Saturday, March 1, 2014

Attorneys are coming out swinging...

The recent downturn for Attorneys is well known in the legal ranks.  Corporations are cutting legal bills, law school enrollment is down, and offshoring is replacing legal jobs in the US.  On top of that, you have accountants, paralegals, and "self-help" legal websites taking a piece of the pie traditionally reserved for Attorneys.  So what are Attorneys doing?  They're coming out swinging.  HB 889 creates a new code section as follows:

Any person damaged by a violation of this article or a violation of the Supreme Court's rules or opinions governing the unlicensed practice of law shall be entitled to maintain a civil action to recover damages, reasonable attorney's fees, and expenses of litigation."

What does this mean really? One thing it means is that someone who pretends to be an attorney and does something wrong for a "client" can be sued by the client for damages.  It's possible that it means an Attorney can sue someone else for providing legal services to potential clients of the attorney.

Let's explore.  A young lady comes to my office in the hopes that I will draft a contract for her for some matter.  We discuss things and agree that she will pay $200 tomorrow for me to do the work.  Tomorrow comes, but she doesn't.  So being a diligent attorney and wanting to make sure I didn't misunderstand our conversation, I call the young lady up to find out why she missed her appointment.  I call and learn that the young lady as hired a "legal specialist" off craigslist to draft the contract for $100.

Do I, as an Attorney, have the right to sue the legal specialist?  I am a "person" that's been "damaged" by the legal specialist, so if we read the law literally, then I can sue. In fact, I think this law was drafted specifically so that I could bring the action and recover my damages.   But why?

There's too much unlicensed practice of law out there for the Bar to keep up.  I think this legislation is meant to provide a mechanism for private attorneys to weed out the UPL folks. What do you think?

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Problem Facing Manual Labor

A number of people are actively discussing income inequality. Basically the people on the lower end of the income spectrum are not enjoying the same opportunities for income growth as the people at the upper end of the spectrum.

The data supporting the notion that income inequality is growing is irrefutable.   The questions then  become why and what can be done about it.   You have to understand why in order to to figure out what can be done.   The  "Why" is the question.  

I believe the answer to "why" has to do with the basic value of human manual labor. People on the lower end of the income spectrum are paid to "do" manual things.  Globalism has taken the first toll on manual labor, but ultimately, the death blow to the value of human manual labor will be a combination of robotics and energy abundance.  

Robotics continue to advance and we will soon have robots that can build houses, self-driving cars,  and autonomous air vehicles (drones).  It's not difficult to imagine robots that will mow yards, prepare food, or harvest crops.  The question then becomes can robots do it cheaper and more effectively than humans.   Right now, no. However, once energy is essentially as available and economical as water, then why not.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Predictions for 2014

2014 is here; 2013 is gone.  Economically, not a bad year, especially for Wall Street.   The Economy would have been much better if Government could get out of the way. Obama has lost credibility with the American people.  Congress didn't have any credibility and is actually less liked than the Communist party.  So, what about 2014? Here are my predictions.

The Economy will grow at 3.3% this year.  The stock market will have another good year.  The principle driver of economic growth will be the technology sector.

Innovations in Robotics will amaze us.  These innovations will continue to make manual human labor less valuable.

Drones will become a part of the local law enforcement arsenal throughout the country.  
Healthcare in America will dissolve into a quagmire.  This will be the main reason the Republicans will retake the Senate in 2014.  

All states will be forced to recognize gay marriage based upon a Supreme Court decision.

Iraq will disintegrate into civil war.  Afghanistan will continue to cost the United States lives and resources.   

China and the US will have a major military standoff, or so it will seem.  DoD needs a reason to maintain current spending levels.

Marijuana will become legal for recreational use in 4 additional states. (Washington and Colorado are the only 2 now)

Television will fundamentally change forever.  Cable TV subscribers will radically decline as consumption of entertainment programming via the Internet explodes.

NSA collection of phone records will be held constitutional by the Supreme Court.  

What are your predictions?