Vail Daily letter: Too many lawyers |

Vail Daily letter: Too many lawyers

Peter Bergh
Edwards, CO Colorado

As readers of the Vail Daily are far too frequently treated to a column by a local attorney who blows his own horn far too loudly, it is only fair that you give equal time to a dissenting opinion.

Are lawyers killing common sense? The unequivocal correct answer is, yes, by any and all means that they can.

Though most high school graduates will understand what the equation A equals pi R squared means, most people do not seem to comprehend that more lawyers equals more laws equals gridlock.

Today, there are more than 1.1 million lawyers licensed to practice law in the United States (one lawyer for every 300 citizens), a figure that has doubled in the past several decades with devastating consequences for society as lawyers have proven to be like beavers – they get in the mainstream and dam it up. By comparison, in Japan, the ratio is one lawyer for every 5,000 citizens.

Sadly, out of 71 professions ranked by the public, lawyers came in 56th in terms of honesty and integrity, the bottom quartile. Though the profession ranks ahead of real estate agents, local politicians and drug dealers, lawyers rank behind cab drivers, newspaper reporters, stock brokers, TV show hosts and many others. A pathetic approval rating for a particular group of men and women who hold so much power and sway in this country.

Our society has become so contentious and litigious today that one is afraid to turn around without considering the possibilities of being sued. The legal profession has made it very easy for people not to accept responsibility for their own actions or mistakes, and billboards and the covers of phone books are laden with adds for attorneys appropriately dressed in sharkskin suits who promise to “get you what you deserve” whether you deserve it or not while they pocket 40 percent of the judgment or settlement.

For example, recently a teenager was awarded some $33 million as he was paralyzed after diving off a railroad bridge into too-shallow water. The jury found the railroad guilty for not having placed “No Diving” signs on the bridge. This preposterous award is just the tip of the iceberg, and should anyone wish to read about countless other examples of the death of common sense, just Google “ridiculous jury awards.”

Though certainly not advocating the return to frontier justice or that a certain number of lawyers do not have a constructive role to play in modern society, I am saying what most people are beginning to understand, that today there are far too many lawyers, far too many laws and far too little real justice.

Before society is so tied up in knots by lawyers that it ceases to function, tort reform must happen and common sense must once again prevail so that we can return to a time when every little package of anti-desiccant in a medicine bottle does not have to be emblazoned with the words “Do not eat me” or a box of new kitchen knives does not have to bear the warning “These knives are sharp, do not cut yourself.”

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