I waffle between being elated and morose about the fact that my livelihood is primarily dependent on the moronic behavior of my fellow man. Sure, good old-fashioned greed, malice, and wrath help to line my pockets as well — they all bring clients to my door. But it's the sheer, unmitigated idiocy that brings in both criminal defendants and civil litigants like clockwork. For a while I thought that my best efforts as a counsel worked against my bottom line — that if I became skillful enough at arguing clients out of their folly, they would not need me any more. Fortunately this does not seem to be a substantial danger. No matter how patiently I explain some fundamental rule of behavior or urge some seemingly obvious prudent course — like, for instance, when you engage in complex transactions with people you don't trust, you should have a written contract, preferably not on a napkin — they return to me reliably, dull faces contorted with puzzlement, having done the same damn thing over again with the same catastrophic result.
(I suspect, by the way, that my physicians, mechanics, computer technicians, and other counselors view me much the same.)
Stupidity makes the legal world go 'round. Case in point — and the reason that I am bringing this up — the executives of Peanut Corp. of America, including President Stewart Parnell, wove the noose now tightening around their necks out of extremely ill-advised emails in which they laid out their apparent scheme to ship products they knew to be contaminated, and then lie about it.
In one email, Sammy Lightsey, manger of the Blakely, Georgia plant at the center of one of the biggest food poisoning cases in recent history, wrote company president Stewart Parnell to discuss positive salmonella tests on one batch of its products. Parnell gave instructions to nonetheless “turn them loose” after getting a negative test result from another testing company.
Parnell and Peanut Corp. are going to be sending some lucky criminal defense lawyer's kid to Yale.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
- Hate Speech Debate on More Perfect Live - September 5th, 2017
- Popehat Goes To The Opera: Un ballo in maschera - August 19th, 2017
- Department of Justice Uses Search Warrant To Get Data On Visitors to Anti-Trump Site - August 14th, 2017
- America At The End of All Hypotheticals - August 14th, 2017
- Lawsplainer: Why John Oliver Is Anti-Diversity Now - August 11th, 2017