> It's not really a "monopoly." The ABA does not have the exclusive right to
> practice law. The ABA in fact does not practice law. It is merely a
> professional association of unrelated individuals who are licensed to
> practice law. It just so happens that the practice of law requires a
> license in every state in the union. But that does not mean that lawyers
> are exercising a monopoly any more than contractors, engineers, architects
> or physicians or any other profession which you need a license in order to
> legally practice.
> Saying that lawyers have a "monopoly" on the practice of law is like saying
> that licensed drivers have a monopoly on driving.
It's much worse than that, though: a license to practive law requires
the holder to do far more than merely demonstrated competence. One must
swear and oath to become an "officer of the court"--so even if you intend
to practice law only to sue the government, you have to swear loyalty to
your opponent--and most places _require_ you to join the "private" BA,
and abide by its regulations (which does indeed make it a government-
backed monopoly). A defendant, who supposedly has a right to counsel
for his defense, does not have the right to hire counsel that has not
thus sworm loyalty to the court and to a private organization with its
own warped sense of ethics (ethics, to the bar association, means
making sure the right pockets get lined).
Thre is also no doubt what the bar associations really exist for: they
serve no purpose but maintaining a stranglehold on the market. The Texas
Bar, for example, abandoned all pretense of integrity by suing Nolo Press
for publishing books about law. Free speech be damned, the people's
right to know the law they pay for be damned, the Texas Bar saw them as
a threat to their wallets and took action.
Public perception of lawyers is sometimes well-deserved.
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC
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