Winer wars and the trouble with lawyers

I’m way behind on my blog reading after my holiday so I’ve only just caught up with the hoo hah over the battle between Dave Winer and Rogers Cadenhead. I found out via Stowe Boyd’s thoughtful post: What we can learn from Scoble’s lament which I highly recommend whether you care about the Winer/Cadenhead spat or not. It’s an interesting reminder to those who crave A list status or want to be A listers that there is a price to fame.

[Warning: mini-rant imminent. I’m not even trying to be fair here. Some of my best friends employ lawyers, one or two of my friends are lawyers.]

Anyway, for those who care about the dispute, I think the terrible mistake was to put it in the hands of lawyers. This, in my own bitter experience, is a highly risky way to try to resolve an argument since many lawyers have a congenital inablity to deal with ambiguity, nuance and have no concept whatever of how to relate in a friendly way to a fellow human being. I took a look at Winer’s lawyers’ opening salvo and it reminded of how just how stupidly nasty, threatening and inflammatory lawyers can be. It captures their trademark mixture of mixing small elements of damp handshake reasonableness with piety, pedantry and patronising citing of sources. Martin Seligman’s Authentic Happiness pointed to research that showed lawyers’ unique status among professions for inbuilt pessimism. It’s a trade for miserable people who like to share.

However, I think the legal profession does a terrific job of identifying many of society’s most dangerous and anti-social individuals and putting them away in secure institutions where the wise among us can do our best to avoid them: lawyers’ offices and barristers’ chambers.

1 thought on “Winer wars and the trouble with lawyers

  1. Jack Yan

    Precisely. This is why I never practised law, except on my own behalf. Most lawyers have a desire to inflame, in order to increase billable hours, the standard by which they are judged for bonuses and promotions—and not by the number of satisfied clients and the speed of the resolution.


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