>From: GBurch1@aol.com>Subject: LAW: Bar Associations and Monopolies (Was:
>POL: Reaction to Microsoft Ruling)
>Date: Sun, 16 Apr 2000 11:20:50 EDT
>[My delayed entry into this discussion may be repetitive - apologies in
>In a message dated 4/13/00 12:03:36 AM Central Daylight Time,
> > Saying that lawyers have a "monopoly" on the practice of law is like
> > that licensed drivers have a monopoly on driving.
>I have pretty mixed feelings about what I believe is in fact a state-backed
>monopoly - i.e. the professional bar. On the one hand, I think
>monopolies are bad. On the other, allowing just anybody to hold themselves
>out as an attorney would seriously corrode the rule of law. Consider that
>one of the fundamental values underpinning the rule of law is that people
>must be bound by the judicial process. Mandating some minimal
>for attorneys enhances this value, since it makes it more fair to bind
>someone who is represented by counsel. >The system we now have evolved
>from each court or court system regulating its
>own bar, with essentially local "legal elders" administering bar
>on behalf of the courts in a pretty decentralized fashion. Criteria for
>taking the exam were highly flexible and consisted primarily of sponsorship
>by a known and respected member of the bar. One of the founders of my firm
>didn't attend law school, but "read law" in the old fashioned way as a
>working apprentice in the profession under this system. He must have done
>well, since he was Jesse Jones' personal attorney (Jones going on to own a
>good chunk of coastal Texas, create one of the largest charitable
>in the world and become Secretary of Commerce).
>Likewise, before the unification of the old diverse subject-matter court
>systems, the various lines of judicial authority maintained their own
>idiosyncratic bar admission and regulatory systems. The law courts,
>courts and admiralty boards each had separate bars, with specialized
>for admission, in many places in the Anglosphere well into this century.
>was a rare lawyer indeed who was both a proctor in admiralty and an
>at law before 1900, for instance.
>The old system worked fairly well and could be a model for a more flexible
>"polycentric" professional bar. Getting to such a result would require us
>let go of the "stasist" paradigm of state-centered centralization that
>characterized much of the legal-systemic thinking of the 20th century. But
>don't think I could ever support a complete "deprofessionalization" of the
>practice of law. A life in the law is just that, and can't be something
>does without a fairly deep personal commitment, at least not without doing
>grave disservice to anyone who would look to you for help in navigating the
>web of legal responsibility.
I suggest that you check out the "missing 13th Amendment." In brief, there
was a different 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was
apparently passed and was on the books of many state governments as the U.S.
Constitution for many decades in the first half of the 19th Century. The
missing 13th would basically have outlawed the bar as it stands.
It would have also torpedoed the attempts by the very large and powerful
legal teams out of Britain to secure the enormous U.S. assets held by
various British interests, after the 1776 revolution. They were allegedly
systematically infiltrating and taking over the U.S. via the legal
profession and political payoffs. The 13th was supposedly a deliberate
political answer to this.
So, right after the 13th was passed the British invade and burn the capitol,
including the federal records - including the ratification paperwork.
Interesting that a private organization - the state bar - is able to dictate
who can be - not just an attorney - but also a judge. Such a surprise that
the courts never tried to investigate whether the 13th had in fact been
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