NEW YORK — A New York attorney on Thursday said the life of a murdered transgender woman wasn’t worth the same punishment as if his client had killed someone “in the higher end of the community.”
Piece of scum attorney.
My blood is fucking boiling.
The attorney and whomever that scum is defending are the worthless ones
All right, listen up, Tumblr. This is one of the few times I’ll actually give a social commentary, so here we go. When you’re a lawyer, your job is to fight for your client. No questions asked. You make whatever argument you can. You verbally rip apart people on the stand when they side against you. You say whatever you need to. Do I think this murderer is a piece of scum? Yes. Do I think his lawyer is probably a piece of scum too? Yes. But this has to be said. When you’re a lawyer, sometimes you’re forced to do dirty work. Because at the end of the day, if people stop fighting for the guilty ones, sooner or later, there’s no one to fight for the innocent ones either. You got a problem with that? Don’t be a lawyer. Problem solved. Does what this lawyer said suck? Yes. But it wasn’t your friend or family member that got murdered and it’s not years of your freedom on the line, so kindly fuck off. This lawyer’s job is probably hard enough as it is.
You’re fucking awful. Kindly fuck off
He said she was less than human.
What does that have to do with his job at all.
How does that make the murderer any less guilty?
I am a lawyer. (Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer. Consult a lawyer in your own state for anything that affects your rights.)
What this scumbag said does not fall under the ambit of zealous representation.
Arguments made to a court have to have a basis in law or a reasonable argument for reversing existing law and/or making new law. (I’m paraphrasing.)
There is no basis in law to argue that the murder laws do not or should not apply to transgender women or sex workers because of what kind of people they are or because their lives are somehow less valuable. None. Zero. Nada.
If I were that judge, I’d have reported the attorney for a Rule 11* violation for even making that argument, and be looking into my state’s rules of professional conduct to see what else he might have violated by doing so. In my state, even without a provision specifically protecting people on the basis of gender identity, I would be comfortable making the argument that this lawyer’s conduct was prejudicial to the administration of justice as a knowing manifestation of bias or prejudice based on sex. See TNRPC 8.4(d) and Comment 3 thereto.
Attorneys get enough shit for legitimate zealous representation issues without muddying the water as if every argument an attorney makes is ok because of zealous representation. It is not. This is not ok.
Also, if the commenter who posted that is a lawyer, they need to take a few more PR CLEs, because zealous representation does not and has never meant “you say whatever you need to.” Doing so violates Rule 11, shows a lack of candor toward the tribunal, and contributes to the degradation of the profession.
Does zealous representation mean we sometimes have to do things that seem unfair - hell, that are unfair? Yep. I can’t give a specific example because of my own professional limitations, but even in the short time I have been practicing law I have had to make arguments based on existing law that I know is unfair.
Does zealous representation extend to making an argument that a human being wasn’t really a person worthy of protection of the laws against violence because of who they were or what job they did? No, I can’t think of a set of facts where that would be true even in a PR hypothetical for students, much less real life. To make a Rule 11-compliant argument, the lawyer would need a cogent and reasoned analysis as to why the Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t apply to this victim such that they should be exempted from the protection of the laws against murder. “Because bigotry” is not such an argument. Again, I can’t think of any argument that would pass Rule 11 to get around equal protection of the laws against murder because of the status of the victim.
This is not just a “oh, popelizbet is a dang hippie lawyer” argument, either. Prominent law bloggers with many more years of service than I, whose politics barely brush mine, are condemning this. This kind of hateful garbage brings disrepute on our profession because it is morally wrong to make these kinds of arguments. Scummy lawyers get away with enough fuckery without people excusing things they do that are inexcusable based on their complete misunderstanding of what zealous representation actually is.
*Some states may not designate the rule with this rule number, but in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 11 is, in part, the rule against making arguments to the court that are not supported in law or do not advance a colorable argument to change existing law. A similar Rule exists in the Rules of Criminal Procedure. To my knowledge, every state has adopted this portion of the Federal Rules.
“In describing a fairy-story which they think adults might possibly read for their own entertainment, reviewers frequently indulge in such waggeries as: “this book is for children from the ages of six to sixty.” But I have never yet seen the puff of a new motor-model that began thus: “this toy will amuse infants from seventeen to seventy”; though that to my mind would be much more appropriate. Is there any essential connexion between children and fairy-stories? Is there any call for comment, if an adult reads them for himself? Reads them as tales, that is, not studies them as curios. Adults are allowed to collect and study anything, even old theatre programmes or paper bags. … I think this is an error; at best an error of false sentiment, and one that is therefore most often made by those who, for whatever private reason (such as childlessness), tend to think of children as a special kind of creature, almost a different race, rather than as normal, if immature, members of a particular family, and of the human family at large.”—J. R. R. Tolkienon fairy tales, the psychology of fantasy, and why there’s no such thing as writing “for children” (via explore-blog)
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”—Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (via booksandpublishing)
n. a recurring thought that only seems to strike you late at night—an overdue task, a nagging guilt, a looming and shapeless future—that circles high overhead during the day, that pecks at the back of your mind while you try to sleep, that you can successfully ignore for weeks, only to feel its presence hovering outside the window, waiting for you to finish your coffee, passing the time by quietly building a nest.