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Corruption Porn / January 19, 2010

monkeybrain1

My Uncle Louie always referred to Montgomery County, Maryland as “Monkey County”. I never knew why. Now that I am an attorney, I do.

I’ve learned the hard way that there are too many smirking chimps in Monkey County’s legal system. In the past, I was told by a Montgomery County judge that I couldn’t represent a client in Maryland (even though I am admitted to the Bar and may practice before any court in the Free State). In the same case, the judge refused to rule on any motion I made, without explanation. I later learned from a chance conversation in a Virginia courtroom that the judge, now fortunately retired, had been law partners with the opposing attorney and didn’t want to harm his case. The Maryland Bar Counsel, charged with policing local lawyers, saw nothing wrong with this.

Now, I am afflicted with a Monkey County attorney who has spent most of a year trying to get my client, a lifelong alcoholic, out of an assisted living facility so he can drink himself to death. In several statements, the court-appointed lawyer told me that her job was to represent him and, since he wanted to go home, she would work to effect that, no matter that doctors who examined him didn’t think he could survive being outside a controlled environment.

Worse, the court-appointed lawyer, knowing that doctors who had evaluated the client wanted him to undergo psychiatric treatment and join Alcoholics Anonymous, filed a blizzard of pleadings attempting to divert the court’s attention away from the client’s mental state. This has run up the elderly man’s legal expenses, jeopardizing his ability to cover his other debts and provide for his healthcare.

Other attorneys have told me that they no longer refer cases to this woman and suspect that her irrational behavior and intransigence result from a belief that her connections to the Monkey County courts will trump justice and the best interests of the client.

Despite 50 years of hard-drinking, the poor man has suffered no untoward consequences of his alcoholism and failing mental faculties, unless you count three failed marriages and the estrangement of his children, and the alienation of his brothers.  Despite this, the family, along with his social worker, herself an alcoholic, asked me to file a petition for guardianship in Monkey County. The client, hospitalized after a terrible fall while drunk, recovered enough to go on several more drinking binges this year, twice resulting in detoxification at a local hospital followed by months of rehabilitation at a nursing home.

When I related this story to a French attorney (who had studied law in the United States), he sneered, saying, “What do you expect?  American lawyers want to make money at any cost and don’t have the wit to tell a good case from a bad one.”

Add in a jurisdiction like Maryland where an annual continuing legal education requirement (with at least one ethics course) is continually voted down, attorneys are free to do as they please.

J. Michael Springmann was a diplomat in the State Department’s Foreign Service, with postings to Germany, India, Saudi Arabia, and the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in Washington, D.C.  The published author of several articles on national security themes, he is now an attorney in private practice in the Washington, D.C. area.

Read more:, J. Michael Springmann, Corruption Porn

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17 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. peter  |  January 19th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    excellent piece. nice show of real practice in MD

  • 2. Fissile  |  January 19th, 2010 at 11:46 am

    The Pope is German. Bear shits in woods. American legal system is corrupt. Quick! Somebody call Mike Wallace! Because you know, I’m the kind of guy who feels great about himself because I’m “in the know” about it all.

  • 3. baal  |  January 19th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    yes, and when your in some amerikan gulag camp getting ass raped by the prison guards and some other assorted whack jobs, don’t forget to tell yourself: “your innocent until proven guilty”, “the government will protect you and provide you with a court appointed attorney who gives a shit”…”and you have constitutional guaranteed rights”….

    bend over amerika, you got what you deserve coming plus some…

  • 4. Brewer  |  January 19th, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Lovely picture of Michael Mukasey. You got his good side.

  • 5. gool 'ol johnny  |  January 19th, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    Jeez, an arrogant French attorney? Who’d of thought?

  • 6. asdf1234  |  January 19th, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Who gave money to Obama?

    lawyers. More $$$ than the evil, evil energy companies gave to Bush.

    How do you like your change and hope?

    Don’t like GovernmentCrat trial lawyers running monkey country? embrace it nation wide

  • 7. jester  |  January 19th, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    The real problem is an oversupply of lawyers. With few jobs and ever opening schools, there isn’t much choice for a recent grad in massive debt.

  • 8. Yosemite Sam  |  January 19th, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Hey finally a piece about how life is going to shit somewhere *I* know about! Yay three cheers for the shithole known as Montgomery Co, MD :)

  • 9. Old eXiled Fan  |  January 20th, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Y A W N . . .

  • 10. Realist  |  January 20th, 2010 at 2:14 am

    We are quite capable of despising our own lawyers as well. While Amerika certainly has a hilarious (to outsiders) legal system, it is no rose garden over here. Law Schools in Germany mass produce J.D. imbeciles, one half in public service, increasing the complexity of litigation, the other half in law firms, assraping their clients. Locked in the eternal circle of Hegelian Dialectic parasitism.

    Blessed are the few who can create the demand for their “services”. The lawyers, the intelligence agencies, the drug peddlers…

  • 11. Alex_C  |  January 20th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    What’s wrong with letting an alcoholic drink themselves to death?

  • 12. mr. mike  |  January 20th, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Didn’t stop the founders of AA, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. Too bad Bush Jr. couldn’t have joined them.

  • 13. captain america  |  January 20th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    alex must be a libertarian or something. i don’t see what’s wrong with letting the guy drink himself to death either.

  • 14. Will Elder  |  January 22nd, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Ёб Bcex Kосо!

  • 15. Myf  |  January 22nd, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Cool piece. And @realist European legal systems seem so odd. Is there anything you’d recommend reading to get a feel for them

  • 16. Pluto  |  January 26th, 2010 at 12:27 am

    his “irrational” attorney, probably follows her client’s instructions to resist the applications being made on behalf of the alcoholic social worker and estranged family and to tell you all to fuck off and let him drink.

    I wonder why a hotshot DC lawyer with such cool international friends is fighting over drunks in Maryland…

  • 17. adolphhitler  |  February 2nd, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    let the old fuck drink himself to death..let helmetless bikers crack their skulls on the pavement…let unseatbelted drivers crash their skulls into the windshield…fuck the do-gooders
    p.s….legal continuing education is nothing more than a financial shakedown and should be abolished everywhere..
    p.s….why do we have the above bullshit..because the makers of safety devises buy your legislators


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