Friday, October 20, 2006

ABA is Owned By Criminal Defense Bar

That's the precious assertion found in an interesting ABA Journal on-line story on a Louisiana federal court case considering the proper representation of capital defendants (is one lawyer enough?)  One Louisiana prosecutor had testified that prosecutors are discouraged from joining the ABA so its defense-ridden "standards" can't be thrown back in their faces. The ABA is predominantly comprised of criminal defense lawyers! Now a criminal defense attorney in that federal hearing wants the record to reflect an affidavit by the current Chair of the ABA's Criminal Justice Section, refuting that claim to bias and membership-skewing in the ABA.  [Here is the Journal's link to the Motion to Expand and its proferred affidavit.]

Did you know the ABA was all sold out to the criminal defense bar?  I always assumed it was owned by car rental companies.  [Alan Childress]

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Thanks for the link, which provides useful evidence about how the ABA deals with the politics of any particular practice area.

But, in limited defense of the prosecutor, he didn't claim that the ABA is predominantly comprised of criminal defense lawyers. He claimed that the Criminal Justice section is. When you carefully read the two sets of competing factual claims, you can see that there is some wiggle room between the two. For example, the counter affidavit says that 22% and 20-24% of the positions on certain bodies within the section are held by prosecutors, but no figures are given as to defense lawyers. And no figures are given as to the composition of the section as a whole.

From time to time I've heard of other practice areas where some lawyers believe that the ABA or one its sections has been "captured" by one side or the other. Can anyone recall which areas those are?

Posted by: | Oct 20, 2006 5:11:07 PM

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