Re: POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 10:04:53 MDT

Technotranscendence wrote:

> On Tuesday, April 11, 2000 10:24 PM Coyote wrote:
> > The corporate organisation known as the American Bar Association
> > notwithstanding
> The ABA is a government supported monopoly. Without the government to back
> its power, it would face serious competition from law clinics (which it
> already does in some states of the US*), unlicensed lawyers, etc. See,
> e.g., _The Rule of Experts: Occupational Licensing in America_ by S. David
> Young for other examples of businesses that use the government to avoid the
> market.

A State Supreme Court ruling in Vermont a few years ago found that the legal
requirements that a person's lawyer be an attorney did not explicitly require
that the person have a law degree and be a member of the bar. It was shown that
there is historical evidence that there is a distinct difference between what
the definitions of an attorney is, and what an attorney-at-law is. The VBA was
rather miffed at this....

> The remedy for this situation seems quite clear: Eliminate government
> interference in the market. Of course, one could choose the typical route:
> Increase government interference to undo the problems of previous government
> interventions. BUT that only results in a spiral of regulations, protected
> businesses and people, and politics coopting consumer choice. At least,
> this has almost always been the case when people opt for more and stricter
> regulations. (In fact, I can't think of one counterexample to this claim.:)
> Cheers!
> Daniel Ust
> * Recently, the law clinic at some Louisiana law school was banned from
> helping people unless the people being helped could prove they made less
> than some minimum income standard. The reason? People were using the law
> clinic to sue one of the governor's supporters over, I believe, some
> pollution issue. The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that this was practicing
> law without a license -- except in the case of the indigent. In other
> words, the court protected the monopoly privilige of lawyers from an actual
> competitor. (I believe this was on either "60 Minutes" a few months ago.)

Sounds typical, though Lousiana's legal system practices Civil Law rather than
Common Law, so I'm not sure how this would be different.

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