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Letters Re: Lawyers must be culled like rabbits - Nokia VP

Nokia's Erik Anderson has a cure for lawyer-infestation. You have your own suggestions for dealing with America's parasites, and here are the highlights.

In your Reg article you mention: "The trouble is no one is eating the lawyers"

Two thoughts spring to mind, the first is that would anyone find a lawyer appetising (except sharks, but they don't eat lawyers due to professional courtesy) and the second is that perhaps I shouldn't examine the contents of my next burger too closely.

Dave Hough


Andrew-

I was nodding off reading the story of Erik Anderson of Nokia, and his claims that attorneys are strangling Americans in their sleep, until I read the final paragraph:

"No one is eating the regulators, and they spread like rabbits. A Ronald Reagan only comes along every fifty years or so. The trouble is no one is eating the lawyers."

Wot? We'll have to wait another 30 years to have some bullshit artist claiming to reign in regulation in America, while expanding the realm of his big-buck brethren? I think not!

King George I and King George II were elected with the same 'mandate' (actually, Al Gore had the mandate, King George had the Supremes- Supremes smother scissors, I believe). None of these twits have done anything that they claimed they would do.

No doubt the King's friends include men (Lawyers all, Erik!) made rich by the dividing of the spectrum amongst the CDMA, GSM, TDMA and IDEN, and a little of that gold has trickled down into the King's coffers, in the only example of Trickle Down Economics to have ever found to have worked.

Yes, having one phone type would be better for the American public. So what? Having more then five companies own ever damned newspaper, radio and television in America would be better for the American public as well, but in the words of Michael Powell (paraphrased), so fucking what? Within the framework of what's left of the Republic, these positions are meaningless, unless the friends of the King (Lawyers again, Erik!) will make more money from the transition.

Get with the program, Mr. Anderson!

David A Stever
in St. Paul, Minnesota


The over-lawyered point made by Nokia's Erik Anderson has to strike a chord with everyone.

But taking the "cull like rabbits" analogy a bit further and we could consider the various approaches taken in Australia for rabbit control. Myxomatosis didn't last too long and the Calicivirus was useful, but I'm thinking more of the rabbit-proof fence which stretches across great swathes of Western Australia.

I'm just wondering what form a "Lawyer-proof fence" could take? Maybe a better use for the image-recognition systems would be to flag and detain anyone wearing a striped shirt and suspenders? (Now that really would be Homeland Security).

Perhaps the Bar exam could be used to "bar" someone from speaking in a civil case? (I appreciate that lawyers do have their uses in criminal cases).

These are just the musings (rantings?) of a recent arrival (non-immigrant) completely bewildered by the amount of rules in an essentially anti-regulation country. When the only method to ensure some level of product or process safety is the threat of a massive legal settlement, the result is a prohibition of any and all activity which could conceivably result in some form of litigation. Thus, I cannot go for a swim in a lake in a state park unless there is a life-guard on duty and I stay within the 100ft square roped off area in case I hurt myself and sue the state government. I cannot trim the hedges around my apartment because the condominium association does not carry liability insurance for residents performing maintenance.

Christmas, sorry Holiday, decorations are strictly proscribed not to make sure there is nothing which might offend, but to make sure there is nothing which could be used as the basis for a lawsuit.

Americans pride themselves on their freedoms and fight tooth and nail against government encroachment of these freedoms - and yet many everyday activities are far more bound with rules and regulations than in Europe. (Try New Year's Eve in the Town Hall Square in Copenhagen for an idea of what kind of fireworks are legal in "over-regulated" Denmark!) This not to make life safer or better, but the result of a legal system geared to punitive damages as a way to direct individual and corporate behaviour.

I'm not bashing Americans here, I'm not really bashing lawyers because they are just doing what we all do and exploiting the system in which they operate, but I think we have to be just as aware of the effects of "de-regulation" as we are of "over-regulation".

Rob Potter

[Letters may be edited to remove the boring bits. Please note, Mr J.Cordesman, that by the time I had finished editing your explanation of "undergraduate microeconomics", there was nothing left to publish] ®

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