Denver Bar Association
January 2001
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Abusive, Disruptive, Hostile, Intemperate . . .

. . . Intimidating, Irresponsible, Threatening or Turbulent.
By Publicus

The Nebraska State Bar Commission sued to prevent a law school graduate from taking the bar exam and becoming a lawyer.

The commission said the student was "abusive, disruptive, hostile, intemperate, intimidating, irresponsible, threatening or turbulent."

Therefore, claimed the commission, he should not be a lawyer.

Your first reaction is: Who are these people? What is this commission?

Listen, you put on your resume that you have a reputation for being abusive, hostile, intimidating and threatening, and you will be snapped up at a six-figure salary by a 17th street litigation law firm.

Abusive, disruptive, hostile, intimidating and threatening are not pejorative terms when you're talking about a litigation lawyer. These are positive characteristics; everyone knows a successful attorney or two with five or more of these qualities.

These are qualities you have to be born with. Like writing stupid Docket articles, they can't be taught.

The meek may inherit the earth but they don't break up Microsoft. If you're not intimidating and threatening, you can't even win at computer golf.

As one example of a reason the student shouldn't be allowed to become a lawyer, the commission pointed out that he had "threatened to sue over various situations."

Isn't that what a lawyer gets paid to do?

True, the student was accused of "putting up a photograph of a nude woman's backside at his workstation." However, the commission neither explained nor commented on whether the members were affronted because the picture was of a nude, or because it was of a backside, or because it was of a woman. They didn't explain their preferences.

The commission stated that the student, "should be encouraged to expend his energies in positive directions, which could be considered as indicative of rehabilitation . . ."


Do you get the sense the commission is being abusive, hostile, threatening and intimidating?

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