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:: A constitutional law blog by Scalia/Thomas fan David M. Wagner, M.A., J.D., Research Fellow, National Legal Foundation, and Teacher, Veritas Preparatory Academy. Opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect those of the NLF or Veritas. :: bloghome | E-mail me ::

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    :: Tuesday, July 07, 2009 ::
    Did Sotomayor violate a well-established bar rule in calling her solo practice in 1983-6 "Sotomayor & Associates" when evidence suggests it was just herself helping family and friends via a home practice? Nothing wrong with a home-based solo practice, but apparently it's a rule agreed-upon by all state bars that a lawyer may not imply that he/she has other lawyers working with him/her when he/she in fact doesn't.

    The intrinsic merits of this rule aren't in question here. Personally, when I see a small-time lawyer advertising as "Jethrow Puddlewhacker & Associates," I have heretore been inclined to assume that the "associates" are his secretary, his computer, his coffee-maker, and the Ford pick-up he uses to get to the courthouse. But the organized bar feels differently -- somehow it feels the public needs to be warned against inadvertently consuming the services of solo practitioners, even though solos are some of the best lawyers around for the money (shameless promotion of friends here, here, and here -- notice that all these solo firm names are rule-compliant!) -- and, well, rules are rules. We certainly know what the fate of a Republican nominee who "broke the rules" would be....

    This issue was dug up out of Sotomayor's Senate questionnaire by Eric Turkewitz on his New York Personal Injury Law Blog. It was subsequently "reported" by The New York Times with nary a hint that it was Mr. Turkewitz, or anyone else in the blogosphere, or anyone other than The New York Times, that had done the work. Apparently at the NYT, if you read it on a blog, that's reporting per se. See Credit is a Two Way Street, a post on Scott H. Greenfield's Simple Justice: a New York Criminal Defense Blog.

    A hat-tip to Walter K. Olson via Twitter.

    :: David M. Wagner 1:23 PM [+] ::

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