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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 5, 2012/ 115 Sivan, 5772

Florida Attorneys to Shake Hands with the Devil

By Alan Douglas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week, as a member of the Florida Bar, I received my dues statement, and a letter from Gwynne Young, the President of the Florida Bar, introducing a great, new "opportunity." She wants me to renew my vows, not for marriage, but as an attorney in Florida. Ms. Young was pleased to announce that the Florida Supreme Court revised the mandatory Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar adding the following:


"To opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness, integrity, and civility, not only in court, but also in all written and oral communications."


So the next time you see a photo in the newspaper of a prosecutor reaching across the table to shake hands with a child molester or a murdered they just convicted, please understand that it is all part of the new, improved, campaign for civility in Florida. With all the talk about road rage and the general moral decline of civilization I would like to make my small voice heard. And, as is often the case, my thoughts run counter to current trends. I say… You shouldn't have to shake hands with the devil.

In sports or business it helps to start, and end, with a handshake. The ceremony signifies mutual respect. I am not in favor of violence or rudeness; but mandatory hypocrisy rubs me the wrong way. The world would be a better place if there was more honesty when conflicting parties recognized they don't like each other and can even agree to disagree. It is more probable that conflicts will be resolved if they are fully reviewed, rather than painted over with pixie dust.

Would you shake hands with Adolph Hitler to for the sake of civility? Civility is not absolute. There are also valid cultural, hygienic, and religious reasons for refusing to extend your hand to another as a gesture of civility. It is a haraam for a Muslim to shake hands with a non-maram woman and there are restrictions on Orthodox men and women touching. Ethically it is wrong to shake hands where there is not mutual acceptance of respect for the other party or for the process. It is counterproductive to dispute resolution.

At the same time they are promoting "civility," bar associations and the judiciary, bowing to economic pressure, watered down or eliminated many of the ethical restrictions. Ms. Young laments that "Sometimes in an adversarial system like the one in which we work, good manners, professionalism, and civility get lost in the vigor of winning a case." When the Florida Bar blames society in general or the gusto of lawyers who just get too ambitious working so darn hard for their clients, it is pure baloney. The real cause of their discomfort is a combination of greed and lower ethical standards.

This month an attorney from one of America's largest law firms, Le Clair Ryan, was insulted when I refused to shake his hand. In the good old days, people joked about the man who consulted with all the great divorce attorneys in his town so they would have a conflict and couldn't represent his wife.

Not anymore.

Numerous ethical restrictions have been diluted or eliminated, allowing attorneys and firms greater latitude in representing former and current clients. Different attorneys in the same firm can represent opposing parties now.

Gary Le Clair and his firm, Le Clair Ryan, represented me personally and represented companies I owned over the years. When a dispute arose this year related to one of my former companies two other law firms bowed out, citing the ethical conflict. Le Clair Ryan decided, despite my objections, to "go for the gold" and represent the other side.

Today's looser ethical standards might allow Le Clair Ryan to proceed but as G. K. Chesterton once observed, "To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it." Judges, bar associations, attorneys and law firms are self serving when they prioritize making the legal system operate more smoothly or profitably using "civility" or "advocacy" as pretence for generating fees. Ms. Young's letter quotes United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy that, "Civility is an end in itself." I disagree.

The rules of Etiquette and the emerging mandate of imposed "civility" are being misused. There are occasions when we each should step aside or speak up. We should refuse to condone what is politically correct, legally permissible, or socially acceptable, but we know is nonetheless, wrong.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

JWR contributor, Alan Douglas, an author, media executive, award winning screenwriter (not produced), and attorney, lives con brio- except when he is grumpy.


Previously:

Holiday for the fallen and failed
Black History Month, Politics, and the Ice Cream Scoop
Friends With Benefits
Pilgrimages
Moneyball, Economics and Medicine
Justice, My Aunt, and Gretsky
Hurricanes, Earthquakes and Home Depot
Glenn Beck, Norway, Hitler and Me
D Day: The Ripple Effect
What are you paying for?
Law, Etiquette and 5 Rules
Inspiration
Confusing Kindness with Weakness
When Katie Couric Got Pulled Off the Air…
Don't second guess the deceased
Pain and legacies
Being in the No
The Sixth Sense
Dogs in Danger
Facebook, LinkedIn and the Zuckerberg Exit
Simon Bolivar Would Tell Glenn Beck to, ‘Put A Sock In It’
Children and Grandchildren
Swearing, Shoes, and Mark Twain
How my poor man's Porsche, Virgil, prepared me for life
Leases and Landing Gear
The Oscars, Obama and Job Creation
Damages and Penalties
Obstacles with Impossibilities
Making Others Feel Bad
Referrals and Recommendations
Woodpecker Frustration
Phrases, Not Resolutions
I Was A Crime Fighter and Super Hero
Comforting with Sympathizing
Nautical Worry Killers
Can You Keep A Secret?
Holiday Card Hazards
Gifts
Sharing, Transparency and Dumping
Red Alert
Readers Respond Regarding Rabbi
Readers: I Need Your Help with my Rabbi
Humphrey Bogart and P. T. Barnum on Fighting with Family and Friends
Columbus, Honors and Hound Dogs
The Free Lunch
When your child suffers
Conversational Transmitted Diseases
Conservative, Liberal or American
Paris, Antarctica and Shopping
Personal Protection
Dispute Resolution
Jumped or Pushed?
Friends and Acquaintances
Revenge and Vindication

© 2010 Alan Douglas

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