Interesting takeaway re bedside manner

Not certain that lawyers will benefit from comparing client interactions to colonoscopies, but here’s some interesting advice via Lawyerist:


The wisdom imparted by colonoscopies

One of Kahneman’s data points was surveys of people who underwent colonoscopies. For some patients, the tube was removed as soon as possible when the needed information was gathered. Others, after the examination was complete, had the tube left in for a while without it being moved (thus lessening the discomfort). Only then was it removed. The second set of patients rated the total experience as significantly less painful than the first set of patients, despite the fact that the procedure lasted longer and the total amount of very uncomfortable periods was the same. Similar results are found with people asked to place their hand in uncomfortably cold water. 60 seconds at a consistent temperature led to significantly worse memories of the experience than 90 seconds with the water warmed slightly during the last 30 seconds.

Kahneman concluded that duration of experience and “amount” of suffering really don’t matter. The highest or lowest points, and the way the experience ended, matter much, much more. I have a strong feeling this is why so many lawyers speak fondly of law school, and the farther in time they are from it, the fonder they are. It also explains why so many lawyers complain about how miserable they are, but change nothing. Their experiencing selves are unhappy, but their remembering selves re-write history to make it not seem so bad in retrospect.


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Letter to the Editor Regarding: “The GOP’s Epic Senate Fail”

Kimberly Strassel calls the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s staggering Senate loss candidates “professional malpractice” (“The GOP’s Epic Senate Fail,” Potomac Watch, Nov. 8). While Ms. Strassel is correct, she fails to explore the historical irony behind leaving Senate elections vulnerable to this particular brand of malpractice: The whole point of the American founders’ decision to divide the legislature in the first place was to protect states’ rights in one house, free from bungling attempts like the NRSC’s to direct the popular will and influence special interest groups.

Enacted in 1913, the 17th Amendment restructured the government so that there is no difference between how Senators and Representatives are elected. This is in stark contrast to how the American Constitution imagined the country would be run.

The Constitution outlined a legislative branch in which Americans didn’t actually directly elect senators, state legislators did. This reflected the fact that the House was intended to represent individuals’ rights, while the Senate stood for states’ rights. Individuals, the founders believed, would be better represented overall with two separate levels of accountability before submitting to the ultimate will of the federal government on high.

Federalism was an important principle for the American founders, and federalism holds states’ rights paramount. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has gone so far as to note that since the 17th Amendment was ratified, “you can trace the decline of so-called states’ rights throughout the rest of the 20th century.”

America was founded not as a democracy, but as a Constitutional Republic—a community of individuals and states responsible to constitutional procedures designed to promote divided government. The 17th Amendment changed the process to make the Senate democratically responsible to the people rather than, as in a republic, responsible to the states.

It is no wonder, then, that so many other American principles have also ceased to resemble the constitutional principles of 1776.

Kathryn Ciano
Arlington, VA

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WSJ Letter of the Day: Citizens United

Public Finance Means Government Control

Public Citizen President Robert Weissman’s Jan. 17 letter protests Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and calls instead for “public financing for public elections.” This is a seductively worded call for the end of liberty and self-rule.

Do we want sitting federal government administrators to decide who may vie for elected office and what they can spend? I’ve seen this movie in Russia, China and Iran and throughout the most oppressive chapters of human history. No thanks.

David Paul Andrukonis

Arlington, Va.

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Today’s moment of Zen: Artist Ahmet Sahin paints directly onto water. It’s mesmerizing.

via Jonathan Turley — “Cezanne was a wimp.”

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Family Decals

Today’s xkcd:

The hovertext: “My decal set has no adults, just a sea of hundreds of little girl figures closing in around a single cat.”

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Quoted: Scott Rothstein

“You don’t want to have marijuana dealing from the middle of your law office because I was running a giant Ponzi scheme out of there.”

Scott Rothstein, convicted Ponzi schemer and disbarred attorney, commenting during a deposition about his attempts to stop former Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler employees from dealing drugs in the office.

Via Above the Law.

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Miami gets it

Miami graffiti artists get it:

Wynwood: Obama as Bush

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