Matters of Principle – or dumb stuff?

Some less serious stuff that still impact our profession or our clients.

No One Doubts a Person’s Right Not to Pledge Allegiance. but…

Dan Ashta is a Chicago area lawyer, and Commissioner of the Morton Grove Parks Department, an elected position.  Tradition is that Park Department meetings start with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  Ashta thinks that is inappropriate, and refuses to stand for the Pledge.  So he removed the Pledge from the Agenda.

The local Post of the American Legion wants the pledge back on the agenda, and is withholding funding for the Parks Department until it returns.  The loss of funding may jeopardize the annual fireworks, Halloween and Easter events in the park.

Principle or Dumb?

If you are required to register your license by email, should you get an email account? Or are you just cranky?

South Carolina Supreme Court now requires lawyers to register an email address, as well as a mailing address and telephone number with the court.  Cynthia Collie refuses to provide an email address.  She also goes by the name of Cynthia Holmes. She claims to have been retired for 30 years, but records show she is not yet 65 (as required for retired status in SC) and has filed repeated documents in response to the issue.  She did report an email address: – but it did not work (Rule 410 is the rule requiring the email address in SC).

She got an interim suspension for her troubles.  The ABA journal reports that Collie/Holmes is also a practicing physician!

Principle or Dumb?


Paul Ogden Update

The continuing saga of Paul Ogden fascinates me.  Sort of like a wreck on the side of the road.  We know the car is totaled, but I have not figured out how badly the driver injured himself.

The Indianapolis lawyer and blogger continues to get news, and support across the legal field, including this post from the Professional Responsibility Blog, and the editorial ($$) from the Indianapolis Business Journal titled Root Out Rouge Rogue Attorneys *- and it was not Ogden they were recommending being rooted out.

With the opinion in the recent Dixon case, and the 3-2 vote to uphold the Commission’s agreed discipline in the Noah Holcomb Jr. case, opinion here and previous post here, the Commission’s Board may want to ask whether it is either giving the proper guidance to the staff, or asking the questions of the staff that are needed to protect the public.

Principle or Dumb?

* Of all the edits that a blog requires from time to time, the most painful are the ones found by the brother-in-law.  Thanks Steve.


3 thoughts on “Matters of Principle – or dumb stuff?

  1. Ted — The three tales above all involve persons taking stands for positions they believed in, which stood to gain them little, but which exacted a great price. Mr. Ogden’s case in particular calls to mind I story I heard about three buddies who were stuck together in a fox hole during World War II..

    The way the story goes, Willy, Charlie and Fred were in a fox hole together when a German machine gunner opened fire on the guys and their platoon mates. After being pinned down for what seemed like hours, Fred loses his patience and tells Willy and Charlie to cover him while he tries to sneak up on the machine gunner. Although Fred managed to kill the machine gunner, he only was able to do so at the cost of his life.

    Willy and Charlie were saddened by their buddy’s death and asked themselves whether Fred was a hero or a fool. After reflecting a while, Willy answered the question by stating that Fred was probably the damndest fool that he ever knew, but that he was sure as hell glad that Fred was there.

    • One of the major fundamental problems confronting us as a society is that too many people think “Principles” and “Dumb” are synonyms. Great blog – even for a non-lawyer.

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