Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Harriet Miers - There is humor too.

Set aside your serious side for a while. Read the Harriet Miers questionnaire for the humor it contains. I have not laughed out loud this much in ages.Harriet Miers There is humor too. Really. I can envision it as the lines in a one act play. A comedy. Laugh until you cry.

Consider:

18. Legal Activities: Describe the most significant legal activities you have pursued, including significant litigation which did not progress to trial or legal matters that did not involve litigation. Describe fully the nature of your participation in these activities. Please list any client(s) or organization(s) for whom you performed lobbying activities and describe the lobbying activities you performed on behalf of such client(s) or organizations(s).

...
(191 words omitted)

In addition to my practice of law, my experience includes running and holding public office. As an at-large city council member, I dealt with city issues from supporting the police and firemen to paving issues.




But, you say, there must be more - what did you omit?

Well, you asked.

I omitted things like her first (and most worthy?) experience.

My legal experience is broad ranging, representing individuals and corporations in cases that cut across areas of local, state, and Federal law. For example, I have been called to a deathbed to make sure the individual had a valid, enforceable will...


Yes, that is how she begins. A will? No. A valid will? No. A valid, enforceable will! Not a mere will, or an invalid will, or an unenforceable will. No. A valid, enforceable will!

No wonder she leads off with that.

(By the way, a will is valid. (It is enforceable, although that is not the proper word.) If it is not valid, it is not a will. If it is a will, it is valid. So, wills and estate lawyers know that she does not know about wills, but she does know about puffery. For fun, lawyer ask a lawyer how much they charge for a will. Then ask them how much they charge if you get a valid enforceable will instead. Watch their face. Then ask the cost of a will that is not valid or enforceable. Watch their face.)

Of course, Miers does not say she wrote the will, or how she made sure. Made sure? Huh?

This if the first legal experience. It even rated above paving streets.

Below is the whole question and answer. As you read the answer, it helps to go back frequently and reread the question.

And remember to read it for the humor.

18. Legal Activities: Describe the most significant legal activities you have pursued, including significant litigation which did not progress to trial or legal matters that did not involve litigation. Describe fully the nature of your participation in these activities. Please list any client(s) or organization(s) for whom you performed lobbying activities and describe the lobbying activities you performed on behalf of such client(s) or organizations(s).


My legal experience is broad ranging, representing individuals and corporations in cases that cut across areas of local, state, and Federal law. For example, I have been called to a deathbed to make sure the individual had a valid, enforceable will; I have represented parents in contentious custody battles; I have represented a woman facing deportation to a country where she and her son would be ostracized; I have represented a well-reputed individual accused of securities fraud; and I have represented an array of corporate interests.


In commercial litigation, many matters are resolved by negotiation prior to suit, settlement before trial or are disposed of by the court on summary judgment. These results and outcomes are as important to the clients as jury verdicts. Many of the matters in my practice have been resolved in this fashion and I have described some in response to Question 16.


Much of my legal experience dealt with contracts and similar everyday matters. Sometimes, because of jurisdictional issues, concepts of due process would loom large. In representing a media client, I was involved in First Amendment matters concerning libel allegations, prepublication review, and sourcing issues.



In addition to my practice of law, my experience includes running and holding public office. As an at-large city council member, I dealt with city issues from supporting the police and firemen to paving issues. I also was called upon by the Mayor to be the Council’s principal representative in responding to a suit in which a Dallas Federal judge found that the city had discriminated in Federally funded housing. Additionally, the city faced a legal challenge under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.


My experience on the City Council helps me understand the interplay between serving on a policy making board and serving as a judge. An example, of this distinction can be seen in a vote of the council to ban flag burning. The Council was free to state its policy position, we were against flag burning. The Supreme Court’s role was to determine whether our Constitution allows such a ban. The City Council was anxious to encourage minority and women-owned businesses, but our processes had to conform to equal protection requirements, as well.


My City Council service and working in economic development activities afforded me with special insight into the importance of a stable, respected, and fair judiciary in which the public can have confidence. A factor in persuading companies to consider relocation or location in Texas was the state of our judiciary. Allegations of “justice for sale” or inflated jury verdicts impaired efforts to attract employers to our State. Companies making location decisions look for a fair, balanced court system.


My experience in leadership positions with the Dallas Bar and the State Bar of Texas is detailed to some extent in articles I wrote at the time. Lawyer advertising, regulation of lawyers by the Federal Trade Commission, the importance of pro bono work, and education about the legal system and the courts were just some of the topics with which the bar associations were involved. My work with these professional associations provided me with valuable experience in dealing with the challenges facing our justice system. My involvement with the American Bar Association was similarly valuable. Serving as a member of the Board of the ABA Journal for six years and then as Chair of the Board provided me with a wealth of experience with the issues that face the profession and our courts, such as the importance of an independent judiciary and proper funding for the judiciary. Likewise, serving on committees such as the Election Law Committee provided an understanding of the balance between the appropriate regulation of electioneering and the protection of free speech as guaranteed in the First Amendment.


In addition to the professional work I have done, I have had the opportunity to work in the community with a variety of organizations. That work has included easing the transition for inmates into the community, helping ensure that young people receive education about our legal system, working with organizations to assist underprivileged children, working with Goodwill, and lending my time and efforts to a number of other charitable organizations.


I have also had the opportunity to serve in the White House in three separate positions. This experience has given me a thorough view of how the Executive Branch functions. Likewise, in my current job, I have had an increased opportunity to work with members of the Congress in connection with a number of issues, and that opportunity has given me a greater insight into the role of the Legislative Branch.


A critical role of my current job is to assist in the formulation of recommendations for individuals to fill judicial vacancies. I also participated in such activities as Deputy Chief of Staff. My work in this area confirmed my view that judges must limit their role to interpreting and applying the law, leaving policy making and legislating to others.

2 Comments:

Blogger Wanda said...

This is...utterly bizarre. That paragraph about serving on City Council, which goes on to state that they decided that they were against flag-burning. It then plows straight into "The City Council was anxious to encourage minority and women-owned businesses, but our processes had to conform to equal protection requirements, as well." Are these ideas connected somehow? Are minority and women-owned businesses somehow more prone to flag-burning, and so there was a business angle to balance against the patriotic one? I suspect the last sentence was tossed into that paragraph just to stretch it out to a respectable-looking length.

3:06 PM  
Blogger TheAbsentMindedOne said...

Wanda

Harriet has an agile mind.

Her SCOTUS opinions will be amazing.

3:48 PM  

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