The Code

A man has gotta have a code to live by. (So does a woman.)

I think most lawyers don’t have one.

What’s yours?

0 responses to “The Code”

  1. When I was young, my code was zip.

    In law school, it was area.

    Now, as an adult, I’ve decided on Morse.

  2. Be prepared. I can have a bad client, with bad facts, and a bad judge, and a bad jury. The only thing we really control is the work we do outside of court.

  3. AHCL, I’m disappointed. I was hoping for something a little different from you, and something from pro.v, because I know that both of you have codes that you live by that led you to different callings than mine (and Robert’s and David’s and Scott’s and Shawn’s).

  4. Oh come on, Mark. I thought the defense bar was supposed to have the bigger sense of humor.

    I don’t know if I can put my “code” into words. I think that everything happens for a reason. People aren’t just evil. Murders happen for a reason. Robberies happen for a reason. I think the best way to do justice is to have a complete understanding of every issue involved.

    My exception to this is children. I can’t tolerate anyone who would rape or hurt a child. Especially the little ones. A person hurts a child or the “truly innocent”, then I seek to go after them like the Wrath of God.

    Is that better?

  5. Yes, we must love all rapists, molesters and murderers.

    After all, they do have a story…

    Big hugs and kisses to you, Elijah Joubert, Bobby Cutts Jr., Dexter Johnson, Antonio Williams, and Jonathan and Reginald Carr!

    And more for you, Jeffrey Dahmer and Angel Resendez!

    You guys rock!

  6. What is it with you people and the “no sense of humor”? Of course it was funny, AHCL; I was just hoping for more. Thanks for providing it. Much better.


    Some dude 2000 years ago said one too many times that we should love each other; the people weren’t ready for the idea, so they nailed him to a tree.

    You’ve got no reason to think that people are any more prepared to wrap their minds around that particular idea now.

    Dangerous stuff.

  7. David,

    Mark likes to throw that line down as if it’s some sort of pronouncement that ends the story. I’ve seen him do it a few times around here.


    I’d direct you to Levitcus 5:17.

    Or, if you’re more of a New Testament kinda guy, try Romans 13:4.

    Christ’s crucifixion doesn’t mean that murderers, rapists and molesters get a free pass, buddy.

  8. Anon C,

    Leviticus 5:17 (summary: break a commandment, sacrifice a ram, and be forgiven) has nothing whatsoever to do with whether to love the trespasser. Loving people doesn’t mean they get a free pass. I’m definitely not your buddy.

    If Jesus had thought that sinners must be punished by earthly authorities, then John 8 1:11 would have turned out much more messily for the adulteress.

    I’m not a New Testament kinda guy but a Jesus kinda guy . . . which brings us to Romans 13: the Theocracy Clause, Government-as-ordained-minister-of-God.

    I think we can agree, first, that ex-prosecutor Paul was no Jesus, and second, that in a republic like ours chances are very slim that an elected official or bureaucrat is in fact doing God’s will.

  9. I’m no expert on the bible, but I have noticed that a lot of people think “thou shalt not kill” is either more appropriately interpreted in the modern world as “thou shalt not murder” or that it was evidently accompanied by a signing statement that made it inoperable against the unwritten, inherent power of the executive branch.

    I’ve persuaded a lot of these people, however, by simply paraphrasing the great Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen: “I knew Jeffrey Dahmer. Jeffrey Dahmer was a friend of mine, and you sir…”

    (My sarcastic sense of humor sometimes conflicts with my motto, and I may have just broken Greenfield’s!)

    Seeing you two go back and forth with verses reminds me of a story Scottie Baldwin told us in law school. The defense team was quoting the bible and Baldwin turned to his associate for a good bible verse to use. When neither of them could come up with even one, let alone a good one, Baldwin simply stood up and said, “You know, I could easily stand up here and quote the bible, but that isn’t what this case is about…” Of course, he won.

  10. Mark,

    Goodness! Calm down. It’s just blogging.

    Your summary of Leviticus is woefully incomplete, though. And you contradict yourself by typing this…

    ‚ÄúLoving people doesn’t mean they get a free pass.‚Äù

    and then this…

    “If Jesus had thought that sinners must be punished by earthly authorities, then John 8 1:11 would have turned out much more messily for the adulteress.”

    So, which is it? Should sinners not get a free pass (i.e. get punished for their crimes) by earthly authorities (i.e. the criminal justice system) or shouldn’t they?

    We could go ‘round and ‘round, ad infinitum, pulling out opposing Bible passages to fling at each other, but that’s not really the point here.

    My objection is simply that, in response to several of my comments, you’ve pulled out Christ’s crucifixion as some sort of shield to protect some REALLY bad dudes who, by the way, have crucified innocents in much the same way that Christ’s detractors did.

    Christ’s death on the Cross does not mean that people like Elijah Joubert, Bobby Cutts Jr., Dexter Johnson, Antonio Williams, Jonathan and Reginald Carr, Jeffrey Dahmer and Angel Resendez deserve love, forgiveness and earthly absolution. That’s for their victims and for God to decide, isn’t it?

    In my opinion, these people are bad, Mark. People that murder, rape, molest and wreak violent havoc on innocents are just bad‚Ķno matter what tragic, childhood story that they have to tell…

    And you don‚Äôt love me, Mark? What happened to loving everyone? 😉

  11. Oops!

    Sorry, David! Our posts crossed.

    Very well said.

    And, I suppose that, according to your anecdote, I win.

    Hehe! Kidding, of course.

  12. I was out of pocket for a few days, so, sorry for the late post. Now, I feel a little off topic, but since Mark mentioned me by name earlier, I’ll give it a go.

    I’ve always felt that I should try to leave where I am better than I found it. Also, if you don’t play well with others, then you have to be removed from the group.

  13. AC, you misunderstand love and compassion. If these were things that were “deserved” then all of us would be very much out of luck; if having love and compassion for someone precluded punishing him, then our children would go undisciplined. You won’t find me claiming that murderers and rapists shouldn’t be punished.

    The difference is retribution. If we set ourselves up as people who “deserve” compassion and others as “bad” people who don’t, we can justify seeking retribution against them: giving them “what they deserve,” “holding them accountable,” punishing them for their “sins.”

    If we see that compassion has nothing to do with deserts, we can still punish people, but punishment has to be based on the other penological justifications: specific and general deterrence, rehabilitation, and incapacitation.

    Even those of us who aren’t Christians (that is, don’t belong to the church of Paul) can agree that Jesus (and Buddha and Lao Tse, incidentally) got it right. Jesus (your president’s favorite political philosopher, incidentally) didn’t say, “love everyone who isn’t bad;” he said, “love everyone.” We couldn’t really “go ’round and ’round” on that because that’s it.

    Doing my best to follow this admonishment, I love lots of people I don’t really like.

    Now, why did Jesus interfere with the execution of someone who, under the law, was clearly “bad” and “deserved” the death penalty? Was it because loving people means they get a free pass? Interesting question. Was it because “sin” does not necessarily equal “crime”?

    Sin is not crime, crime is not sin. Everybody gets what he deserves in the end, with or without my interference.

  14. My code (stolen from Broadus Spivey, who I think stole it from someone else): More important than the will to win is the will to prepare to win.

    I’m not sure what I like less about anonymous c: that she is so dishonest, or that she thinks she’s God.

  15. As trite as it is, the sentiment to simply “try to do the right thing” isn’t a bad code to start with.

  16. If we begin with “try to do the right thing,” where do we go from there? Simply DO the right thing and don’t just try? Or try to do the right thing if it is within your power to do so? How absolute can a “code” be?

    I think that most personal codes become modified as one’s life experiences unfold. I know that my code, whatever it is, is constant in some things, and changing in others.

  17. Do or do not. There is no “try.”

    I think from there I define how to tell what the right thing to do is. And I agree 100% that there has to be room in one’s code for growth and change. None of us are wise enough to get it all right, right now.

  18. Morally: Treat people the way you would want to be treated. (Golden Rule)

    In Trial: Never let anyone push you around or you will be pushed around your whole career.

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  20. “I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people. I require the same from them.”
    –John Wayne

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  23. I need help,
    Elijah is in death Row, accused of killing a police and a woman, but it wasnt him but his friend who shot, his friend snitched him and now elijah is in death Row, i really need help to defend him. Please help him

    they gonna make a big mistake if they kill him, PLEASE HELP


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