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Valparaiso Univ. Law School

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lawyer Malpractice: The Operetta

Aab Lawyer-client disputes in the U.S. often get nasty.  They do things in better style in the world of operetta.  The following is from Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss, Jr., libretto by Carl Haffner & Richard Genée.

In the scene, Eisenstein -is meeting with his lawyer, Blind, and his inamorata, Rosalinde.  Eisenstein is furious that Blind, hired to defend him, actually managed to get his sentence increased.

EISENSTEIN
No, with advocates like this
One is sold short and betrayed,
Making one lose patience.

ROSALINDE
Just be patient!

BLIND
Just patience!

EISENSTEIN
Instead of the matter being over,
It’s changed for the worse
And it’s all his fault.

BLIND
Who’s at fault?

ROSALINDE
His fault? Could it be his fault?

EISENSTEIN
Yes, it is entirely his fault!

ROSALINDE
The notary?

BLIND
That’s not true.

EISENSTEIN
You’ll soon see.

ROSALINDE
What’s happened? Explain yourself.

EISENSTEIN
So listen to me!

BLIND
No, first I will defend myself!

EISENSTEIN
Save yourself the trouble,
Such a thing is not to be defended!

BLIND
It seems to me you want to insult me!

ROSALINDE
Calm down, blood! Why the fury?

EISENSTEIN
This notary babbles like a fool.

BLIND
Herr Eisenstein started to shout.

EISENSTEIN
You’re stuttering with every word!

BLIND
You keep on scolding!

EISENSTEIN
You’re crowing like a rooster!

BLIND
You’re a boor!

EISENSTEIN
You’re an idiot!

BLIND
You are quite inhuman!
You rant as in a fever frenzy
And gobble like a turkey-cock!

EISENSTEIN
You’re spouting cod liver oil
And spinning like a weathercock.

ROSALINDE
Save your voice,
Be done with all this.
It would be best if you went out
Or this will become a scandal.

EISENSTEIN
Yes, she is right, go out
Or this will become a scandal!
Yes, go, there is the door,
Out! Out!

BLIND
No, this tone can’t be tolerated!
I’m going out!
I’m just leaving this house!

ROSALINDE
It is best you go out!
It would be best if you went out!
Out! Out!

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