[Fwd: Good and bad lawyers (was Re: Phillip Johnson at Norshore...]

From: Lucy Masters (masters@cox-internet.com)
Date: Tue Apr 24 2001 - 10:27:26 EDT

  • Next message: John W Burgeson: "Re: Phillip Johnson at Northshore Church"

    attached mail follows:

    I agree with Joel and find his points valid in reference to PJ. I, too, have
    worked for lawyers. Even the nicest guys in the bunch readily admit that all
    their training was "to win" - certainly not to discover the truth. When I read PJ
    - I see this training come through loud and clear. He pursues this dog with
    prosecutorial zest and is determined to win. He does not seem at all determined
    to seek the truth, and why should he? After all, the truth might defeat his case,
    and then the game would be up. As they say in sports, "The game is the thing."

    Joel Cannon wrote:

    > Burgy has a point about good and bad lawyers.
    > I work for lawyers as an expert witness so I am aware of this first
    > hand. Nevertheless, good and bad lawyers will make points any way that
    > they can ("Lawyers hit below the belt." was the counsel a good
    > attorney gave me when advising an innocent and idealistic expert (me)
    > about caution.) The verdict, decided by uneducated lay people, is the
    > more important than truth in many if not most cases.
    > Being in the legal process has been a fascinating and sometimes
    > frightening look into something outside science. I found a
    > Ph.D. physicist who had been a professor for over thirty years who had
    > a stunning misunderstanding of Newton's laws, or that linear and
    > angular momentum were conserved separately but had been merrily
    > selling his services for many years.
    > One of my favorite quotes comes from a colleague responding to my
    > recitation of the overwhelming evidence in a case I was working on
    > (and my disgust that this would be going to trial). His comment: "Now
    > Joel---don't get overconfident based on the facts."
    > A very relevant question regarding the legal enterprise and our
    > current discussion is whether Phillip Johnson could be qualified in a
    > court of law as an expert witness regarding the field of evolution
    > despite the notoriously low standards for qualification of expert
    > witnesses. I defer to legal experts but the answer is most probably
    > not.
    > > As one who has a lawyer in the family (my daughter), I'm hoping this was
    > > a quip.
    > >
    > > The fact that there are "good" and "bad"lawyers is a fact.
    > >
    > > The fact that lawyers are an easy target for jokes is also a fact.
    > >
    > > The implication that being a lawyer (or a biologist, or an accountant,
    > > ... .) makes one part of a lower life form is noy agreed to. At least not
    > > by me.
    > >
    > > Burgy (John Burgeson)
    > >
    > ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    > Joel W. Cannon | (724)223-6146
    > Physics Department |
    > Washington and Jefferson College |
    > Washington, PA 15301 |

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