Between 1965 and 1990, the number of lawyers in the United States increased from 300,000 to 800,000, at a rate more than four times the increase in the general population.
In the world today, are there too many lawyers? Or not enough?
JACQUES VERGES. Born on the island of Reunion, of a French father and Vietnamese mother, Counsel for the Terroristes. Clients include Pol Pot, Carlos the Jackal, Klaus Barbie, HJ Klein, Magdalena Kopp, the PLO, various African dictators, and perhaps partially, Saddam Hussein. Began his legal career by defending the beautiful Djamila Bouhired, a bomber who had been tortured and sentenced to death. Verges created the "rupture defense" -- instead of pleading for sympathy, he refused any negotiations, and provoked the French government into incidents that turned the tables. Bouhired suddenly embodied Algeria, and she was not executed. It launched Verges to the forefront of idealistic struggles, often ironically. In the 2007 Barbet Schroeder film TERROR'S ADVOCATE, he appears, under his own control, transparently sybaritic, arrogant, humorless, and relentless.
MELVYNN I. WEISS. Co-founder of a law firm specializing in large class actions, including several on behalf of victims of the holocaust. At age 72, in 2007 he was prosecuted by Federal criminal prosecutors for alleged kickbacks to people who agreed to act as plaintiffs in lawsuits against corporations. The victims, supposedly, are the corporate investors. Another class action attorney, a former protege, William S. Lerach, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy, and with five others, made a deal to squeal on Weiss. (Query: Since there appears to be no "crime" and no real victim, is this a Bush-prosecution? A direct attack on Class Actions by prosecuting Counsel?)
MEDIA PERSONALITIES WHO ARE LAWYERS: Julio Iglesias, John Cleese, Geraldo Rivera, Howard Cosell, George Mikan (basketball),
POETS WHO WERE LAWYERS: James Russell Lowell, Edgar Lee Masters, Wallace Stevens, Archibald MacLeish, Heinrich Heine ("The Book of Songs" 1927), Czeslaw Milosz .
NOVELISTS WHO STUDIED OR PRACTICED LAW: Scott Turow ("Presumed Innocent"), John Grisham ("The Pelican Brief"), Richard North Patterson ("Lasko Tangent"), Lisa Scottoline, Jules Verne ("2000 Leagues"), Earle Stanley Gardner ("Perry Mason"), Gustave Flaubert ("Madame Bovary"), Jacob Grimm ("Fairy Tales"), Harper Lee ("To Kill Mockingbird"), Victor Hugo ("Les Miserables"), Owen Wister ("The Virginian"), John Galsworth ("Forsyte Saga"), Louis Auchincloss ("The Indifferent Children"), Franz Kafka ("Judgment"), John Sanford ("Citizen of No Mean City"), Carolina Maria de Jesus (diarist),
PRIZE WINNERS WHO ARE LAWYERS:
Shirin Ebadi - 2003 Peace Prize. Iranian jurist, takes the position that Islam and elections and civil rights are compatible.
Hauwa Ibrahim - 2005 Eleanor Roosevelt Award. Nigerian civil rights struggle, within framework of Islam, confronting the mullahs of Abuja (northern Nigeria) who are failing to conform to shariah in persecuting defendants.
Peter Benenson - founder of Amnesty International, which received 1977 Nobel Peace Prize, and now has 2 million members in some 70 countries.
Czeslaw Milosz - 1980 Nobel Prize for literature.
MARTYRS - LAWYERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY:
Jean Dominique -- owner of Radio Haiti, and the subject of the very moving Jonathan Demme film, THE AGRONOMIST. Gunned down by unknown thugsin 2000, he said "you cannot kill justice."
Khamis Ubaidi - one of three defense attorneys killed while defending Saddam Hussein.
Members of the Pakistani Bar - Lawyers in Pakistan have been killed in the boycott of proceedings during the March 2007 standoff between President Pervez Musharraf and the suspended Chief Justice, Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry.
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.