Vail Daily column: Lawyers are like beavers
Ryan Summerlin April 5, 2014
Closely mimicking vultures circling high overhead a week-old roadkill, in the past several days NPR has reported that lawyers from New York, Chicago and elsewhere are jostling for position to profit handsomely from the loss and suffering stemming from the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Scenting a large payout, these carrion creatures have no real empathy for the victims and their families, and only want to get in the game to secure 40 to 50 percent of an eventual settlement. Disgusting behavior that gives an even worse connotation to the meaning of “ambulance chasers,” and has commenced even before the aircraft or its remains have been discovered, a probable cause determined in order to begin the process of determine responsibility and ultimate liability.
A Pew Research poll in July of 2013 found that when people were asked to rank 10 profession favorably from top to bottom the results revealed that military personnel, teachers and medical doctors were at the top; while journalists, business executives and finally lawyers rounded out the bottom. No surprise there.
Lawyers fight back by saying that most people hate lawyers until they need one; this may be the case, but if it is true it is because a large number of folks elected to state and federal legislatures are attorneys and have gone out of their way to pass so a myriad of laws of one form or another so that the approximately 1.1 million attorneys in this country are assured of a lifetime of work that will generate handsome profits. The first successful invention of a perpetual motion machine.
People in the United States represent about 5 percent of the world’s population, however the good ‘ol US of A is home to 66 percent of the attorneys on the planet. Just how many suits are required to maintain a semblance of law and order and bring justice to those truly in need?
In John Nesbitt’s book “Megatrends,” there are two great quotes about lawyers: “Lawyers are like beavers, they get in the mainstream and dam it up”; and “Engineers make the pie grow larger, while lawyers just figure out how to carve it up.”
Put another way, a lawyer with a briefcase full of paper has the ability to cause more damage, destruction, obfuscation and misery than several terrorists armed with improvised explosive devices. Think about it.
Perhaps it is time to follow Shakespeare’s advice.