Directors run away from Grisham film

PHOTO/Courtesy John Immel
We haven’t heard much lately from John Grisham, but the directors of his next movie have.

According to New York magazine, two directors have quit the making of "The Runaway Jury" based on the Grisham novel. The current director reportedly received a six-page letter from Grisham in which the lawyer-turned-author said the screenplay has "cheap thrills," "cheap gimmicks," "bad dialogue" and shows "contempt for the audience." The letter also asked "why is everyone in this script utterly stupid" and "has anybody read the book?"

Are law firms going public?

That’s what one Israeli lawyer wants to do with his firm. Avraham Alter has petitioned the Tel Aviv Bar Association for the right to be the first law firm to trade on the Tel Aviv stock market. Alter proposes selling 25 percent of his firm to the public at a value of $5 million.

The Bar Association said no to the law firm IPO. It cited the need to keep aspects of the attorney-client relationship confidential as one of several reasons why it is inappropriate for a law firm to be publicly owned. Alter plans to take his case to the Israeli Bar Association. He is hoping to be able to take advantage of a lower tax rate that applies to publicly traded companies.

Posting disciplinary action

You can find all kinds of information on the Internet -- including lawyers’ disciplinary action. The State Bar of California was sued by an attorney angry because his disciplinary history was posted on the Bar’s Web site. The court ruled that posting such information was basically no different than making it available to callers who phoned the State Bar for the same information.

The court shot down the lawyer’s argument that such information should not be made available to the entire world. The court opinion stated that "we doubt that Internet users in India, much less Indiana, will be scouring the State Bar’s Web site for information about ... California lawyers."

Historical note

Some judges are great at writing funny and entertaining opinions, but maybe they are not supposed to be so humorous. The "Ancient Precedents" in the canons of judicial ethics adopted in 1924 by the American Bar Association states that "Judges ought to be more learned than witty; more reverend than plausible; and more advised than confident. Above all things, integrity is their portion and proper virtue. ..."

Hearsay

"No laws. No lawyers."

-- Kevin Spacey’s character Prot in the movie K-PAX explaining life on his planet.

Footnote

The publisher of a German fashion magazine called "O" has filed a lawsuit against the publisher of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine "O." The plaintiff claims trademark rights in the letter.

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Updated: 
12/02/2001 - 8:00pm