Is Litigating While Drunk A Crime? I Say Yes

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8 Responses

  1. PK says:

    When I initially read you post I thought it was a satirical commentary on our society’s silly need to criminalize all errors of judgment. Upon re-reading, I’m pretty sure my first impressions were wrong.

    You seem to imply that the alcohol level necessary for public intoxication should be LOWER than that for drunken driving, but that’s ridiculous. Slight reductions in reaction time create dangerous drivers, thus .08 is justified with respect to driving, but slightly lower reaction times present no public danger when the drinker is merely present in a public space. Thus, he should not be guilty of public intoxication.

    Second, is there any evidence that a blood alcohol level of .075 would cause the average lawyer’s performance to fall below the Strickland standard? Almost certainly not. Yet you claim a crime(!) has been committed. Under that standard, it would also be criminal for a lawyer to stay out late the night before a trial and not get an adequate amount of sleep, since being tired would also hinder a lawyer’s performance about as much as a blood alcohol level of .075, especially if the lawyer’s story is true and it is the remnants of alcohol consumed the night before.

    As for you absurd assault theory, where is the IMMEDIATE bodily harm? Also, what about causation? If Clarence Darrow himself couldn’t have the the defendant off, then what’s the difference?

  2. anon says:

    Point PK!

  3. anon says:

    point PK!

  4. PK says:

    FYI, public intoxication is no longer a crime in Nevada. See Robinson v. State, 117 Nev. 97, 99 (2001).

  5. Dan Filler says:

    PK, it appears you’re right about public intox in Nevada. More broadly, though, I agree with the view that society overcriminalizes conduct. But this same society under-sanctions seriously irresponsible and reckless criminal defense lawyering. Perhaps these two characteristics align: both lead to the incarceration of more people. In my view, a lawyer like this is a serious menace – potentially much more so than a shoplifter or small-time drug user.

  6. Dan –

    This looks solidly like criminal contempt to me. At least, it would be here in Tennessee.

    With no public intoxication in Nevada, the other two charges (DUI and some sort of assault charge) seem unrealistic.

    Cheers,

    Rob

  7. angelinjones says:

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  8. A person who is registering a .075 blood alcohol concentration level may be under the legal limit but they have no business practicing law while they are impaired. And they are definatly “impaired” at .075. It is a serious injustice to the person they are representing. At .075 your mental functioning is considerably deminished.

    What he did may not be a crime but it is definetly “criminal” to jeopordize his cleints future becasue of his gross irresponsibility.