Re: Re[2]: POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling

From: Zero Powers (
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 23:02:16 MDT

>From: "Technotranscendence" <>
>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
>* 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
>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.)

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.


"I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past"
--Thomas Jefferson

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