Friday, April 13, 2012

Internet Dreck

I created my blog, at the suggestion of several friends, as a platform to pump my books. Self-promotion is not my forte. I've tried it and I'm pretty ham-fisted at it.
While I would still like to sell books and talk about books (mine and others) I think I need to spread out and my blog seems like a pretty good place to start.
I have some pretty strong opinions and they start from the idea that if a claim makes no sense it probably isn't true. At a minimum, it deserves to be investigated to make sure it is all (or even mostly) true.The idea came to me when I read at least three posts in as many days claiming that the Obamas had surrendered their law licenses under pressure from the bar associations. The claims ran from allegations that they were facing charges of fraud, to extortion, to being a Nigerian Muslim without a proper birth certificate. I did some checking and discovered that they had voluntarily put their law licenses in an “inactive” status.
For the uninitiated, that is a fairly common practice when you are not involved in active law practice. Among other reasons, it reduces bar fees and dues. An inactive license generally removes the requirement for completion of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) hours and there is no requirement to maintain malpractice insurance. It says, I'm licensed but not practicing.
In most jurisdictions, “activating” your license is a matter of application, paying a fee, possibly a refresher course and a plan to comply with CLE requirements. “Surrendering” your license may require a new bar application and a new bar exam. No attorney wants to go through that.
My point is that it didn't take me long to find a reasonable answer to the Obama law license issue and it is an answer that makes sense. Either of them “surrendering” their law license under any pressure is a major story that no one has reported. It makes no sense and is internet dreck.
I can't possibly provide a counterpoint to all internet dreck, but I will attempt to provide a reasoned response to some of those posts that I find most egregious. Please feel free to drop in with comments and suggestions.

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I appreciate and welcome strong opinions, but have the courage of your convictions. I will not post anonymous comments.