of grass. Laywers breed where there are lots of laws.

    Greens oppose burning off grass. Greens also oppose burning off laws.

    Perhaps a genetically engineered plague to convert Greens into LDP members would be a good first step.

  2. Andrew of Randwick

    I liked Philip Howard’s suggestion that all legislation should have a 5 year sunset clause – thus driving politicians to re-examine what was the problem, and how has the solution worked. Which then leads to a “rescind it”, or “improve it” or “keep it” decision. Obviously, the workload for politicians would go up dramatically – but then they would get some idea of what work for citizens their legislation causes by its abundance and complexity. It also leaves less time for new laws!
    .

    Life Without Lawyers: Restoring Responsibility in America
    Philip K. Howard (Author)
    .
    Americans are losing the freedom to make sense of daily choices—teachers can’t maintain order in the classroom, managers are trained to avoid candor, schools ban tag, and companies plaster inane warnings on everything: “Remove Baby Before Folding Stroller.”
    .
    Philip K. Howard’s urgent argument is full of examples, often darkly humorous. He describes the historical and cultural forces that led to this mess and lays out the basic shift in approach needed to fix it. Today we are flooded with legal threats that prevent us from taking responsibility. We must rebuild boundaries of law that protect an open field of freedom. The voices here will ring true to every reader. The analysis is powerful, and the solution unavoidable. What’s at stake, Howard explains in this seminal book, is the vitality of American culture.

  3. Louis Hissink

    An explosion of the lawyer population is inevitable given the explosion of regulation here in Australia; comes with the territory. A wholesale repeal of many Acts and regulations would be the correct reaction, but not culling lawyers by fiscal techniques. Still the problem of repeal has to also cope with our place in the community of nations in the UN, and how many of our laws are in effect home-baked versions of UN policies? If globally there is a move towards a centrally planned governance system, based on the manipulation of aggregate economic statistics, then it seems we will need to become used to having another parasite class to support.

  4. Bob

    It’s all Ben Chifley’s fault.

    If he had campaigned on a policy of nationalising lawyers he would have cantered home in 1949.

    Instead, he wanted to nationalise the banks and lost to a lawyer.

  5. Tel

    Why should you punish lawyers for giving their customers what they want? Isn’t that what a business should be doing?

  6. Tel

    I liked Philip Howard’s suggestion that all legislation should have a 5 year sunset clause – thus driving politicians to re-examine what was the problem, and how has the solution worked.

    Go one better, when we get to the Reading of the Bill, make the fucker stand there and read the whole Bill end to end, out loud and clearly.

  7. 2dogs

    I think we need to make our legal system properly independent of government, and face some market competitive pressure.

    Something like this:
    1. Every citizen registers with a legal firm they choose to represent them.
    2. In a dispute, the plaintiff nominates some legal firms, which represent up to half of the population, to be excluded from providing the judge.
    3. The defendant then chooses the from the remaining firms the firm to provide the judge.

    Costs will be awarded as per the judges discretion. Everything will be off the government’s budget unless the government is a litigant.

    While litigants will exclude/pick to maximise their chance of victory, they will also have one eye on costs in the event of loss.

  8. Token

    An explosion of the lawyer population is inevitable given the explosion of regulation here in Australia; comes with the territory.

    The challenge is to overcome the legislative buffers legal professionals resistance & lobbying against any reduction in regulations.

    It does not help that as the profession of the politician is to create laws, too many come from that back ground and therefore inately sympathise with the concept that rolling back legislation is a bad idea.

  9. AP

    I am an engineer. It is getting too difficult to do my field of engineering in this state due to enormous amounts of regulation. I was toying around with the idea of retraining as a lawyer. Ha ha ha! From one side to the diametral opposite.

  10. Token

    Why should you punish lawyers for giving their customers what they want? Isn’t that what a business should be doing?

    Your assumption is that lawyers are passive and reactive. That is not so.

    Lawyers are constently being active lobbyist for greater complexity under the banner of “rights” and other open ended value statements.

  11. Aristogeiton

    What a stupid post.

  12. Badjack

    You could add “bent” to 30% of them and not understanding the difference between legal and morally right to 50% of them.

  13. AP

    Oh, and when you say “anti- economists” this has an assumption that economists actually contribute to national income? I’d question this assumption for a majority of economists.

  14. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Proliferation of lawyers is just a symptom of too much regulation, as has been mentioned above.

    … except for a depressingly small minority among them, lawyers know nothing; they are incapable of logic; they don’t know the difference between necessary and sufficient conditions, indeed any concept of probability is alien to them (and) they don’t understand the concepts of opportunity cost and trade-off.

    I’m a fan of Willem but that’s unfair on lawyers. Most of the population falls into this category.

  15. Alfonso

    Much of the US’s legal nightmare can be fixed by all costs being compulsorily paid by the losing plaintiff.
    Then make a dollar accepted by any Congressmen from any lobbyist for anything a felony. Easy as.

  16. Aristogeiton

    Oh, and when you say “anti- economists” this has an assumption that economists actually contribute to national income? I’d question this assumption for a majority of economists.

    Bingo. Creighton’s whole article is a confused mess. For Samuel J’s part, he just hates judges in particular and the legal profession more generally. Hilariously, on this libertarian blog, Samuel proposes a differential tax rate on a profession he dislikes. Way to go, dimwit!

  17. While on the secretariat of the Henry review a team of economists asked the only lawyer in the room whether small businesses operate through trusts or companies. When the lawyer says the use groups of both to get the benefit of the 30% rate and the income splitting, the economist get annoyed and say “how do we model that?”… One day economists will start entering the real world rather than flying above it at their “macro” level…

  18. Tel

    Lawyers are constently being active lobbyist for greater complexity under the banner of “rights” and other open ended value statements.

    And mining companies are advocates of more areas being opened up to mining, and forestry companies are advocates of getting access to more forests, and movie studios want Copyright protection to last a million years, and unions want the right to bend over any boss when it suits them.

    So what are you saying here?

  19. feelthebern

    Niall Ferguson writes a lot about this in his book “the Great Degeneration”.
    The rule of law is being replaced by the rule of lawyers.
    A link to one of his pieces (not the book).

    http://www.niallferguson.com/journalism/journalism/how-america-lost-its-way

  20. crocodile

    There must be a shortage of lawyers judging by their fees. We need more of them.

  21. Token

    Hilariously, on this libertarian blog, Samuel proposes a differential tax rate on a profession he dislikes. Way to go, dimwit!

    What’s your point? All I get is that what we all know, lawyers are thin skinned and can not justify therir existance with anything more than ad hom attacks.

    PS: Lawyers are the only profession ever challenged on this blog. Others raise objections based upon logic and see the request for reform rather than being childish.

  22. Baldrick

    Me thinks the government should offer incentives for lawyers to retrain into another profession, such as used-car salesmen, council parking inspectors, tax office auditors or telemarketers.

  23. Token

    So what are you saying here?

    You have made 2 negative statements with no message Tel. What are you saying accept you disagree with everyone?

  24. Aristogeiton

    [A]re legal qualifications necessary for Australian judges, or are the undesirable?

    This is wrong-headed. Which judges? What do you mean by ‘legal qualifications’? Is this distinct from legal experience? Admission to the profession was not traditionally through the university system. Do you want laypeople adjudicating upon a criminal trial? Our rules of evidence, part of our common law heritage, require a great deal of specialist knowledge to apply. Judges should preferably come from the bar where they gain this knowledge through practical experience. And what of commercial matters such as contracts, which require specialist knowledge of our legal and equitable traditions? How about we get you to decide, based upon your wide economic knowledge? On matters legal you are quite the numpty.

  25. Robert Blair

    Q: What do have when you have a bunch of lawyers up to their necks in wet concrete?

    A: Not quite enough concrete!

  26. .

    We need more lawyers.

    Tax lawyers to help us tax resist and minimise Government revenue.
    Criminal lawyers to stonewall petty criminal laws and undue prosecution lacking discretion.
    Constitutional lawyers saying no to Governments wielding power they are not entitled to.
    Family law lawyers standing up to the injustices of the family court.
    Land law, administrative & environmental lawyers to help people not be regulated out of existence.
    Commercial lawyers saying no to ASIC and the otherwise onerous regulatory burden.

    Given lawyers have a charge out rate sometimes to see a principal charged at $5k per hour, charged in six minute increments…I would say the price signal means we do indeed need more, to help the average citizen live without Government harrassment.

  27. Aristogeiton

    What’s your point? All I get is that what we all know, lawyers are thin skinned and can not justify therir existance with anything more than ad hom attacks.

    PS: Lawyers are the only profession ever challenged on this blog. Others raise objections based upon logic and see the request for reform rather than being childish.

    Let me get this straight. You are proposing a “reform” in which lawyers are taxed at a rate far higher than the general population, because you think there are too many of them and because you oppose the proliferation of government regulation? Also, you’re a libertarian. Is that right?

    The irony of the couplets “thin skinned [...] ad hom attacks [...] childish” is not lost on me.

  28. Abraham

    @ Aristo-whatever …

    For Samuel J’s part, he just hates judges in particular and the legal profession more generally.

    Who doesn’t?

  29. Aristogeiton

    Token
    #1143528, posted on January 10, 2014 at 8:39 am
    So what are you saying here?

    You have made 2 negative statements with no message Tel. What are you saying accept you disagree with everyone?

    I think you have a comprehension problem, Token. Tel is clearly saying that the same behaviour can be seen of participants in all the professions.

  30. Aristogeiton

    …and industry sectors.

  31. Andrew of Randwick

    Do you want laypeople adjudicating upon a criminal trial?

    We do now – its called a jury system.
    But I note the push to have judge-only trials either because the evidence trail is so complicated, or the length of trial would put such a burden on jurists that a mistrial could be a likely outcome.
    = Seems like a wrong solution to the stated problems.
    Conversely, one SC gave advice on the workings of a jury, e.g. emotional response rather than rational, making up their mind early after only hearing the prosecution case, failing to follow expert evidence as it is too taxing. Not a very heartening view from one who has come “from the bar where they gain this knowledge through practical experience”

  32. Abraham

    The irony of the couplets “thin skinned [...] ad hom attacks [...] childish” is not lost on me.

    Thanks for enlightening us on one of your many virtues no doubt.

  33. Token

    I think you have a comprehension problem, Token. Tel is clearly saying that the same behaviour can be seen of participants in all the professions.

    Intersting Aristogeiton you point that out. Which other professions can appoint their peers to positions like lawyers?

    Niall Ferguson writes a lot about this in his book “the Great Degeneration”.
    The rule of law is being replaced by the rule of lawyers.

    Ultimately this is Samuel’s point which Tel & Aristogeiton are tactically choosing not to address.

  34. Aristogeiton

    Tax lawyers to help us tax resist and minimise Government revenue.
    Criminal lawyers to stonewall petty criminal laws and undue prosecution lacking discretion.
    Constitutional lawyers saying no to Governments wielding power they are not entitled to.
    Family law lawyers standing up to the injustices of the family court.
    Land law, administrative & environmental lawyers to help people not be regulated out of existence.
    Commercial lawyers saying no to ASIC and the otherwise onerous regulatory burden.

    Bingo. The proliferation of regulation makes it almost impossible to do business in this country (think ACCC and P&E laws). The proliferation of criminal statutes makes one subject to arbitrary deprivation of liberty (think Newman’s OMCG laws). These problems are the creation of government, not lawyers.

  35. Token

    Thanks for enlightening us on one of your many virtues no doubt.

    Abraham, if someone addresses a point, I’ll discuss it with them. If they act defensive and refuse to discuss the content, I’ll call them on it.

    Why is it that so many people are thin skinned when the topic of the # of lawyers gets raised?

  36. john malpas

    Wasn’t it easier to get a legal degree in America that any other professional qualification .Thus a Cop could study at night and gain social advancement.
    As well it became apparant that legal trickery was a good ability if you had political ambitions. Hence the university student to trade union to politician track.

  37. jupes

    We need more lawyers.
    Tax lawyers to help us tax resist and minimise Government revenue.
    Criminal lawyers to stonewall petty criminal laws and undue prosecution lacking discretion.
    Constitutional lawyers saying no to Governments wielding power they are not entitled to.
    Family law lawyers standing up to the injustices of the family court.
    Land law, administrative & environmental lawyers to help people not be regulated out of existence.
    Commercial lawyers saying no to ASIC and the otherwise onerous regulatory burden.

    Every time one of your ‘good’ lawyers above is hired, the other side will hire a ‘bad’ lawyer to oppose them, thus doubling the number of lawyers and helping them with their ultimate aim i.e. to control every aspect of society.

    We need less regulations, less law and less lawyers.

  38. Aristogeiton

    Intersting Aristogeiton you point that out. Which other professions can appoint their peers to positions like lawyers?

    You seem to have trouble keeping track of your own arguments here. You argued that lawyers lobby for more regulation out of self interest. Tel argued that this is common across professions and industry sectors. Now it seems you are arguing that laywers can “appoint their peers to positions”. This is an unrelated contention so far as I can see. If you mean the judiciary, then these appointments are made by state and federal attorneys-general.

    Niall Ferguson writes a lot about this in his book “the Great Degeneration”.
    The rule of law is being replaced by the rule of lawyers.

    Ultimately this is Samuel’s point which Tel & Aristogeiton are tactically choosing not to address.

    That’s not a point so much as it is demagoguery.

  39. Aristogeiton

    We need less regulations, less law and less lawyers.

    Indeed. Less laws will mean less lawyers and more money in the productive economy.

  40. Combine Dave

    Why is it that so many people are thin skinned when the topic of the # of lawyers gets raised?

    Lots of lawyers about? ^^

  41. Abraham

    Token …

    Why is it that so many people are thin skinned when the topic of the # of lawyers gets raised?

    Because most lawyers are gormless, condescending, wankers, who became lawyers for the sole purpose of making bucketloads of money. Why else? To serve justice? Not in this life.

  42. dragnet

    I am a lawyer in small private practice. I don’t particularly like it, but I do my job professionally and in accordance with the instructions of my clients – many of them self-employed businessmen and professionals. Most lawyers that I know are not activitists and “human rights” scammers and can be as dismayed as any other thinking person about the proliferation of legislative blunt instruments to “solve” non-existent or minor problems. Please resist the temptation to treat us all as class enemies!!! :)

  43. jupes

    Go one better, when we get to the Reading of the Bill, make the fucker stand there and read the whole Bill end to end, out loud and clearly.

    +1

  44. .

    You are right jupes, so libertarians ought to lead here. Sand in the wheels to create pressure for change.

  45. Aristogeiton

    We do now – its called a jury system.

    The judge is the tribunal of law. I should have been clearer. The jury trial was a Norman innovation. For my own part I don’t support judge-only trials.

  46. jupes

    … are legal qualifications necessary for Australian judges, or are they undesirable?

    I believe the Frogs train judges from scratch and they aren’t required to have been lawyers.

    I would like to see something similiar in Australia with maybe a minimum age limit before student judges can begin training. I’d also like to bar lawyers from becoming judges. Too much potential for bias.

  47. Aristogeiton

    dragnet
    #1143559, posted on January 10, 2014 at 9:11 am
    [...]
    Please resist the temptation to treat us all as class enemies!!!

    +1. Apart from the trolls, most lawyers who read and participate here are concerned at the stultifying creep of regulation in this country. Even a Chicago economist’s dream would have lawyers and a judiciary to mediate contractual disputes between businesses.

  48. .

    I would elect judges using approval voting.

    Then again, I have radical views on elections, combining sortition, legislature approval and mult-round voting of primaries and confirmations after appointment…

  49. Token

    Because most lawyers are gormless, condescending, wankers, who became lawyers for the sole purpose of making bucketloads of money. Why else? To serve justice? Not in this life.

    Like everyone sane, I agree with what you state here and with what Aristogeiton posted at 9:01am.

  50. Aristogeiton

    I believe the Frogs train judges from scratch and they aren’t required to have been lawyers.

    They have a civilian legal system, and we have a common law one.

  51. Token

    Not the obvious sarcasm, the point you make that many lawyers mix a vocation with a desire to server.

  52. .

    For christ’s sake, if we mention juries we ought to realise non unanimous guilty verdicts are an absolute travesty. They must end.

  53. Token

    That’s not a point so much as it is demagoguery.

    I can see why a lawyer with full knowledge of the legal system who can focus on their role without the open ended risk of the legal system driving the person away from their core role would take that viewpoint.

  54. Mr McGoo

    Those lawyers who are not politicians are no more responsible for a proliferation of laws than doctors are responsible for diseases. The statement from jupes that the ultimate aim of lawyers is to control every aspect of society is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen on this blog. Lift your game Cats!

  55. Aristogeiton

    I would elect judges using approval voting.

    The problem with this is that one tends to get activists and rabble-rousers like in the U.S.

    I do pause to note the problem we have with light custodial sentences for violent criminal offences in this country. This is actually a very complex problem, due to the way that sentencing works in the criminal context (using comparatives), and the cure (mandatory sentencing) may in some cases be worse than the disease.

  56. jupes

    For christ’s sake, if we mention juries we ought to realise non unanimous guilty verdicts are an absolute travesty. They must end.

    What if there is a plant or someone loyal to the defendant in the jury? Say a greenie in a trial of a Greenpeace pirate?

  57. Aristogeiton

    Mr McGoo
    #1143583, posted on January 10, 2014 at 9:25 am
    [...]
    Lift your game Cats!

    Agreed. Reading much of this is depressing. If I wanted tendentious tripe I would lurk over at ‘The Drum’.

  58. Aristogeiton

    What if there is a plant or someone loyal to the defendant in the jury? Say a greenie in a trial of a Greenpeace pirate?

    New trial.

  59. Aristogeiton

    I can see why a lawyer with full knowledge of the legal system who can focus on their role without the open ended risk of the legal system driving the person away from their core role would take that viewpoint.

    Que?

  60. Boambee John

    Base legal aid payments on a “schedule fee” rate, as occurs with doctors under Medicare.

    The legal eagles will scream about the difficulties of “individual cases”, but that applies to medic al issues even more so.

    Once they are price controlled, as doctors are, and have to make up the difference by additional charges, a big part of their income stream will disappear, and the parasites with it.

  61. jupes

    This is actually a very complex problem, due to the way that sentencing works in the criminal context (using comparatives), and the cure (mandatory sentencing) may in some cases be worse than the disease.

    No it’s a very simple problem. Raise the minimum sentence for violent crimes. The judges and lawyers may bleat about mandatory sentencing and it being worse than the disease etc, but they can get fucked.

    Modern evidence shows that the disease of light sentencing is worse than any potential – and it’s only potential – miscarriage of justice.

  62. jupes

    New trial.

    Otherwise known as a lawyer’s picnic.

  63. .

    If you did that jupes there would be no justifiable homicide that wasn’t self defence. A lot of manslaughter cases end with guilty verdicts yet and no punishment.

  64. Toiling Mass

    What is the myxomatosis for Australia’s lawyers? I think we need a strong price signal. A flat lawyer income tax rate of 65 per cent and a $200,000 levy on all legal degrees.

    I notice you make no mention of pliers, finger nails and toe nails. Is there are reason for this?

  65. Julian mclaren

    This morning driving to work the radio news was discussing the new anti bullying workplace laws and sure enough, the Slater and Gordon representative was urging people to talk to their Lawyer or Union if they were affected by the new laws…

  66. Aristogeiton

    No it’s a very simple problem. Raise the minimum sentence for violent crimes.

    There are many circumstances which can lead to a conviction for a violence offence. I would agree with mandatory sentencing if we radically changed the criminal law relating to self-defence, but that is a discussion for another time.

  67. Abraham

    If I wanted tendentious tripe I would lurk over at ‘The Drum’.

    Cheers Mate … Have great weekend.

  68. Pickles

    Given lawyers have a charge out rate sometimes to see a principal charged at $5k per hour, charged in six minute increments

    $5k per hour? do you mean per day? If your are really paying $5k and hour let me know. Whatever the job is I’ll do it for $4k per hour (Plus GST) and we’ll just call it an example of market competition at work. We both win. I get to have the rest of the year off and you get whatever supercalafragilisitc fuck up you’ve created fixed by me.

    Then you can take me out for a Chinese feed and strippers.

  69. Aristogeiton

    I notice you make no mention of pliers, finger nails and toe nails. Is there are reason for this?

    Why the vicious hatred? What do you do and where do you work? I could pay you a visit if it is to be bellum omnium contra omnes.

  70. Louis Hissink

    And in the US

    Carthage Must Be Destroyed!

    By Rich Kozlovich

    In 2013 the United States Congress was criticized for not getting things done. The Congress “only” passed 65 new laws. Of course we have to understand that one year they passed over three hundred new laws.

    Source

    Just what is it with our political class that they believe their KPI is to create new legislation, whether here or the US? Or is the correct interpretation that it’s the PS that is driving this legislative monster and the politicians but mere messengers?

    Mind you Judaism, for example, has a large number of ‘legislated’ regulations pre and proscribing behaviour of its adherents. I wonder if the Sharia is as equally large in number of ‘laws’ its adherents need to suffer.

    Then how many lawyers are there in China, Cuba, (forget about North Korea) etc?

    Or are lawyers the equivalent of rabbis, priests, etc, that is a profession to interpret the various laws societies seem to inflict themselves with.

    So the more lawyers per capita could be an index quantifying intellectual slavery?

  71. Gab

    That’s a great bargain, Pickles. He should take you up on it.

  72. Aristogeiton

    Given lawyers have a charge out rate sometimes to see a principal charged at $5k per hour, charged in six minute increments

    This does not happen. You are off by a factor of ten, and that is the very top end of the market. There are many responsibilities (i.e. in professional negligence) that arise in the provision of legal advice. Often, when clients don’t like the outcome, they sue their lawyer.

  73. Token

    Why the vicious hatred? What do you do and where do you work? I could pay you a visit if it is to be bellum omnium contra omnes.

    A lot of the comment is extremely tongue in cheek.

    You may not be the reason people who talk about lawyers have a bad emotional connection with the profession, but your posts above addressing the effects of ever increasing layers of regulation go a long way to addressing it.

  74. Aristogeiton

    The Congress “only” passed 65 new laws.

    Yes please! The worst part is that the majority of legislation in the House passes on the voices (unopposed). There is bipartisan agreement that we be regulated back to the stone age.

  75. Token
    I can see why a lawyer with full knowledge of the legal system who can focus on their role without the open ended risk of the legal system driving the person away from their core role would take that viewpoint.

    Que?

    Good response. I am not surprised you don’t understand why there would be anger and political pressure from non-lawyers.

  76. Toiling Mass

    We could probably thin out the ranks of lawyers with a dress code, like the SCG.

  77. Aristogeiton

    You may not be the reason people who talk about lawyers have a bad emotional connection with the profession, but your posts above addressing the effects of ever increasing layers of regulation go a long way to addressing it.

    As I noted earlier, most Cats who are lawyers would agree with you about regulation.

    I don’t much like trade unionists, but I still think they should be taxed like everyone else (that is to say, much less).

  78. Pickles

    Yes Gab, I know a great place in the Valley. Four course set menu (including 2 beers) $50. For happy ending add another $50.

  79. Aristogeiton

    Token
    #1143625, posted on January 10, 2014 at 9:51 am
    I can see why a lawyer with full knowledge of the legal system who can focus on their role without the open ended risk of the legal system driving the person away from their core role would take that viewpoint.
    Que?

    Good response. I am not surprised you don’t understand why there would be anger and political pressure from non-lawyers.

    No, your comment makes no grammatical sense. Can you rephrase?

  80. JABL

    Q: What’s the difference between a cat and a lawyer?

    A: One is an arrogant creature who will ignore you and treat you with contempt unless it can get something out of you. The other is a house pet.

    Aristogeiton [incidentally the tyrannicide or the orator?] give it a rest no one likes us. You don’t become, and certainly don’t stay, a lawyer in order to win popularity contests.

    However the answer is very simple. Obey the law [and stop voting for politicians who pass stupid laws], love your spouses and do not cheat on them, honour your contracts and other obligations, respect the testamentary wishes of others and don’t be an asshat in yours and pay your taxes. Do this and the need for the vast majority of lawyers disappears.

    The reason we exist is human nature. It is a depressing realisation to know that you make a living because of human misery. However I don’t commit the crimes, I do not encourage people to destroy their relationships and then be miserable b’stards about it. Every time I finish a matter I tell my client this: “I hope we never need to meet again.”

    Oh and dot 5k an hour??? mate, what ever you are huffing cut back, seriously dude.

  81. .

    I checked our files and we did spend 5.5 k including GST excluding disbursements – it was an hour with a principal.

    However, it assumed more instructions and drafting which were never needed. We were charged about 1k before GST per hour which is high end but realistic. Accountants and other comm. analaysts can be often charged out at $250-$900 p.h.

  82. Gab

    Gosh, the desserts appear to be very expensive at that place, Pickles. I guess that’s how they make their profit.

  83. Abraham

    Aristogeidon

    He is called a demagogue and a sycophant, and his eloquence is described as of a coarse and vehement character. His impudence drew upon him the surname of “the dog.”

    Aristogeiton died in prison.

    Didn’t end well for the poor petal.

  84. Stephen Williams

    Lawyers are the only people who can charge by the minute and get away with it. I wonder if Dragnet thouth about the cost of the minute it must have taken to write his comment.

  85. Aristogeiton

    Abraham
    #1143638, posted on January 10, 2014 at 9:58 am

    Full points for identifying my nick as the orator, and not Harmodious’ lover.

    Maybe he just got bad press from Demosthenes; we’ll never know as none of his orations survive.

  86. Pickles

    Crim Legal Aid is on set rates and has been for at least a decade.
    Family law Legal Aid is a complete disaster as there is no incentive for either side to settle as someone else is paying the bill, hence go somewhere else to argue about who gets the 1995 Commodore, the houseful of Harvey Norman (5yrs interest free!) furniture and the four kids from 5 fathers.

  87. 2dogs

    Sinc, can we have a Catalaxy poll on the various proposals in this thread?

  88. Aristogeiton

    Aristogeiton [incidentally the tyrannicide or the orator?] give it a rest no one likes us. You don’t become, and certainly don’t stay, a lawyer in order to win popularity contests.

    Orator.

    I don’t rightly give a toss what people think of lawyers, and I find the modern obsession with how lawyers are perceived banal. It is, however, grating to see these kind of illiberal rantings on my favourite libertarian blog!

  89. Aristogeiton

    Crim Legal Aid is on set rates and has been for at least a decade.

    It’s the scummiest work at the bar. You get “x days” at a very low rate, and I have seen Legal Aid barristers try to wrap up the trial to the detriment of their client’s prospects because they don’t want to run over the allocated time.

    Further, we’ve ended the right to a committal hearing here in Qld, so there is no legal aid cost there anymore.

  90. JABL

    Lawyers are the only people who can charge by the minute and get away with it. I wonder if Dragnet thouth about the cost of the minute it must have taken to write his comment.

    The six minute charging tool was brought into the legal profession in the eighties. It was a practice adopted from the accountants. Initially the promise was that it was just to determine whether the charge out rates for work reflected the work being performed, it however quickly became a method for charging itself. A great many lawyers regard time charging as the bane of the profession.

  91. Pickles

    If one was a soccer fan (which one isn’t) one would support

    this lot and one might be able to remember the words.

  92. jupes

    Do this and the need for the vast majority of lawyers disappears.

    Not really. The bastards insert themselves into every part of society. Who do you think had more lawyers – the ANZACs at Gallipoli or the ADF in Afghanistan? If you are a law abiding mining company, how many lawyers would you need before you could start mining? How many lawyers would you need before you could finalise a workplace agreement?

  93. Aristogeiton

    jupes
    #1143653, posted on January 10, 2014 at 10:14 am
    Do this and the need for the vast majority of lawyers disappears.

    Not really. The bastards insert themselves into every part of society. Who do you think had more lawyers – the ANZACs at Gallipoli or the ADF in Afghanistan? If you are a law abiding mining company, how many lawyers would you need before you could start mining? How many lawyers would you need before you could finalise a workplace agreement?

    Who makes the laws? You need some remedial civics lessons.

  94. .

    Further, we’ve ended the right to a committal hearing here in Qld, so there is no legal aid cost there anymore.

    No committals and majority verdicts?

    We are turning into a fascist hell hole.

    We need a libertarian leaning constitutional lawyer to insist that right by jury means unanimous jury, as it meant at the time it was written. The framers did not intend for that be changed. Ever.

  95. jupes

    Who makes the laws? You need some remedial civics lessons.

    Parliamentarians, the majority of whom are lawyers.

  96. .

    Lawyers or hold an LLB?

    The only MP who needs legal training is the AG.

  97. JABL

    Pickles, first happy new year. Second a moment of your time on the strength of this comment:

    Crim Legal Aid is on set rates and has been for at least a decade.

    It’s the scummiest work at the bar. You get “x days” at a very low rate, and I have seen Legal Aid barristers try to wrap up the trial to the detriment of their client’s prospects because they don’t want to run over the allocated time.

    Further, we’ve ended the right to a committal hearing here in Qld, so there is no legal aid cost there anymore.

    I think that Aristogeiton is an associate my bet is DC. What do you think? Certainly not a criminal practitioner given the complete ignorance of the finer points of practice on display and given the language used about the only other person who fits the bill would be Lord Eldon.

  98. Aristogeiton

    Parliamentarians, the majority of whom are lawyers.

    Attend to the distinction between a profession and a university degree.

    Parliamentarians are MPs. Lawyers hold a current practising certificate.

  99. Abraham

    and not Harmodious’ lover.

    Notwithstanding me have a bit of go at you this morning, it’s the manner in which you articulate your argument that did it. However, in Sydney, we don’t judge. :-)

  100. Aristogeiton

    the complete ignorance of the finer points of practice on display

    I’m not a criminal lawyer, nor have ever been an associate. Care to expound upon my ignorance? ἕν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα.

  101. jupes

    Parliamentarians are MPs. Lawyers hold a current practising certificate.

    Once a lawyer, always a lawyer. They exist to make work for their fellow lawyers. Bash your distinctions up your jatzie.

  102. james

    Anyone started on the lawyer jokes yet?

  103. Pickles

    It’s the scummiest work at the bar

    $80 a day at Sandgate Mags. There ought be laws! However, I did learn that you could “find” a lot of things on the footpath, apparently. Weed, coke, ice, credit cards, $50k in cash and a hand cannon. So for a while it was heads down for me, looking for all this neat stuff that you could find. All I found were dog turds and butts and a lump on me bonce from bumping into power poles.

  104. Aristogeiton

    $80 a day at Sandgate Mags. There ought be laws!

    You plutocrat you! You only exist to make work for your fellow lawyers. You’ll meet your aim to “control every aspect of society”, $80 at a time!

  105. Empire Strikes Back

    Enough with the attorney bashing.

    I had a lawyer once. She was intelligent, attractive and spirited. I enjoyed the raucous debates. The majoring in minors less so.

    In my experience, a good lawyer is like a good dog. Provided one trains the lawyer properly, instils discipline and denies the subject’s alpha aspirations, a peaceful and productive master-servant relationship will ensue. Ceasar Millan’s canine principles work for lawyers
    - be a calm-assertive pack leader
    - only give affection when the lawyer is in a balanced state of mind

    It’s the clients who allow their lawyers to run amok and fail to clean up their excrement that give the species a bad name.

  106. Abraham

    Attend to the distinction between a profession and a university degree.

    Parliamentarians are MPs. Lawyers hold a current practising certificate.

    Don’t be a pedant.

  107. Gab

    You’ll meet your aim to “control every aspect of society”, $80 at a time!

    Another bargain! This thread is riddled with them.

  108. Aristogeiton

    Don’t be a pedant.

    This is hardly pedantry. This fallacy runs through most of the more outrageous arguments here. Considering the OP called for a differential taxation rate for lawyers, would this apply to Parliamentarians who hold an LLB (who are ‘lawyers’ in your scheme)? Kind of like an academic attainder?

  109. Abraham

    Empire …

    I had a lawyer once.

    Me too. And I made her breakfast the next morning. ;-)

  110. jupes

    Now you’re getting it.

    You only exist to make work for your fellow lawyers. You’ll meet your aim to “control every aspect of society”, $80 at a time! …

    … Sure you have to start at the bottom keeping the stupider crims on the street, but there is the promise of a better conditions and more money – much more money – in any part of society you choose in the future.

  111. Empire Strikes Back

    Me too. And I made her breakfast the next morning. ;-)

    Me too Abraham. Also lunch and dinner. She was great at the whole “dissemble the argument” stuff, but had little idea about the mundane essentials of life.

  112. Richard Inglis

    Lawyers are the consequence of over regulation generally and the growth of lawyers in pointless disciplines is specifically a result of the proliferation of unfettered delegated power to civil servants under the guise of subordinate legislation in every arcane area imaginable. The Greens and ALP in particular promote and defend the endless “lawyerfication” of just about every aspect of social and commercial discourse in our lives (because most of them have lousy law degrees with majors in environmental law, native title law, basket-weaving law etc etc). Governments at all levels measure their “success” by how many linear metres of shelf space the laws, rules and regulations they have promulgated cover in a given year. A further problem is the way fees are charged for private legal work (and contract work for Government) – charging by the hour simply encourages inefficient work. Why do the same job effectively in an hour when you can drag it out to 3 or 4 hours (or better still delegate it to a junior lawyer who can spend 30 hours working it up like an under-graduate assignment). Smaller Government, fewer Greens and Greens masquerading as ALP (which is most of them it seems) calling the shots and a change of expectations as to what Government is actually for (and in this I think Tony Abbott is heading in the right direction despite the apoplectic reactions of those who stand to lose much – just like the Indonesian politicians the ABC love to fawn over who, like New Jersey Mafia, stand to lose much by the shutting down of the boat racket)

  113. Aristogeiton

    Sure you have to start at the bottom keeping the stupider crims on the street, but there is the promise of a better conditions and more money – much more money – in any part of society you choose in the future.

    That’s the criminal bar. All blackjack and hookers!

  114. nerblnob

    You ask, sorry, “hire” , a lawyer for advice. They listen and say, “well what do YOU want to do?” Kerching!

    I have no sympathy for the profession in general, but I do know some excellent individuals.

    Particularly my Norwegian lawyer who quotes a lump sum, answers texts and emails 24/7 even when on holiday and does exactly what he says he will do and never charges a penny more no matter how much work is involved. A third generation in his firm and an honourable man.

  115. Pickles

    $80 at a time

    No, $80 a DAY. Typically 20 clients or so. A bargain all around, for the taxpayer, the citizen and the Court. And for the duty lawyers, great life experience and a bag of war stories, mostly funny, but the unfunny are very very sad or very disturbing.

    But spare a thought for the Magistrates, the real workhorses of the law. They deal with this stuff all day, every day. One minute a DUI, next minute first mention of the matter of a murdered child on it’s way up to first grade. They earn every dollar.

  116. Abraham

    Ari …

    This is hardly pedantry.

    I disagree. Lawyers (practising or not) share a certain mentality. They love rules. They love creating them. They love defending them. They love enforcing them. They love everything about rules and regulations. It gives them a sense of purpose. Without rules and regulations to defend and enforce their whole raison d’etre ceases to exist.

    So a lawyer is a lawyer is a lawyer … because of how they think.

  117. pete m

    Title is wrong to start with.

    There is nothing stopping any government from passing laws which repeal laws. Where do alwyers come in there?

    Free market determines number of lawyers. I recall the 90′s and most graduates didn’t get a lawyering job.

    Lots of people have a law degree which they find useful for other jobs they do, from psychiatry to management to engineer.

    Does the economy suffer from too many lawyers?

    I think this is inarguable.

    It would also suffer from too many other service professionals, as opposed to people who actually build stuff.

    Do we need thousands of accountants, financial planners, tarot card readers economists (oops) etc?

  118. Aristogeiton

    jupes
    #1143693, posted on January 10, 2014 at 10:40 am
    Now you’re getting it.

    Seriously, though, you should stop watching american television. I think it has warped your brain.

  119. Aristogeiton

    So a lawyer is a lawyer is a lawyer … because of how they think.

    Substitute for ‘Jew’ and see how far you get.

    raison d’etre ceases to exist

    I wouldn’t use the verbs être and exist together like that.

  120. .

    But spare a thought for the Magistrates, the real workhorses of the law. They deal with this stuff all day, every day.

    290k per year? Cops, social workers and registrars see that crap too. Sitting hours are not long and they are not required to write judgments.

    They’re worth it however because they have been identified as most competent and for some it may be a pay cut.

  121. jupes

    … next minute first mention of the matter of a murdered child on it’s way up to first grade.

    Here is a good example of lawyers creating work for themselves. Why should the matter of a murdered child be first heard by a magistrate? Everyone knows it will be heard by a higher court eventually, why not send it straight there?

    Oh that’s right, justice would be denied unless the correct process is followed.

  122. jupes

    Substitute for ‘Jew’ and see how far you get.

    A Jew doesn’t decide to be a Jew.

  123. .

    Here is a good example of lawyers creating work for themselves. Why should the matter of a murdered child be first heard by a magistrate? Everyone knows it will be heard by a higher court eventually, why not send it straight there?

    Oh that’s right, justice would be denied unless the correct process is followed.

    I can’t believe you are actually sarcastic about this. There is no guarantee. Failure at committal means no trail unless there is an ex officio indictment (which are rare).

    Why not let the cops shoot the first person they suspect is no longer a person of interest but the prime suspect!?

  124. Aristogeiton

    A Jew doesn’t decide to be a Jew.

    Neither does a lawyer, who are so ‘because of how they think’, right? Or are ‘lawyers’ so impressionable that their undergraduate degree changes their very mode of being for all time?

  125. Token

    I can see why a lawyer with full knowledge of the legal system who can focus on their role without the open ended risk of the legal system driving the person away from their core role would take that viewpoint.
    Que?

    Good response. I am not surprised you don’t understand why there would be anger and political pressure from non-lawyers.

    I’ll refer to the way Barbara Ramjan (whose husband is an extremely well connected lawyer) and David Marr (a lawyer) were able to use the fact they have unlimited access to legal services at cost to make a series of statements which:

    1. Failed the test of probity when cross-checked, and
    2. Achieved the goal of smearing Tony Abbott with the claim he is agressive to women.

    People who are not lawyers find the overt political actions both morally objectionable and concerning in the way they distort the democratic process.

    When queries are raised by the public too many lawyers don’t get this destroys trust in the legal system.

  126. jupes

    Seriously, though, you should stop watching american television.

    Most American television and movies that I’ve seen actually glorify the roles of lawyers.

    They have failed to convince me.

  127. Pedro

    jupes, the magistrate determines whether the cops have made a prima facie case, which is not always the case so it is an efficiency thing.

    “They’re worth it however because they have been identified as most competent” Yikes, you must have married one to think that.

  128. Token

    290k per year? Cops, social workers and registrars see that crap too. Sitting hours are not long and they are not required to write judgments.

    The delightful Pat O’Shane proved magistrates have plenty of “fringe benefits” which other dedicated professions do not have access to.

    She was known to use them in a way which seemed to most reasonable people to be extremely illiberal.

  129. .

    Pedro

    I wish we had a magistrate in the family. It would have moved me…to a bigger house.

  130. Pedro

    “What is the myxomatosis for Australia’s lawyers? I think we need a strong price signal. A flat lawyer income tax rate of 65 per cent and a $200,000 levy on all legal degrees.”

    You must be one of those anti-economists. What do you think will happen to legal fees if you reduce the number of lawyers?

  131. Pedro

    “It would have moved me…to a bigger house”

    Somewhere to park your new M5? ;-)

  132. Aristogeiton

    Barbara Ramjan (whose husband is an extremely well connected lawyer) and David Marr (a lawyer)

    Pickles is a lawyer. I don’t think David Marr has ever practised in his life.

    What has this to do with anything?

    person away from their core role

    What is this core role? Lawyer’s duties are primarily to the court and to their client.

  133. jupes

    Failure at committal means no trail unless there is an ex officio indictment (which are rare).

    Commital is part of the lawyer work making process. If they are charged with murder, send them to trial.

    Why not let the cops shoot the first person they suspect is no longer a person of interest but the prime suspect!?

    Because they might be innocent. I would have had no problem if the cops had shot Martin Bryant though.

  134. Abraham

    Ari …

    Substitute for ‘Jew’ and see how far you get.

    Why you picking on the Jews? Being Jewish isn’t a profession. Individuals become lawyers because they choose to.

    I wouldn’t use the verbs etre and exist together like that.

    Thank you for the grammar lesson. Obviously English isn’t my mother tongue.

  135. Token

    Free market determines number of lawyers. I recall the 90′s and most graduates didn’t get a lawyering job.

    When governments intervene in markets, they are no longer “free markets”.

    By ensuring more laws have been created using the coercive powers of government, the legal industry has been able to create demand.

    Look at all those legal aid lawyers and note how there is an endless call for more legal aid provided by government & then equity of access for all to similar levels of aid (i.e. taxpayers paying for more and more and more).

  136. jupes

    jupes, the magistrate determines whether the cops have made a prima facie case, which is not always the case so it is an efficiency thing.

    What percentage of murder charges are stopped by the magistrate? If it is high, then you have a point. I suspect not.

  137. .

    Commital is part of the lawyer work making process. If they are charged with murder, send them to trial.

    No, it is because we split more from the traditional British system and don’t use grand juries, which still require attorneys in the US.

    Because they might be innocent.

    Hence we put prima facie cases in lower courts to make the supreme and district courts cheaper and more efficient, and dedicate time to trials with stronger evidence, properly collected.

  138. Token

    What is this core role? Lawyer’s duties are primarily to the court and to their client

    Producing wealth in their profession.

  139. jupes
    A Jew doesn’t decide to be a Jew.

    Neither does a lawyer, who are so ‘because of how they think’, right?

    You can’t be serious. A lawyer doesn’t decide to be a lawyer? FMD

  140. Aristogeiton

    Commital is part of the lawyer work making process. If they are charged with murder, send them to trial.

    The same decision would then have to then be made at the District or Supreme Courts before the matter was committed to trial and set down for a hearing. The criminal pre-trial process at the Magistrates level is mostly administrative.

  141. Aristogeiton

    Producing wealth in their profession.

    Just when did you become a raging socialist, railing against the ‘wealthy’? Most lawyers are not wealthy, mate.

  142. Pedro

    “Producing wealth in their profession”

    Sure, it’s the invisible hand at work.

  143. Aristogeiton

    Neither does a lawyer, who are so ‘because of how they think’, right?

    You can’t be serious. A lawyer doesn’t decide to be a lawyer? FMD

    Try to keep up. That is Abraham’s argument, not mine.

  144. jupes

    The same decision would then have to then be made at the District or Supreme Courts before the matter was committed to trial and set down for a hearing. The criminal pre-trial process at the Magistrates level is mostly administrative.

    All lawyer make work rules. Send them straight to trial.

  145. jupes

    Try to keep up. That is Abraham’s argument, not mine.

    So you weren’t serious. Good. There’s hope for you yet.

    Not much mind you.

  146. Jannie

    I studied law because I figured it paid the most money for the least work, and I was better at Latin than maths. I was right. The one thing I know is that as you get older you do less work and get paid more.

  147. Bruce

    The suggestion of a differential tax rate has much to commend it and not just to reduce the number of lawyers preying on the community. A flat tax of 65% on lawyers is perhaps a little underdone but how about a 5% flat tax on Doctors (medical that is) and Nurses working in Regional and Country areas and maybe a flat tax of 65% on Social Workers and Psychologists . It has the makings of a very useful tool in reducing the burden of overfull professions and trades on society and redirecting resources to areas of genuine need.

  148. Token
    Producing wealth in their profession.

    Just when did you become a raging socialist, railing against the ‘wealthy’? Most lawyers are not wealthy, mate.

    You prove the premise of the tongue in cheek post.

    I note that people wish to produce / create wealth. You somehow interpret that to be re-distributing wealth.

  149. Aristogeiton

    I note that people wish to produce / create wealth. You somehow interpret that to be re-distributing wealth.

    You don’t express yourself very clearly. You are the one proposing a differential tax rate, and complaining of lawyers ‘producing wealth in their profession’. If you meant something else, then for god’s sake articulate it.

  150. Leo G

    “The explosion of legislation reflects a deeper, and depressing, slump in integrity that used to — far more effectively — grease the wheels of commerce and bind society together.” – Adam Creighton

    “An explosion of the lawyer population is inevitable given the explosion of regulation here in Australia; comes with the territory.” – Louis Hissink

    So accordingly, increasing regulation proliferates regulators, more regulators accelerates regulation increase, and together both lead to widespread disintegration of the mores which bind society and facilitate commerce.

  151. Aristogeiton

    The suggestion of a differential tax rate has much to commend it and not just to reduce the number of lawyers preying on the community. A flat tax of 65% on lawyers is perhaps a little underdone but how about a 5% flat tax on Doctors (medical that is) and Nurses working in Regional and Country areas and maybe a flat tax of 65% on Social Workers and Psychologists . It has the makings of a very useful tool in reducing the burden of overfull professions and trades on society and redirecting resources to areas of genuine need.

    Are you seriously proposing this?

  152. Aristogeiton

    So accordingly, increasing regulation proliferates regulators, more regulators accelerates regulation increase, and together both lead to widespread disintegration of the mores which bind society and facilitate commerce.

    A trifle dramatic.

    Lawyers are not regulators. You are making the same mistake many above do by using ‘lawyer’ in some kind of ridiculous colloquial sense, and it is leading you into error.

  153. Infidel tiger

    Worse than lawyers is that you need an accountant to fill out a tax return in this country.

    Shoot them all.

  154. Infidel tiger

    Most lawyers are not wealthy, mate.

    That because a law degree is this century’s arts degree. The profession is full of dumb fucks who don’t know they are.

  155. Token

    You are the one proposing a differential tax rate, and complaining of lawyers ‘producing wealth in their profession’. If you meant something else, then for god’s sake articulate it.

    I have been polite to you even given your deflections and ad hom attacks.

    Don’t verbal me.

  156. Aristogeiton

    That because a law degree is this century’s arts degree.

    The Universities love the LLB because they get Band 1 fees. I would say a majority of graduates do not practice. I’m told they are teaching all kinds of bolshie nonsense at the faculty these days.

  157. Token

    Worse than lawyers is that you need an accountant to fill out a tax return in this country.

    Shoot them all.

    Good work IT, why did you go easy on the other sacred cows of this blog, banksters, uni academics and public servants?

    They call all gather in a drum circle and have a great big sook about the mean things people say to them.

  158. Aristogeiton

    Don’t verbal me.

    As I said above, “If you meant something else, then for god’s sake articulate it”.

    As for the ad hominem, the first time you made the accusation you sandwiched it with abuse. You have no shame!

  159. Pedro

    “The profession is full of dumb fucks who don’t know they are.”

    That’s not just a 21st century problem

  160. Token

    As I said above, “If you meant something else, then for god’s sake articulate it”.

    You make it quite clear when you see wealth, you think re-distribution. I can see why you are deflecting.

  161. Abraham

    Here’s my favourite lawyer joke.

    If you see a puddle of blood in the middle of the road, how do you know whether it is a dog’s or a lawyer’s?

    If it was a dog’s, there would have been brake marks.

  162. Andrew of Randwick

    Let’s stop picking on lawyers a moment, they work within the systems we foolishly create – change the systems.
    On Australia Day, let us instead give thanks for how far we have come….
    a) Bash him in the head send him into a coma – 12 months good behaviour bond + counseling
    b) Steal a loaf of bread – 7 years transportation.
    I wonder if (b) had access to Legal Aid to find holes in the Crown case like arguing that the link between head contact and pavement contact was unforeseeable and psychologists to outline how upbringing and experience led to diminished cognition and responsibility, etc, etc. Or whether (b) just said “I dunnit”.

  163. Aristogeiton

    You make it quite clear when you see wealth, you think re-distribution. I can see why you are deflecting.

    I did no such thing. I did not use the word re-distribution; I was responding to your comment in which you bemoaned the creation of wealth in the profession in the context that you propose a punitive taxation regime for a class you call ‘lawyers’.

    Again, ironically, you accuse me of verballing you, and yet proceed to do the very same thing.

    This is a very poor form of argumentation you employ.

  164. dragnet

    Bloody hell, are we still carrying on with this thread are we?? Oh well, that’s another 6-minute unit I can bill to some poor bugger.

  165. Leo G

    Lawyers are not regulators. You are making the same mistake many above do by using ‘lawyer’ in some kind of ridiculous colloquial sense, and it is leading you into error.

    Your argument is based on a falsehood- I did not use ‘lawyer’- I used ‘regulator’.
    In any case, it is not true to imply that lawyers are not regulators- many lawyers are regulators. Not all lawyers are regulators, not all regulators are lawyers.
    If a road leads to a place, does that imply that the road caused the place to exist? No, but the road leads more people to the place. My inference from the arguments of Creighton and Hissink was not that regulation directly caused any ‘slump in integrity’, but rather are cofactors in such a process.

  166. Broadie

    Remove liability from the provision of health, and nationalised medicine may have been affordable for slightly longer. Despite new techniques, products and drugs having reduced the cost of cures, defense against, protection from, and provision for litigation have driven the cost of healthcare through the roof.
    for example, An obstetrician can’t open his door without paying ~$ 180,000 a year liability insurance.
    That you could sue a brain surgeon but couldn’t sue a barrister as he should not be held responsible for his actions, ‘having had to think on his feet’ gives some idea as to how out of touch the legal industry has been with reality.

    Any country stupid enough to lure the best and brightest into Law and away from Industry is in for a shock, and this shock is coming soon!

  167. thefrollickingmole

    As part of the stoush over my soon to be ex business i recieved a letter from the other parties lawyers.

    It included such no-standard things as the seller paying stamp duties and all their legal costs.
    All couched in gibberish, but basically transferring all assets while denying all liabilities.
    I wrote back asking for clarification and received a haughty “get your own lawyer to explain it”

    This is a grubby, grubby bunch of slime..

    Lawyers often fail in their duties, with no consequences at all.

    Which has backfired, I now intend to drag this out as long as i can.

  168. Aristogeiton

    Your argument is based on a falsehood- I did not use ‘lawyer’- I used ‘regulator’.
    In any case, it is not true to imply that lawyers are not regulators- many lawyers are regulators

    You presented two quotes, one about regulators and one about lawyers, and then used them to derive a conclusion about regulators.

    You would be hard pressed to find a lawyer (one with a practising certificate) who is a regulator. Even if you did, the practice of law and the passing of regulation are two very different practices with different aim and duties. Regulation (laws and delegated legislation) is passed by the parliament and various Government departments in response to governmental and departmental policy. Lawyers advise clients on the effect of existing laws and regulations and in some parts of the profession are involved in the conduct of litigation.

  169. Token

    This is a very poor form of argumentation you employ.

    You’ve persisted with that tired game the whole discussion. No wonder you are not wealthy.

  170. Aristogeiton

    Token
    #1143900, posted on January 10, 2014 at 12:42 pm
    This is a very poor form of argumentation you employ.

    You’ve persisted with that tired game the whole discussion. No wonder you are not wealthy.

    Let me help you mate:

    http://www.amazon.com/Concise-Introduction-Logic-Patrick-Hurley/dp/0534520065

  171. Leo G

    You presented two quotes, one about regulators and one about lawyers, and then used them to derive a conclusion about regulators.

    Wrong- both quotes were explicitly about “the explosion of regulation”, so both were about regulators, one referred to lawyers.

    “You would be hard pressed to find a lawyer (one with a practising certificate) who is a regulator”

    You previously implied that no lawyer was a regulator.

  172. Aristogeiton

    “The explosion of legislation reflects a deeper, and depressing, slump in integrity that used to — far more effectively — grease the wheels of commerce and bind society together.” – Adam Creighton

    “An explosion of the lawyer population is inevitable given the explosion of regulation here in Australia; comes with the territory.” – Louis Hissink

    So accordingly, increasing regulation proliferates regulators, more regulators accelerates regulation increase, and together both lead to widespread disintegration of the mores which bind society and facilitate commerce.

    That is the full quote. You seem to proceed from “an explosion of the lawyer population” to “increasing regulation proliferates regulators, more regulators accelerates regulation increase” (italics mine). It is difficult to divine what you mean, if you indeed meant something else.

    Allow me to be more clear; the practice of law and the process of regulation are conceptually and instrumentally distinct. Regulation may give rise to more lawyers, but the existence of more lawyers does not give rise to more legislation.

  173. Bruce

    But the existence of more lawyers does give rise to more litigation for no useful purpose other than to line the pockets of greedy lawyers.Bring on the 65% flat tax for the shysters.

  174. Empire Strikes Back

    Take a break and go meditate Ari. All you’ve achieved this morning is to corroborate the popular view here of lawyers as hypersensitive dissemblers, devoid of humility.

  175. Aristogeiton

    But the existence of more lawyers does give rise to more litigation for no useful purpose other than to line the pockets of greedy lawyers.

    Explain your reasoning. I contend that if anything it makes the market for legal services more competitive.

  176. Pickles

    Oh well all that went well.
    Alas it is Friday afternoon and I have to make saintly decisions. Hallett or Henri? Both about $500 so price is no help. Both gutsy reds so no go there either. Both tax deductible as this is “marketing”. Toss a coin I suppose and leave it where it falls. Go out the front and fire up a durry with a Mawson. Toss the flaming remnant into the Collins St cobblestones and marvel at the urgency of the urchins squabbling over it.

    My lunch guest client tells me I am in charge of the late afternoon entertainments. No worries says I to her. Seeing as though I am paying, can I watch?

  177. Bruce

    One might be sufficiently generous to believe that the ambiguous or garbled legislation which provides so much work for shysters is as a result of the drafting of that legislation by incompetent Public Servant /lawyers. Not so! Once again this apparent incompetence ,luckily,provides a rich vein to be mined by other members of the rancid trade.

  178. Gab

    Hallett or Henri?

    Don’t be such a peasant. The Henri first and then the Hallett.

  179. Aristogeiton

    Empire Strikes Back
    #1143943, posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:10 pm
    Take a break and go meditate Ari. All you’ve achieved this morning is to corroborate the popular view here of lawyers as hypersensitive dissemblers, devoid of humility.

    You’re quite the bigot. Come now, don’t be a slave to popular opinion.

  180. Aristogeiton

    Bruce
    #1143980, posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    One might be sufficiently generous to believe that the ambiguous or garbled legislation which provides so much work for shysters is as a result of the drafting of that legislation by incompetent Public Servant /lawyers. Not so! Once again this apparent incompetence ,luckily,provides a rich vein to be mined by other members of the rancid trade.

    What a horrid conspiracy! The thing should be more widely known.

  181. jupes

    Lawyers often fail in their duties, with no consequences at all.

    Yep. If you are anyone besides a lawyer and your incompetence kills someone you are in trouble. If you are a judge or member of a parole board and your incompetence kills someone you can carry on.

  182. Aristogeiton

    Pickles
    #1143977, posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    Oh well all that went well.
    Alas it is Friday afternoon and I have to make saintly decisions. Hallett or Henri? Both about $500 so price is no help. Both gutsy reds so no go there either. Both tax deductible as this is “marketing”. Toss a coin I suppose and leave it where it falls. Go out the front and fire up a durry with a Mawson. Toss the flaming remnant into the Collins St cobblestones and marvel at the urgency of the urchins squabbling over it.

    My lunch guest client tells me I am in charge of the late afternoon entertainments. No worries says I to her. Seeing as though I am paying, can I watch?

    Don’t forget you have to pump out some poorly drafted regs before knock-off.

  183. Pickles

    Don’t be such a peasant

    Brown RM’s with charcoal Fletcher Jones give it away Gab.

  184. egg_

    thin skinned

    Definitely the meme here.
    Any evidence to the contrary?

  185. Aristogeiton

    Go out the front and fire up a durry with a Mawson. Toss the flaming remnant into the Collins St cobblestones and marvel at the urgency of the urchins squabbling over it.

    Pickles, we haven’t had Mawsons since 1996. It’s a Monash now.

  186. jupes

    Don’t forget you have to pump out some poorly drafted regs before knock-off.

    You’re not jealous of Pickles’ humour are you Ari?

    Your pathetic attempt (if that’s what it is) is as funny as your arguments are valid.

  187. Aristogeiton

    You’re not jealous of Pickles’ humour are you Ari?

    Of course, Pickles is a riot. I apologise if my humour does not live up to his high standard.

    Your pathetic attempt (if that’s what it is) is as funny as your arguments are valid.

    Have you gotten yourself upset, petal?

  188. Bruce

    So garbled ,ambiguous legislation is not designed by the lawyers drafting the crap to provide work for other greedy members of the trade ? Well thanks for the clarification Aris and the confirmation that it’s all due to incompetence.

  189. Leo G

    Anyone started on the lawyer jokes yet?
    Q: What’s a QC?
    A: For what it’s worth, I heard it’s quincunxial.

  190. Aristogeiton

    Bruce
    #1144026, posted on January 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm
    So garbled ,ambiguous legislation is not designed by the lawyers drafting the crap to provide work for other greedy members of the trade ? Well thanks for the clarification Aris and the confirmation that it’s all due to incompetence.

    No. You need some civics lessons, mate. Lawyers, like all other professionals, vary in their level of competence.

  191. Pickles

    Pickles, we haven’t had Mawsons since 1996

    I am still struggling through the stash left to me by a grateful client last century. Bless her soul, her distrust of banks and her wise appointment of me as her executor, confidant and home help.

  192. Bruce

    Quit while you’re behind Aris. It can only get worse from here.

  193. egg_

    Back in the 80s a Barrister n in-law, who did a lot of Court work for ‘celebrity’ solicitor Chris Murphy, said we were facing a ‘lawyer lead recovery’. ;)

  194. Aristogeiton

    I believe I shall, Bruce. As the good book says:

    “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like unto him.”
    (Pr. 26:4, KJV)

  195. Bruce

    And you’ve been failing to take that excellent advice all morning so I guess we can draw our own conclusions regarding your ‘intelligence” or lack thereof. Sucked in bad one might say. Anyway bring on the 65% flat tax for shysters and the sooner the better.

  196. cohenite

    I’ve never met a lawyer I either didn’t like or thought was fascinating.

  197. Empire Strikes Back

    You’re quite the bigot.

    Yep, that’s me Ari. Sorry I took so long to respond to your baseless insult. I was busy berating my Filipino maid for ironing creases in the cuffs of my shirts. FFS! If the white chick at the laundry did that, I would have let it pass though, ’cause she’s white and stuff.

    No wonder you’re a poor lawyer. I’m not utterly intolerant of anything, especially lawyers (see my comment @ 10:33). I get the whole delicate/humourless schtick, but I expect better on the language front from the holder of an LLB.

    we haven’t had Mawsons since 1996

    I’m with Pickles. They’ll always be Mawsons to me.

  198. Aristogeiton

    Empire Strikes Back
    #1144101, posted on January 10, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    A bigot is one who is ‘obstinately and unreasonably wedded to a[n] opinion” (OED). I withdraw if you did not mean yourself to characterise lawyers as “hypersensitive dissemblers, devoid of humility”. I personally could not care a whit what the “popular view” of the profession is in any event.

  199. jupes

    I personally could not care a whit what the “popular view” of the profession is in any event.

    Really? You seem quite happy to perpetuate it.

  200. cohenite

    Are you a lawyer Aristogeiton?

  201. Token

    Take a break and go meditate Ari. All you’ve achieved this morning is to corroborate the popular view here of lawyers as hypersensitive dissemblers, devoid of humility.

    It is a pity. It seemed at first we could have a dialog.

    Unfortunately when pressed he got defensive and fell back to the familiar old tricks that are all about winning the discussion but not the mind.

  202. jupes

    Are you a lawyer Aristogeiton?

    Not one you’ve ever met cohenite, that’s for sure.

  203. Aristogeiton

    jupes
    #1144179, posted on January 10, 2014 at 3:18 pm
    I personally could not care a whit what the “popular view” of the profession is in any event.

    Really? You seem quite happy to perpetuate it.

    A view is held, not perpetuated. I suppose you are referring to a stereotype? Perhaps it would impress you if I employed a similarly fallacious and desultory mode of argumentation, but alas, I do not care a whit for your opinion either.

  204. Aristogeiton

    cohenite
    #1144181, posted on January 10, 2014 at 3:20 pm
    Are you a lawyer Aristogeiton?

    No.

  205. jupes

    … but alas, I do not care a whit for your opinion either.

    Hence the response.

  206. Alfonso

    Estate litigation Lawyers : god’s way of ensuring large estates are not frittered away by the beneficiaries.

  207. Aristogeiton

    Hence the response.

    Hinc illae lacrimae. Let it all out, mate.

  208. Andrew of Randwick

    Lawyers are fine people. I am sure it was just done for commercial reasons and the legal department was never asked for an opinion on this risk averse strategy.
    .
    Thanks to jumpnmcar #1142883, posted on January 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm on the Aldi thread
    .
    BIG W are caving now

  209. Aristogeiton

    It is a pity. It seemed at first we could have a dialog.

    Unfortunately when pressed he got defensive and fell back to the familiar old tricks that are all about winning the discussion but not the mind.

    He who asserts must prove mate, and you have fallen a long way short with your rambling nonsense. Employing words like ‘defensive’ and ‘tricks’ does nothing to rehabilitate your argument.

  210. Token

    Aristogeiton, you too make statements which are rambling and incoherent. That is the nature of dialog on a blog. Unfortunately you have chosen to sit in your glass house and hurl your rocks.

    The contributors here see very clearly you have prevented interaction by being defensive, your disembling & deflection against statements you are unable to address have lead to you owning the thread, but not the discussion.

    Leadership it is about winning the heart and the mind. It is about bringing people along via persuation. Looking upthread it is clear you fail on those measures.

  211. jupes
    It is a pity. It seemed at first we could have a dialog.

    Unfortunately when pressed he got defensive and fell back to the familiar old tricks that are all about winning the discussion but not the mind.

    He who asserts must prove mate, and you have fallen a long way short with your rambling nonsense. Employing words like ‘defensive’ and ‘tricks’ does nothing to rehabilitate your argument.

    LOL. Check out the self-awareness on Ari.

  212. Infidel Tiger

    Lawyers are great.

    Depends how you cook them.

  213. Aristogeiton

    Token
    #1144283, posted on January 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Ad hominem tu quoque. Nice. If you have any arguments to make, have at it. I don’t think you understand what it means to dissemble. If you think any of your points were not addressed, then it is incumbent upon you to point that out at the time. Perhaps you just didn’t agree with my propositions. The rest speaks for itself. Thanks for the gratuitous advice, though.

  214. cohenite

    Q: Why does the law society prohibit sex between lawyers and their clients?
    A: To prevent clients from being billed twice for essentially the same service.

  215. Pickles

    Of course this has all been quite enlightening and fun for me masquerading as a lawyer.

    Looking forward to a weekly Friday occupation bashing thread. Bookies, Real Estate Agents, Firemen, Brokers, Accountants, Academics, Scientists, Builders, ATC and truckies etc.

  216. Infidel Tiger

    Looking forward to a weekly Friday occupation bashing thread. Bookies, Real Estate Agents, Firemen, Brokers, Accountants, Academics, Scientists, Builders, ATC and truckies etc.

    Look, everyone sucks. They really do. There’s probably only 2 or 3 gainfully employed people in the whole country.

  217. Bruce

    A useful list of trades to which might be applied the Differential Tax Arrangement/Incentive System.Except for three or four of those mentioned above ,all would be well qualified for the 65% flat tax.

  218. jupes

    Looking forward to a weekly Friday occupation bashing thread. Bookies, Real Estate Agents, Firemen, Brokers, Accountants, Academics, Scientists, Builders, ATC and truckies etc.

    No. That couldn’t be as much fun as Friday with Ari.

  219. Aristogeiton

    Bruce
    #1144311, posted on January 10, 2014 at 4:29 pm
    A useful list of trades to which might be applied the Differential Tax Arrangement/Incentive System.Except for three or four of those mentioned above ,all would be well qualified for the 65% flat tax.

    Check out the economic liberalism on Bruce over here :)

  220. Aristogeiton

    jupes
    #1144316, posted on January 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm
    [...]
    No. That couldn’t be as much fun as Friday with Ari.

    You’ve gotten attached, haven’t you petal? Bless.

  221. Aristogeiton

    Look, everyone sucks. They really do. There’s probably only 2 or 3 gainfully employed people in the whole country.

    Can you tell the other two to get on with it, then? Pickles needs more Legal Aid $$$ or else he will be forced to light durries with his Ligne 2 Champagne.

  222. Bruce

    If we take out,from that list, firemen,builders,ATC and truckies all we are left with are non-productive parasites,all as deserving as lawyers to be taxed until they bleed.

  223. JABL

    Cohenite

    The answer to your question only means that Ari does not currently hold a practicing certificate. A better question would be “Were you a lawyer?”

    Further given that he is a confident predictor of the behaviour of “legal aid barristers ” [ by which I assume he means defence counsel whose fees are being paid by legal aid rather than inhouse counsel employed by legal aid] and that he has never been an associate I think you might be justified in asking “Are you/were you a Judge?”

  224. Gab

    Funnily enough, I was thinking perhaps he’s a judge…or a convicted criminal. (No offense, Ari).

  225. Aristogeiton

    Further given that he is a confident predictor of the behaviour of “legal aid barristers ” [ by which I assume he means defence counsel whose fees are being paid by legal aid rather than inhouse counsel employed by legal aid] and that he has never been an associate I think you might be justified in asking “Are you/were you a Judge?”

    You got me. I’m Mordy Bromberg, the shylock shyster himself!

  226. Bruce

    Or maybe just married to one, sometimes described as as “living off the immoral earnings….”.

  227. jupes

    You’ve gotten attached, haven’t you petal? Bless.

    Well I was but now you sound gay.

  228. cohenite

    JABL, thanks but I’m not that interested. I’ve been posting grotesquely asinine posts about the merits of lawyers about whom I have vast experience but I just can’t muster the enthusiasm. Never mind, look he’s cleverly claiming to be that dickhead Mordy. Such wit, such panache.

  229. Gab

    Clearly he’s not Mordy otherwise this place would have been shut down by now.

  230. Aristogeiton

    jupes
    #1144350, posted on January 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm
    You’ve gotten attached, haven’t you petal? Bless.

    Well I was but now you sound gay.

    The argumentum ad homo.

  231. pete m

    He is a creature to be feared, one of a magnitude worse than a lawyer.

    A law student.

  232. Aristogeiton

    pete m
    #1144375, posted on January 10, 2014 at 5:00 pm
    He is a creature to be feared, one of a magnitude worse than a lawyer.

    A law student.

    My student days are long gone. I don’t know why anyone would be interested in any event.

  233. Pickles

    Is this a convenient time your Honour?

  234. Pickles

    Monday not before 10. Writtens to my associate by 9.

  235. Cato the Elder

    LOL

    To Token and confreres, please don’t “collectivise” lawyers any more than you would regard all economists as the same. They (OK, “we”) are the very opposite of an homogenous monolitic group.

  236. 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

  237. Empire Strikes Back

    Max Baker, lecturer at the University of Sydney Business School, responds today to Creighton in The Australian (pay walled).

    Creighton’s argument, like much economic theory, is idealistic. Economists believe in a tale of perfect markets functioning with minimal intervention producing prosperity and freedom for all. Lawyers and politicians spoil this perfect world, imposing what economists perceive as costly red tape that makes it all just too damn complex. Creighton’s anti-regulation view was made popular by Milton Friedman in the late 1970s and subsequently politically championed by conservative disciples such as Margaret Thatcher. But if we have learnt anything from the recent global financial crisis, it is that this view is a dangerous one.

    Thanks Max for alerting us to the unimaginable horror of a less regulated world.

    In 2008, in the absence of regulation, financial market participants were neither rational nor ethical. A more developed legal apparatus surrounding complex financial instruments may have saved us enormous pain. Our experience of the financial crisis has indeed tarnished the simple ideas of classical economic theory. Now we begin to understand the business world for what it is: aggressive and complex, not rational and simple. New laws offer a way to define our rights and create proper procedures within this world. In essence, these laws make this world liveable.

    There you go. The Great Recession was the result of insufficient regulation. I’ve learned something important today.

    We need more lawyers, not fewer.

    Here’s a tip Max. Next time you’re given the opportunity to advertise your wares at no cost, focus on plain language. Copywriters in the ad industry have known this for some time. You might replace your 639 words of self-serving flab with this:

    The machinery of state and the moocher class are on our side. We will not be defeated. Choose law, you know it makes sense.

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