Monday, May 10, 2010


Listening to an NPR story about how gulf oil workers were being pressured into signing liability releases, I remember the story of Hanratty, who used to work in and around the coal fields at Birmingham, Alabama. Apparently every time there was an accident, Hanratty would show up on his motor scooter and quick get everybody to sign liability releases which he then sold to the coal companies.

Apparently this got too rich even for the Alabama bar and so they went to work to put together a disbarment case against Hanratty. The morning of the hearing, the bar's lawyers showed up in their lawyer combat togs with lots of brief cases and file folders. Just in time for the hearing, Hanratty strolled in alone. The judge called the case.
"Mr. Hanratty, you are summed to show cause why you should not lose your license to practice law in this community, how say you?"

"That can be easily answered, your honor, I have no license to practice law..
With BP in the oil spill case, looks like we might not have a chance.

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