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An ascerbic collection of the musings of legal wit Howard L. Meyer, the man they banned at the Buffalo Bar Association. For a long time, Meyer penned a monthly column for the Erie County Bar Bulletin.
Then they saw The First Book of Attorney Abuse and Bench Bashing. After that he was informed that his column was cancelled and his writings would no longer be published.
Are the two facts related? We're talking about lawyers here. And Meyer saves his most pointed salvos for the odd variety known as "the trial lawyer"...
A person who willingly, not being draft in a war, leaves hearth and home to travel endlessly and fight with those with whom he has no quarrel ... is called a "sociopath" whose ranks also supply the country's axe murderers and congressmen. The earmarks are that the subject simply has no idea of right and wrong, is incapable of remorse or ordinary human responses and, in fact, must look about and observe others so he can imitate normal human behavior. If you step on a trial lawyer's foot, there will be a heartbeat's hesitation while he figuratively glances at the jury and plans what will be the most effective response.
But The First Book of Attorney Abuse and Bench Bashing is much more. There are over two dozen keen legal cartoons by David Mahoney dotting the pages. And Meyer's essays aren't limited to courtroom stories, but rather run the gamut from observations of social trends to reminiscences of his days as a Yank attending Cambridge University. Or, there's the story from the Vietnam Era, when a friend of his was fearing a letter from the draft board any day...
My pal was aware of this and was also aware of a policy of the post office, mainly directed at porn peddlers, whereby a citizen could fill out a form to halt the delivery of mail from "persons not personally known to the resident, whose communications were unsolicited, the contents of which were offensive to the recipient." My pal thought that that exactly described his draft board and filled out a post office form to that effect.
By the time the two branches sorted it out a year or so had passed and, as the fellow said, the government determined that they would not require his assistance in implementing their policy in Southeast Asia.
Many of the essays were originally published in The Bulletin, the monthly publication of the Erie County (N.Y.) Bar Association, under the name of The Fifth Column.