Thursday, June 01, 2006

Truth, Justice and the American Way

I was reading Steve Levy's blog The Recruiting Edge the other day, and his post was entitled Truth, Justice and $$$. He was writing about a story that appeared on entitled, Trial Lawyers Are Down Now; Let's Hit Them Again. The author was Kevin Hassett who is director of economic policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, information I add for those interested in the author's political affiliation.

It is an interesting read, and it reminded me of the degree to which the thought of lawyers raises my blood pressure even though I am well aware that my bias is grossly unfair to that small number of lawyers who, simply by the law of averages, must be very decent, ethical people. In fact, now that I think about it, I have even met some.

That said, and as I wondered where this bias I have came from in the first place, I was reminded of how many times over the years I had seen instances where those whose role in life seemed to be to make their living by "beating the system" were represented by lawyers who made their living by helping the scoundrels to do it while the rest of us sat back and paid the tab.

It all reminded me of how I felt as a Labor Relations representative during the first 10+ years of my career when I recall thinking how incredibly expensive it was for a company to manage what probably amounted to 1% or less of the employee population.

At the time I was working in a manufacturing plant of some 3,000. We had a labor contract that I think could have been weighed in pounds, not ounces. It didn't take me long to figure out that for 99% of the people I was dealing with we didn't need a contract, all we needed were two people who instinctively knew what "fair' was, and that was it. The other 1% kept lots of us, including the legal staff, very busy and, if labor agreements ever had a "dedicated to" section, it should have been dedicated to that group.

As I look back on those days now, when I was a twenty something, I tell myself I felt the way I did as the result of "innocent idealism" as yet untarnished by the real world.

Now, some 40+ years and several Global Crossings, WorldComs, Enrons, Adelphias & Tycos later I realize that given the road we have traveled, and like it or not, it looks like we are going to need more lawyers not less.

Not a happy prospect.

1 comment:

The Edge said...

The Recruiting Edge is a tag-team effort. The post in question was written not by Steve but by Maureen Sharib, far and away the BEST names sourcer in the business (recruiters, are you listening?). She can be reached at or at 513-899-9628.