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kitties no trolls allowed off topic open thread

Open Thread for non-personal stuff, Sept. 2015 Amazing Cat Box Edition

Some boxes are pretty amazing.
Some boxes are pretty amazing.

I know, this pic is a little old. But I still think it’s funny!

Anyway, here’s a somewhat belated Open Thread for Non-Personal Stuff. As always, Open Threads are CLOSED to MRAs/trolls, etc.

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katz
katz
6 years ago

leftwingfox: That game looks great!

makingfitzcarraldo
makingfitzcarraldo
6 years ago

@ brittersweet I can’t stop reading that thread now.

skiriki
6 years ago

Just noticed that MoonMetropolis tipped off David regarding his own site and drivel.

Dollars to donuts that the threadsplode in discussions was also him?

Robjec
Robjec
6 years ago

@pi I’ve heard two different versions of the Issac is all the characters one (which I belive, I mean Mary is just him in a wig we see him get :p )
One is that he just takes on the traits of famous religious people since the game has roots in relgion, and the other is that they are actually dead brothers and sisters who he is pretending to be, and everyone in the family has biblical names.

There is also the theory that the enimies are you dead brothers and sisters, at least the humonoid ones.

Robjec
Robjec
6 years ago

@spindrift and ej
thanks guys. I get the joke now lol :p

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

@WWTH:
Bragg and his friends, faced with the stark fact that the electorate is hostile to their views and the Left has moved on as a whole, were faced with the unappealing choice between irrelevance or compromise. They chose irrelevance, and have spent the last two decades trying to drag the mainstream Left into irrelevance with them. Anyone who puts ideological purity above pragmatism doesn’t belong in politics.

The fact that Corbyn chose to share a stage with him was disappointing. Corbyn, to his credit, stayed on-message and talked about immigrant issues because that was what the demo was about.

Bragg chose to mostly ignore those and instead use it as a platform to urge a hardline hijacking of the entire labour movement. I have not been a supporter of his before and I continue to not be a supporter of his now.

Robjec
Robjec
6 years ago

http://m.smh.com.au/national/unmasking-a-troll-aussie-jihadist-australi-witness-a-20yearold-american-nerd-20150909-gjil47.html

Have you guys read this yet? And can someone email it to david? I think it falls under both the general intrest of the site and he tried to discredit feminist, although that isn’t what this price focused on.

skiriki
6 years ago

@Robjec: Already done 🙂

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

I’m borrowing Shadow of Mordor from my cousins so you can all call me Ranger McBadass for the week.

reallyfriendly
6 years ago

@Ranger McBadass

Tell me how it works out! I was interesting in getting a copy myself.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
6 years ago

@reallyfriendly

Will do.

XOXO,
Ranger McBadass

reallyfriendly
6 years ago

@leftwingfox

Oh. my. goodness. That does look good! How did you know I’m a huge geek about boardgames too 8p

I will definitely give that a spin. My major post may be covering some great boardgames (they are making a huge comeback).

Thanks for the heads-up!

Captain Kei
Captain Kei
6 years ago

@ Ellesar “I do not know radfems in person, but have frequented radfem blogs. I have left most of them because of this. It is rather ironic as Andrea Dworkin herself was in no way anti trans. But I don’t usually bother pointing this out – if they do not accept trans inclusivity is possible within radical feminism I am certainly not going to argue with them!”

I’m not familiar enough with Andrea Dworkin to effectively argue that she wasn’t anti-transgender, but I’ve mentioned that to them, and they strongly disagree.

I think what it comes down to is that feminists choose to support or antagonize transgender people, and then they can try to mold feminist thought either way. It makes my blood boil when they choose to do the latter.

Robjec
Robjec
6 years ago

@skiriki

Thanks
@reallyfriendly
My friend got it and said it was a lot of fun to dirst, but that the game play gets repetitive pretty fast and the story was only ok. Neat if you don’t know much about the extended universe but weird because they add in their own stuff and kind of cliche anyways. Plus if you do get it get it on a pc or current Gen system, since last Gen can’t run the full nemesis system and lose a lot of the fun for it. (He had it on Xbox one so that wasn’t an issue)

Robjec
Robjec
6 years ago

Oh and now i see that people were discussing that story just last night :p

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

Won’t, Won’t, Won’t You Go
(Sung to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)

Won’t, won’t, won’t you go
your own way right now.
Stop telling me I’ll miss you.
There’s the door, ciao, ciao.

Kat
Kat
6 years ago

Not a Brit but…

…I’m very excited that Jeremy Corbyn won as leader of the Labour party! And he says that women will make up half of his shadow cabinet (it’s a shadow cabinet because Labour is not in power right now).

Congratulations, Great Britain!

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

@Alan

It’s not just so clients can say stuff about the case; it covers everything. She was perfectly within her rights to email him back and state she found his comments unacceptable but not to breach confidentiality.

That sounds like an absolutely perfect environment for predators and creeps. Is there room for a discussion about how maybe that’s not ideal?

Also: James Blake is being super-classy about his brush with police brutality. My hat’s off to him: I don’t think I could remain anywhere near this collected in his position.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

Is there room for a discussion about how maybe that’s not ideal?

There certainly is.

There are now policies on place to deal with such things. With professional clients (i.e. solicitors) the complainant can also just let the offender know that they find the behaviour unacceptable and ask them to stop.

If that doesn’t work there is a mechanism to bring the problem to the attention of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (which the woman in this case has also done). The SRA can then investigate and sanction the perpetrator.

With lay clients (i.e. the regular punters) it’s more tricky. There are two rules at the Bar that are completely sacrosanct.

The “Cab Rank” rule – i.e. you can’t pick and choose clients. You must represent anyone who wishes to engage your services.

Legal Privilege – all communications (other than ones where the client and the lawyer are jointly involved in criminal activity) are completely confidential. The Privilege belongs to the client and only the client can waive that privilege. That’s so strong a rule that even where a client sues a barrister for negligence, unless the client waives privilege, the barrister cannot say what the client’s instructions were or what they told the barrister.

So yes, that does put barristers in a difficult position, but that’s one of the things that goes with the privilege of being allowed to practice. The creeps and the perverts are entitled to legal representation.

Ironically solicitors can pick and choose clients; they don’t have the cab rank rule. So that’s an option for people who want that freedom. No one is forced to become a barrister.

Doctors have the same problems. A black surgeon can’t refuse to operate on a BNP member even if they’re hurling abuse at them prior to the operation.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ Kat

The irony is that Corbyn is being slated in the (former?) left wing press as some sort of misogynist because he beat the women candidates. If you’ve been following the campaign though you won’t find that surprising. He’s been slurred at every juncture; mainly by his supposed colleagues.

Corbyn: “I like puppies”

The Labour Party: “Puppies are evil; they’ll ruin the economy and hand the keys of the country to the Soviets”

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/12/jeremy-corbyn-not-one-female-voice

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/sep/13/women-politics-power-labour-leadership-jeremy-corbyn

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

@Alan

I’ve actually now read what I believe is the originating story, and I don’t actually see how any of this applies to the story in question. She was sent what appears to be a completely unsolicited message on LinkedIn, not from a professional contact or a client, but from some random. Is there some context here that I haven’t found?

However, even if it’s irrelevant as I believe, it’s still an interesting discussion.

We had a similar discussion here in Kentucky, with respect to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. There were a couple of cases in a row of children in foster care dying from abuse, and there was outrage and hearings and such, which is exactly what should have happened before the deaths but okay, post hoc is better than nothing I guess.

There’s an inherent tension there, between confidentiality and accountability. Accountability requires some level of transparency. Confidentiality requires the absence of transparency. One wants a child in foster care to have their information held in complete confidence, but confidence and the secrecy it requires are the perfect cover for abuse.

There is an important dialogue to be had with respect to how these rules about confidentiality were organized when the dominant gender in the public sphere was the male one, and how these rules are therefore organized from a male perspective. Men don’t have to worry about abuse to the same degree as women or children. Men can value secrecy and confidence to a degree that women and children aren’t necessarily able to. Therefore, great weight and value are attached to something (confidence) that men are generally able to utilize without a problem, even though women and children are not. The needs of women and children are devalued in favor of the thing that men are (let’s say) privileged to be able to value.

An ideal world would see women and children able to utilize secrecy and confidence with the same safety as men, but we don’t live in that world right now.

An ideal world would also not see kids in foster care stigmatized for being in foster care, so hiding their identity would not be necessary in the slightest, but we don’t live in that world either.

Kentucky did not manage to square this circle, and I have not been able to either, so don’t let me pretend to be doing anything but musing.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

No, you’re not missing anything. The irony is that he used a professional network in an unprofessional manner. However that confidentiality thing is so ingrained. That’s what has made people uneasy in the profession with her actions.

It doesn’t matter that it was a semi-unsolicited contact. Say you came to me and said “Hey, I’ve just done an armed robbery, any advice?”. It’s irrelevant that you approached me.

If you’re not in the profession it can be hard to get across just how strong this commitment to confidentiality is. Don’t forget, transparency is *NOT* something that lawyers should be considering; quite the opposite. We’re not government officials. We act solely for the best interests of our clients. It’s not our place to judge them or hold them to any sort of standard.

The woman is question is aiming for a career in Human Rights law. In view of her actions though could she now be trusted to represent a rapist for example? Would she do her job, or would she decide that her personal feelings should come first?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

The woman is question is aiming for a career in Human Rights law. In view of her actions though could she now be trusted to represent a rapist for example? Would she do her job, or would she decide that her personal feelings should come first?

Frankly? I would be first in line to hire her. If she doesn’t value her own human rights, why should I think she’s going to value someone else’s?

Your comparison is also invalid. If I approached you for advice following my bank robbery, I would be approaching you in your capacity as a lawyer, looking for professional advice. This woman was approached in no professional context, as an attractive woman rather than as a lawyer. That is, in fact, the heart of the problem: she was seen solely as a pretty face, and not as a professional in any capacity. The contact was entirely personal and therefore should not be subject to any kind of professional courtesy or privilege. If he wanted professional privileges, he should have approached her professionally.

If you’re not in the profession it can be hard to get across just how strong this commitment to confidentiality is.

Believe me, I actually do understand. I’m saying that we need to question why there is such immense value placed on confidentiality at all costs. Again: this woman was not approached as a professional, looking for lawyerlike advice. It was a bad come-on. We should not value confidence to such an incredible degree that men can make inappropriate comments to women in perfect safety and knowledge that this will never get out to affect their other relationships.

This is how abuse hides. This is why domestic violence could be a hilarious joke on The Honeymooners. The sanctity of the private sphere, and the absolute requirement that what happens in the home stays a complete secret, acted in the best interest of abusers, who by no coincidence were (and are) mostly men. What you’re saying to me (whether this is your intention or not) is that secrecy is so important in the legal profession that even non-lawyerly things should be shielded and protected, and by no coincidence this works in the best interests of the gender most likely to see no harm from this behavior, and most likely to be able to use it to inflict harm on others.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

I’m saying that we need to question why there is such immense value placed on confidentiality at all costs

I suppose it’s a general thing. There is meant to be a culture of confidentiality. If she feels she can breach that rule in this situation (she accepted that was the rule, but felt in the circumstances she could breach it) then how can she be trusted not to breach other rules when she feels it’s appropriate?

I completely understand why people, especially non-lawyers, can sympathise with her actions; but lawyers especially should understand that the rule of law is paramount; even if they think a law or rule is unjust and undesirable. That’s what we sign up to. Lay people can ignore rules they think are unjust, but lawyers are in a different position; otherwise the risk is anarchy.

Say she was asked to represent a rapist. The rapist told her that not only had they committed the offence charged, but had also carried out lots of rapes that the police didn’t know about. Should she breach privilege and tell the police?

I can see how many people would say she should; but when you sign up to be a lawyer you accept that you’re not allowed to do that.

I can see how people could argue that such people don’t deserve the benefit of the law; but where does it end? People are pretty down on terrorists; so we say they lose all their legal rights because they’re so despicable and there’s a danger to society. Well, we tried that; hence Guantanamo and Black Sites.

The thing with the law is that if we say scumbags can’t benefit, then the rights conferred are no longer universal. That is an argument that is quite popular. There’s a campaign here to get rid of our Human Rights Act because many people think it’s wrong that bad people have rights; especially when that’s at the expense of good people. That’s basically the argument in this case. It may well be that, as a result, the rules are modified.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

@Alan

Again, you’re talking about things said in a professional context. This was not that.

Seriously, do you never talk about anything people say to you in everyday life? Because I know lawyers, and they do the chit chat just as well as other people. If I came up to you, out of nowhere, and chatted you up and told you about that time I was so disappointed to miss a Nickelback concert because tix were sold out 30 seconds after going up for sale, are you seriously telling me that you would not mention to anyone, anywhere in your life, at any time, that you’d met someone who actually admitted to liking Nickelback?

Because I honestly don’t buy that.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

Well, I certainly wouldn’t *name* you as a Nickleback fan.

Solicitors gossip all the time, it is a different culture at the Bar. Until very recently we weren’t even allowed to comment on cases we’d been involved in. You’d get disbarred for doing so.

I appreciate this culture may seem weird, and even undesirable; but the one major difference between the Bar and the solicitors profession is that the Bar operates on trust.

To give you an example, if two solicitors are talking, unless they explicitly say that the discussion is “without prejudice”; then either party can use any information gleaned in any way they choose. There’s a convention at the Bar that ‘counsel to counsel’ conversations are completely confidential. There’s no rule to that effect, but if anyone ever breached it they’d be an outcast.

Now, our obsession with confidentiality, especially in peripheral matters, may seem daft to outsiders; but it’s that ‘halo’ effect (i.e. we keep scthum about *everything*) that gives people the ability to trust us in professional matters.

You may have noted that Barristers wear clerical dress; that reflects that you are meant to be able to say anything to us, *in whatever capacity*, and we’ll guard that confidence in the same way a priest would.

If he’d made the comments on a public forum then she would be perfectly entitled to respond in public, but the fact this was a private communication, no matter how unsavoury the contents, means the rules apply. As I mentioned before, she accepts those are the rules, she just felt she should break them in this case. Her breach of the rules may have been a worthy thing in this instant, but if we accept she was entitled to breach those rules we have to accept that any barrister can breach the rules when they feel it is appropriate. Most barristers think that that’s an undesirable situation. So whilst people are sympathetic to her being messaged by creeps, they’re less enamoured with the way she dealt with the situation; especially as there was a route available (which she also took).

I understand views may differ on this though.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
6 years ago

This seems to be more or less a perfect system for harassers. I mean that literally: I’ve sat here for a little while and tried to come up with a better means of enabling harassment, and I can’t come up with one.

If someone is harassing you, then you need to either a) keep quiet about it, or b) lose your ability to practise your profession, which is a profession that someone spent a lot of time and money getting into.

Surely this conversation can’t have been the first time this has come up? Lawyers are well-educated people who, judging from the ones I know, love to argue. There must be movements which exist for reform.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

To give you an example, if two solicitors are talking, unless they explicitly say that the discussion is “without prejudice”; then either party can use any information gleaned in any way they choose. There’s a convention at the Bar that ‘counsel to counsel’ conversations are completely confidential. There’s no rule to that effect, but if anyone ever breached it they’d be an outcast.

I’m going to have to bang that hammer again: this is only relevant when you’re talking about cases.

It is completely justifiable to have a rule about how you can’t talk about cases. HIPAA is a thing in the United States; it says that health care providers and ancillary actors (mainly insurance companies and third-party claims filing firms) cannot discuss your health with literally anyone without your permission, and must take precautions that your health information does not fall into unauthorized hands. That’s a justifiable rule. Attorney-client privilege is a justifiable rule.

What I need you to do is stop trying to explain how super-super-super important it is in your culture to extend this justifiable rule into literally every aspect of your life – because I totally understand that it is and I really do get that it is – and start questioning why it is that your culture places this intense value on something so ludicrous. Why exactly would it be a breach of etiquette for you to tell your colleagues that I, Policy of Madness from the United States, specifically me, am a Nickelback fan?

This kind of adherence to secrecy and privacy is safe for men. It is not safe for women. It’s not designed to protect abuse, but it’s certainly easy to adapt it for that purpose and abusers are perfectly willing to do that and operate freely under its cover. Abuse is leveled from a position of power, and oh! how convenient! the powerful get to make this rule that you absolutely are not allowed to talk about abuse under any circumstances! Isn’t it neat how that works out! I’m sure it’s totally a coincidence!

Sometimes men are the targets of institutionalized abuse. These men are either low-status, or made to be low-status, so that the powerful can continue to make rules that make it seem as though all of this is being covered up through impersonal forces of nature and not by conscious choices. It’s a conscious choice to make it a cultural rule that we don’t talk about Fight Club, or if we do we at least anonymize the personalities so that nobody can tell from the story who was the skeevy creep.

I don’t need more assurance that this really is totally the way it is, because I know that it is. What I don’t believe is that it must be this way, that this is some kind of inevitable Barbara-syllogism-style conclusion, given the premise that lawyers need to keep their clients’ information in confidence.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ EJ(TOO)

Surely this conversation can’t have been the first time this has come up?

It certainly isn’t. The Bar recognised that women face all sorts of problems in practice. There have been a number of reports into the issues. See here for instance:

http://www.legalfutures.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Bar-report.pdf

The Bar does take this seriously; it’s a pretty progressive profession after all.

There’s no need to ‘keep quiet’. There are mechanisms in place to report such harassment and both the Bar and the Solicitors Regulation Authority take the matter seriously (the previous head of the SRA brought a discrimination claim against the Law Society on her own behalf, so she was well aware of the problems women face).

The woman concerned can, and indeed did, report the matter to the SRA. They will investigate and the solicitor in question faces serious sanctions. Disciplinary cases like this are in the public domain and if he’s sanctioned all dealings will be published.

It’s not so much that she made the complaint that the profession finds worrying, it’s the way she did it. As I’ve outlined above, confidentiality is a major thing at the Bar. It’s not that the profession is trying to sweep things under the carpet. As outlined, reporting the matter as she did will probably put the matter in the public domain anyway. It’s just that she chose to short circuit that. I can see why people think it’s fine she did that in this case; but what about other cases?

When you come to the Bar you accept that you’ll abide by the rules. Like many rules they accept that some injustices are the price that is paid for the benefit of the system overall. We currently allow the creeps and the bad people the benefit of the rules on the grounds that the rules should apply to all. That’s not always been the case of course (consider the old status of ‘outlaw’) and many people argue that rights and rules shouldn’t apply where there’s a public interest in them being over-ridden; hence Guantanamo etc.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

Why exactly would it be a breach of etiquette for you to tell your colleagues that I, Policy of Madness from the United States, specifically me, am a Nickelback fan?

It’s the ‘halo’ effect as I explained. By keeping confidences about the inconsequential things, we can be trusted to keep confidences about the important ones.

Like I say, it’s not a case where she had *no* recourse. There was a route for reporting this. She’s followed that route and there may well be sanctions.

The Bar and SRA do take such things very seriously. The man involved faces disciplinary action.

If there was no recourse and this had been the only way to deal with this then of course the situation would have been different.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

I didn’t want to step in before somebody else did, because you’re awesome and I don’t know anything about lawerin’ stuff, but like PoM said, this doesn’t actually have anything to do with lawyerin’ stuff. He catcalled her. Allowing him to get away with it because of who he is, because protection is more important than being protected and because that’s just the way things are – that’s how everything from the Catholic Church rape scandal to the Thin Blue Line and its love of murdering unarmed black men to the entirety of rape culture was allowed to happen and flourish. Don’t let it happen in Lawyer Land too.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

*Because protecting is more important than. *turns off autocorrect*

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

It’s the ‘halo’ effect as I explained. By keeping confidences about the inconsequential things, we can be trusted to keep confidences about the important ones.

HIPAA works pretty well in the US. It’s not a cultural thing; it has the force of law. It has enacted cultural changes, though. You won’t hear two doctors chatting in a corridor about a mutual patient anymore, where just anybody can hear it. I was under HIPAA rules for a number of years, and we absolutely did not talk about people covered under HIPAA in the break room.

That doesn’t mean we didn’t talk about other people. And the fact that we did talk about other people doesn’t mean we couldn’t be trusted not to blab about Mrs. Whatever’s pancreatic cancer all over the place. That’s not actually how trust works. This rule you have is a conscious choice made by someone, not an inevitable conclusion that flows inexorably from the premises.

Like I say, it’s not a case where she had *no* recourse. There was a route for reporting this. She’s followed that route and there may well be sanctions.

Right, right, right. The problem is that she wasn’t following the correct course of action, the one prescribed for her by those in power, which would have made this something that nobody outside of your profession would ever hear about. The only reason people heard about this was because she went the Twitter route. What kind of sanctions would he have actually faced? We’ll never know now. You don’t happen to have record of any similar cases at hand, do you?

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

Seriously though, hyper-confidentiality (when not relevant to the job, which again, this isn’t) has never, ever, ever ended well for anybody who’s not a cishet white adult male. I could list examples all year.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
6 years ago

*Adult man. Can’t even blame that one on autocorrect, I had some more words in there afterwards but edited them out for brevity. Oh well.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ SFHC

He catcalled her

Oh yeah, and if you can be bothered ploughing through that report you’ll see that this is a far from uncommon situation (in fact, compared to some of the instances it’s positively mild)

The irony is had she just gone down the mandated reporting route he would have faced disciplinary proceedings, been sanctioned and publicly shamed. Now of course, he’s getting all the sympathy [“Can’t even give a woman a compliment now” etc].

Of course, without all this publicity, he probably would have slipped under the public radar even if he suffered professional consequences. How many people read the reports of SRA disciplinary proceedings?

I can understand why she wanted to publicly call him out on this and our obsession with confidentiality may seem weird to outsiders. I hope I’ve got across some of the reasons for that though and why it’s so ingrained [That’s not just a gender thing either; she’s not getting a lot of support from other women at the Bar for the way she dealt even if they sympathise with her on the substantive issue].

It’s probably also worth bearing in mind that she’s more of an ‘academic’ rather than a ‘practitioner’ [That’s a big difference at the Bar; again, hard to explain to regular people] and she’s pretty new to the job so she may not have understood how sacrosanct the practitioner bar holds these things.

Anyway, if this stops some people who would otherwise have used LinkedIn like a dating website then some good has come from this.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Let’s put it this way: this guy felt safe enough and comfortable enough to make a comment that he knew going in was inappropriate (he frickin’ disclaimed it first). Why might that be? HMMMMMMMMMMMMM I CAN’T POSSIBLY THINK OF A REASON.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

And, I’ll just put this out there, because I can’t think of another way to put it, but drilling it into the heads of aspiring young lawyers that they absolutely must be tight-lipped about every little thing (even crude come-ons or my supposed Nickelback fandom) or else nobody will trust them with the big things, brings a word to mind.

That word is “grooming.”

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

The irony is had she just gone down the mandated reporting route he would have faced disciplinary proceedings, been sanctioned and publicly shamed. Now of course, he’s getting all the sympathy [“Can’t even give a woman a compliment now” etc].

LO fucking L.

Women are always, always told this and it’s never, ever true. Ask any woman, in any situation, from any walk of life who’s ever been harassed or raped or abused and she’ll have a story of the system screwing her over.

HR, professional associations, university disciplinary boards etc. are all set up to protect the interest of the business/institution. Not victims.

Law enforcement is set up to protect the interests of the state. By the state I mean the wealthy and powerful. Not the poor. Not the powerless. Not victims.

If anyone needs to hear that from a man who’s a famous lawyer. Here it is.
http://www.bopsecrets.org/CF/darrow.htm

There’s a reason marginalized people don’t trust the system.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

You did get me thinking about the demographics of who makes the professional rules. I don’t know about solicitors (not completely au fait with how they operate) but I’ve been trying to check out the Bar.

The rules are set by the Bar Council. That’s made up of people who stand for election. Couldn’t find a breakdown but here’s a list of members:

http://www.barcouncil.org.uk/about-us/constitution-and-structure/bar-council/

As to the Bar make-up generally:

https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/media-centre/research-and-statistics/statistics/called-to-the-bar-statistics/

Someone who’d good at counting may be able to work out the figures.

I take your points on board. As I mentioned in my reply to SHFC it’s no doubt true that few people are aware of the results of disciplinary proceedings. They are in the public domain but they don’t seem to be seen as newsworthy. The local papers probably carry “Local Solicitor Struck Off” stories, but unless it’s a particularly ‘juicy’ case they don’t make the nationals.

As to confidentiality, I take your point again. But as a profession the Bar has freely chosen a particular ethos. Solicitors have a different one that they have chosen. You’ve chosen your own ethos too.

The Bar is pretty much self regulating. I haven’t done the breakdown of the figures to see if there’s any sort of gender imbalance that might make that problematic.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

You did get me thinking about the demographics of who makes the professional rules.

Ahhh, but you see. This is not a rule that came about last week. Or last month. Or last year. How long have you been in practice? How long have you just taken this “halo” rule for granted? How was it taught to you?

I would bet your answers amount to “many years” and “as received wisdom from people who learned it from their predecessors.”

But as a profession the Bar has freely chosen a particular ethos.

That argument pretty much ends with “and this is why it will never change, ever, because if you try to change it you’re either an outsider or pooh-poohed about how you accepted this going in.”

We’re not talking about a company here. Lawyers and would-bes can’t just say “Screw this shit, I want a different ethos” and go start their own competing bar.

This is an argument from ossification, frankly. C’mon, Alan, you’re smart! I named a dwarf after you during my brief foray into WF! I don’t have to tell you these things!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ WWTH

I agree with you that there’s a bias towards power in legislating. That’s a consequence of things like lobbying and the practice of politicians retiring to nice directorships. I do disagree with you that lawyers are necessarily on the side of the powerful though. A lot of the time it’s lawyers who help the marginalised when they’re abused by power. Clarence Darrow is one obvious example but there are many others.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

I named a dwarf after you during my brief foray into WF

Aww, thank you! [even though I have no idea what WF is]

It’s true that I’ve been knocking around in the law for a while. It’s also true that women (and other minorities) have had to put up with a lot of crap over the years (read that report; it’ll make your head explode).

I do think there are some moves to address this though. We do pat ourselves on the back a bit that the Bar was the first of the professions to welcome* women [*for a certain value of ‘welcome’], but of course women faced all the problems that were endemic at the time in society generally [just look at the 70s sitcom staple of male bosses chasing their secretaries round the desk].

There have been a lot of moves to address these problems recently though. We now attract a majority of women to the Bar, and other minorities are well represented. Of course that’s no solution if they still get treated badly. There’s always been a progressive element at the Bar though (Don’t forget we wrote the US Declaration of Independence) and the radical bar is well represented in the decision making bodies. Such people are actually more likely to take an interest. Corporate lawyers don’t like giving up the time (I did a brief foray into corporate law and the Bar Council actually asked me to stand as they couldn’t get anybody from that side of the Bar to take an interest; they pointed out that I’d be elected unopposed as no one else was bothered).

So it’s not like new entrants are told to not rock the boat and put up with harassment these days (that was the situation not that long ago I’ll grant you, solicitors provide the work so they had to be tolerated whatever). Procedures have now been put in place and there is mandatory monitoring to make sure senior people are taking their responsibilities seriously.

It is true that sanctions are generally not reported in the press, but that’s a different issue. We so try to ‘out’ people whose behaviour is unacceptable pour l’encourage les autres, but it’s true that only people in the profession probably get to hear about it. Mind you, they are the people who need to get the message.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Aww, thank you! [even though I have no idea what WF is]

That’s because that was supposed to be DF (Dwarf Fortress).

(Don’t forget we wrote the US Declaration of Independence)

Aww, thank you! That was so nice and forward-thinking of you, to do that for us poor uneducated frontier hicks!

So it’s not like new entrants are told to not rock the boat and put up with harassment these days (that was the situation not that long ago I’ll grant you, solicitors provide the work so they had to be tolerated whatever). Procedures have now been put in place and there is mandatory monitoring to make sure senior people are taking their responsibilities seriously.

Again, I’m definitely interested in the outcome of any recent (last 2-3 years) similar cases that were reported the more conventional way.

(read that report; it’ll make your head explode).

I looked at the report, and almost the first thing, after the bizarrely pink (gendered?) title page, is a full-page shot of a very self-satisifed-looking white man.

Not the most auspicious beginning, I hope we can agree?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

Oh, and …

it’s true that only people in the profession probably get to hear about it. Mind you, they are the people who need to get the message.

Is that really true? Is that really how we effect cultural changes? By keeping them quietly within the family, so to speak?

Literally nobody else on LinkedIn needs the message that it’s not okay to react to a woman’s profile by commenting solely on her looks?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

Aww, thank you! That was so nice and forward-thinking of you, to do that for us poor uneducated frontier hicks!

You’re welcome. We’ve got an original of the Declaration in my Inn library. Quite a few of the signers were members of Middle Temple.

We didn’t do the Constitution though. You’d already stolen that from Native Americans 😉 [Seriously, you did!]

Not the most auspicious beginning, I hope we can agree?

Well, you can’t say we don’t do irony.

Again, I’m definitely interested in the outcome of any recent (last 2-3 years) similar cases that were reported the more conventional way.

I have tried to find some for you. Must confess, most of the recent cases are financial irregularities. Perhaps no surprise there. Here’s the raw data:

Again, I’m definitely interested in the outcome of any recent (last 2-3 years) similar cases that were reported the more conventional way.

As for that report, this is semi related but raises something I’d mentioned before about jury perception in rape cases. A couple of my friends specialise in this sort of work and they get the work because they’re very attractive women. They actually chose this work though. My old chambers was pretty friendly; it’s the one in the Rumpole stories.

Other women barristers complained they were “pushed into sex cases by the clerks and solicitors because of the perception that when the jury sees a woman they presume the defendant can’t be guilty because otherwise she wouldn’t defend him”.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

k, I’m on page 7, the first page after the forward and ostensibly into the not-just-one-guy’s-opinion section, and already I have a problem.

The research aimed to bring to life gender statistics on the profession by giving us the stories and experience of the women behind the numbers. We wanted to know about the highs and lows of being a woman in professional practice today.

Do you see the problem I’m having?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

Oops

My innate XY genetic savvy at tech stuff appears to have had a wobble there.

Try again:

http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/recent-decisions/recent-decisions.page

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
6 years ago

We didn’t do the Constitution though. You’d already stolen that from Native Americans 😉 [Seriously, you did!]

I’m an American political scientist. Believe me when I say I know the history behind our founding documents. 😉

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
6 years ago

@ POM

Do you see the problem I’m having?

Er, no; but I am quite thick. [I’m the reason for the t-shirt and the surge in rock sales]