Lawyers, by a mile

It is said that estate agents are worse, but at least the average estate agent has the moral (if not legal) defence that he or she is ignorant. Lawyers, by contrast, have all had the chance of a university education, and so will surely have more to answer for when they arrive in hell (presumably to be greeted at the door by a lawyer). The latest antics from Italy’s legal profession beggar belief, so utterly selfish are the lawyers in putting their personal interests ahead of society’s interest. This country really has become one whore-story after the next.

No other rich nation can hold a candle to Italy’s professional classes, but lest the British be accused in the Umbrian expression of beingmosche bianche (white flies), take note also of the British Director of Public Prosecutions’ performance this week. Keir Starmer should have decided to prosecute policeman Simon Harwood for manslaughter last July. He is now being forced to do so because of the outcome of a public inquest and makes the most pathetic attempt to construct an argument that the evidence produced in the inquest could not, or would not, have been brought out in a criminal trial. You know that a lawyer, like Starmer, is on the back foot when he starts using verbs like ‘adduced’. It is tantamount to saying: ‘Please take it for granted that I am very clever and doing the right thing, and not at all the stereotypical yes-man who is given this job.’

People like Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, or Gareth Peirce are the Halley’s comets of the legal profession. You are lucky to know one lawyer who cares about more than their new Audi and their holiday in the Maldives in a lifetime.

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