NEW YORK — A New York attorney on Thursday said the life of a murdered transgender woman wasn’t worth the same punishment as if his client had killed someone “in the higher end of the community.”
Piece of scum attorney.
My blood is fucking boiling.
The attorney and whomever that scum is defending are the worthless ones
All right, listen up, Tumblr. This is one of the few times I’ll actually give a social commentary, so here we go. When you’re a lawyer, your job is to fight for your client. No questions asked. You make whatever argument you can. You verbally rip apart people on the stand when they side against you. You say whatever you need to. Do I think this murderer is a piece of scum? Yes. Do I think his lawyer is probably a piece of scum too? Yes. But this has to be said. When you’re a lawyer, sometimes you’re forced to do dirty work. Because at the end of the day, if people stop fighting for the guilty ones, sooner or later, there’s no one to fight for the innocent ones either. You got a problem with that? Don’t be a lawyer. Problem solved. Does what this lawyer said suck? Yes. But it wasn’t your friend or family member that got murdered and it’s not years of your freedom on the line, so kindly fuck off. This lawyer’s job is probably hard enough as it is.
You’re fucking awful. Kindly fuck off
He said she was less than human.
What does that have to do with his job at all.
How does that make the murderer any less guilty?
I am a lawyer. (Disclaimer: I am not your lawyer. Consult a lawyer in your own state for anything that affects your rights.)
What this scumbag said does not fall under the ambit of zealous representation.
Arguments made to a court have to have a basis in law or a reasonable argument for reversing existing law and/or making new law. (I’m paraphrasing.)
There is no basis in law to argue that the murder laws do not or should not apply to transgender women or sex workers because of what kind of people they are or because their lives are somehow less valuable. None. Zero. Nada.
If I were that judge, I’d have reported the attorney for a Rule 11* violation for even making that argument, and be looking into my state’s rules of professional conduct to see what else he might have violated by doing so. In my state, even without a provision specifically protecting people on the basis of gender identity, I would be comfortable making the argument that this lawyer’s conduct was prejudicial to the administration of justice as a knowing manifestation of bias or prejudice based on sex. See TNRPC 8.4(d) and Comment 3 thereto.
Attorneys get enough shit for legitimate zealous representation issues without muddying the water as if every argument an attorney makes is ok because of zealous representation. It is not. This is not ok.
Also, if the commenter who posted that is a lawyer, they need to take a few more PR CLEs, because zealous representation does not and has never meant “you say whatever you need to.” Doing so violates Rule 11, shows a lack of candor toward the tribunal, and contributes to the degradation of the profession.
Does zealous representation mean we sometimes have to do things that seem unfair - hell, that are unfair? Yep. I can’t give a specific example because of my own professional limitations, but even in the short time I have been practicing law I have had to make arguments based on existing law that I know is unfair.
Does zealous representation extend to making an argument that a human being wasn’t really a person worthy of protection of the laws against violence because of who they were or what job they did? No, I can’t think of a set of facts where that would be true even in a PR hypothetical for students, much less real life. To make a Rule 11-compliant argument, the lawyer would need a cogent and reasoned analysis as to why the Fourteenth Amendment doesn’t apply to this victim such that they should be exempted from the protection of the laws against murder. “Because bigotry” is not such an argument. Again, I can’t think of any argument that would pass Rule 11 to get around equal protection of the laws against murder because of the status of the victim.
This is not just a “oh, popelizbet is a dang hippie lawyer” argument, either. Prominent law bloggers with many more years of service than I, whose politics barely brush mine, are condemning this. This kind of hateful garbage brings disrepute on our profession because it is morally wrong to make these kinds of arguments. Scummy lawyers get away with enough fuckery without people excusing things they do that are inexcusable based on their complete misunderstanding of what zealous representation actually is.
*Some states may not designate the rule with this rule number, but in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 11 is, in part, the rule against making arguments to the court that are not supported in law or do not advance a colorable argument to change existing law. A similar Rule exists in the Rules of Criminal Procedure. To my knowledge, every state has adopted this portion of the Federal Rules.
Reblogging for the commentary. I’ve seen people use this “Lawyers have to say horrible things to get their clients off” argument quite a lot. Glad to see its more or less a fallacy.
Twenty-four years ago today, December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine murdered fourteen women and wounded ten women. He entered École Polytechnique de Montréal with a Ruger Mini-14 and a hunting knife for the purpose of “fighting feminism” by murdering the female engineering students there. He began his violence in a classroom where first he ordered the students to separate into men and women. He asked the female students in French if they knew why he had singled them out.
One student answered no, and Lépine explained, “I am fighting feminism.” Nathalie Provost attempted to defuse the situation: “Look, we are just women studying engineering, not necessarily feminists ready to march on the streets to shout we are against men, just students intent on leading a normal life.” Lépine replied, “You’re women, you’re going to be engineers. You’re all a bunch of feminists. I hate feminists.” He opened fire and killed six women. Lépine continued through the school, committing more murders and assaults (gun and knife). Finally he killed himself. Contained in his suicide note was a hit list of nineteen more Quebec women whom he considered feminist figures.
In response to the École Polytechnique massacre, Canada designated December 6 National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. On this day we also remember all violence against women: we call attention to partner abuse and violence against women which is especially overlooked, like the violence so many Aboriginal women face.
24 years ago today, fourteen women died because they were women.
These days some think a total repeal of Canada’s drug laws is inevitable. We look at how the drug laws put in 90 years ago were based on panic and racism as opposed to science or medicine
““The history of drug use in Canada is inextricably tied to Canada’s history of racism,” she writes.
Hysteria was highest on the West Coast. Newspapers churned out stories that obsessively chronicled the drug-induced downfall of previously upstanding white Canadians and provided sinister depictions of Chinese drug dealers (including an improbable story of Asian gangsters driving limousines around Stanley Park). In the Vancouver Sun, Carstairs relates, a reformed addict praised the RCMP for “bending their energies to rid our Canadian soil of the Oriental filth of the drug traffic.”
Emily Murphy, the famous Canadian suffragette, was partly responsible for spreading panic across the rest of Canada. In a series for Maclean’s, Murphy wrote of the “grave drug menace” facing society, personified by illustrations of a caricaturized Asian man […]
Members of Parliament were chastened. In 1922 and 1923, minimum drug-offence penalties were instituted, maximum penalties were raised, and — crucially — foreigners found to have trafficked drugs could now be deported.
Carstairs counts 671 Chinese-Canadians expelled under the act over the next decade; their average time in Canada beforehand had been 17 years. Possession and trafficking laws were also applied far more severely to Asians than white Canadians. Not coincidentally, 1923 was also the year that the Chinese Immigration Act was implemented, capping immigration from China at just a handful of students and merchants annually.”
I am the worlds greatest winner, I just finished making myself food and realized I’m not that hungry right now the Gent isn’t hungry either. I totally could have made the more time consuming quiche instead of miscellaneous leftovers/refrigerator cleaning dish.
Guys heads up. When women try to talk to you about rape culture and you start deflecting with hypothetical gray situations, all we hear is you trying to convince yourself that you haven’t been an unknowing rapist in your past