Following an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling, the youngster has been handed over to adoptive couple Matt and Melanie Capobianco, which most likely spells an end to the legal ordeal [CNN, earlier]
Meanwhile, in yet another indication that propositions that are controversial in the rest of the country are uncontroversial in the American Bar Association, the ABA last month endorsed a resolution (PDF) calling for “full compliance” with, and in general uncritically endorsing the operation of, the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978; reportedly, no dissenting voice was raised.
The New Republic, meanwhile, gives favorable ink to what it calls the “new anti-adoption movement.” While adoption poses plenty of genuine and difficult ethical and policy issues that deserve a full airing (and even the occasional train wreck at its far fringes; reactions here (PDF), here) sloganeering about “reproductive justice” and intimations of false consciousness (“subtle brainwashing”) on the part of birthmothers who choose adoptive homes for their children are likely to obscure the good that adoption can do [Balding/Yan, SSRN via @tylercowen]
The idea of Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) programs in California and elsewhere is to skim off tiny sums from clients’ accounts, too small to be worth arguing about (isn’t that what class action theorists are always claiming defendants get away with?) to finance legal representation, sometimes for indigent clients, other times for “cause” litigation, the latter of which results in “a lot of unsuspecting clients funding things they may or may not have believed in.” With interest rates at prolonged lows, however, the sums raised by IOLTA have drooped, and California bar authorities have responded by burying new line items in dues renewals for voluntary levies — which have not, it seems, resulted in the hoped-for flood of lawyer contributions. [Charlotte Allen, L.A. Times](& Legal Ethics Forum)
Yes, lawyers are organized as a guild, but I’m not convinced that arrangement is disintegrating or on the way to doing so. I explain why in a new piece at Liberty and Law that’s a response to an essay-in-chief by Jim Chen of Louisville Law School arguing that competition and technological advance are fast eroding lawyers’ guild privileges. The other response-essay is by Brian Tamanaha of Washington U. in St. Louis, whose new book Failing Law Schools has been getting widespread acclaim [NLJ, Garnett]
and whose recent essays in the NYT and Daily Beast have stirred widespread discussion. (& Instapundit, Paul Caron/TaxProf, Scott Greenfield).
Among the trip-ups are that lawyers are sworn by oath to uphold the laws of the land; that federal law bars the granting of state professional licenses to illegals; that federal law makes it unlawful to offer employment to them; and that clients might find themselves in a pickle were their attorneys whisked away on zero notice to face deporation. Nonetheless, the California Bar is pressing ahead with its recommendation of Sergio C. Garcia, 35, of Chico. [ABA Journal, Howard Bashman roundup, Bookworm Room]
I’ll be appearing this morning on KARN in Little Rock, Ark., WRVA in Richmond, Va., and WTIC in New Haven/Hartford, Ct., to discuss my New York Daily News op-ed on McDonald’s and Campbell’s changes in their food line-ups following pressure from nutritional crusaders in public office. And I was quoted by reporter Jerry Crimmins July 22 in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin on accreditation of law schools and lawyer oversupply (“ABA responds to senator’s criticisms,” subscriber paywall).
And that’s just so unfair, according to Lester Tate, president of the State Bar of Georgia. After all, it’s not as if lawyers have a lot of power or behave aggressively or hurtfully toward anyone else, right? “Particularly abhorrent are the attacks that come from candidates who are lawyers themselves.” Where’s their professional solidarity? [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]