Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Attorney at Law(less)
Riding in the elevator, I see the doors open. (I almost wrote, "Riding in the elevator, the doors swing open." That would be a classic case of a neoclassic dangling participle [take your little mind out of the grammatical gutter, thank you]). On the wall opposite the open elevator doors, a sign says, Attorney at Law. Maybe it said, Attorney-at-Law.
For a long time, I have found the term redundant and redolent of the affectations and entitlements allegedly owing to attorneys, to wit, ipso facto, ergo, postcoitus, et cetera ad nauseam (at least in their jurisprudential little minds). (Incidentally, did you know that Esquire or Esq. appended after a surname has no real legal status, at least in the U.S.? Maybe we all should start putting it after our last names. Yeah, let's start doing that. Serves those subpoena servers right!
Attorney at law? Well, attorney at what else? Internal cumbustion? Flagellation? Solipsism? Antioxidation? Onanism? Fiduciary flatulence? I mean, you don't ever hear the variants listed below, do you?
Priest at Religion
Teacher at Education
Pole-dancer at Terpsichore
Psychotherapist at Psychology
Linguist at Labial
Anarchist at Nonlaw
All right, so I got a little carried away (note the quasi-passive voice, similar to the passive voice favored by politicians, as in "Mistakes were made," instead of the more active, and responsible, "I digressed"). I conducted a little research (very little; this is weblogging not legal briefs) ("I like your briefs, sweetie; they're so saucy, they're barely legal HAHAHAHAHAHA."), and discovered there is a difference between an attorney at law and an attorney in fact. Turns out, anyone can be an attorney in fact (well, not ANYONE; certain former failed-business fratboys from Midland, Texas [viz., Greenwich, Connecticut] with aggressive tendencies are hereby excluded). You don't need a license (licence, for Brits). You just need some brains and common sense and trustworthiness. Maybe. I guess. This is what we have when we refer to someone as having "power of attorney." So, this weblogging ended up teaching me something:
I've got the power!
It may not be habeas corpus or corpus delecti, but it sure is flagrante delicto -- but only if I get caught (red-handed, so to speak, or with my legal briefs down, I should say, Your Honor).
Your witness. No further questions. No redirect.
Pawlie J. S. Kokonuts, Esq.