Friday, December 03, 2004

Where Isn't Waldo?

Wishing I had ribald stories of a debaucherous Friday night to relate, but will have to settle for law talk. I was deep in studying the law of torts (you hurt me, now pay me) and I realized precisely why people hate lawyers. Forget the centuries of good that lawyers have achieved in helping create the civilized society we have today, no, people react to the image of the shady television lawyer stationed in front of his stack of books promising to get you compensation for falling on someone's icy sidewalk.

These 1-800 lawyers give us a bad rap, but I can see why they exist. Lawyers, after all, are still people with creative urges. Torts satisfy this urge.

Just the other day in class, we were presented with a set of facts, (punches were thrown, insults were delivered, and someone was named Escamillo) and we were asked to determine who could be liable for a tort. There are so many possibilities for an action that I like to call these situations, if you will, a "smorgastort." And, like kids in a candy store, our class managed to come up with so many liabilities that our professor, a man with a venerable experience in the subject, was visibly overwhelmed. (He may have rubbed his eyes in a Jon Stewart-like fashion and exclaimed, "Whaaaa?" but I cannot accurately recall.)

Torts is the subject where lawyers can get the most creative, and as a result, they see possibilities for litigation in everything - hidden lawsuits where there may have been none before. Fact patterns become 3d paintings concealing not a spaceship or purty rabbit, but litigation (which may or may not be represented by a dollar sign.)

I confess to this impulse to find fault as well. (It is also sort of a satisfaction after being compeletely unable time and time again to see those damn 3d images. I unfocussed my eyes dammit!) Of course, we can still go overboard, imputing negligent behaviour where there may be none, sort of like doing a Where's Waldo cartoon but first dressing everyone up in striped shirts and toques.

That said, I really have no intention of practicing in the law of torts. International law is my bag, baby, and I plan to see that through. (Also, I'm no good in front of a TV camera and 1-800 SXY-LWYR is taken.)


Anonymous said...

I'm suing your for the repetitive stress injuries incurred and sterilizing electromagnetic radiation I was exposed to while being forced to view your blog.

I have a friend who is a sexy lawyer, and will be in contact with you shortly.

Thomas said...

Where do you find time to write this...oh right. The same time I find to read it.

Anonymous said...

Another reason people hate lawyers is because they use words like "smorgastort"

Anonymous said...

I've got to tell you Ryan, it's not just the 1-800 lads that give you a bad rap. On the other end of the spectrum you've got John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales, so I'd say the law offices of Celino & Barnes aren't your worst problem.