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VOL. 36 | NO. 24 | Friday, June 15, 2012

Readers pitch in with their favorites

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Reader mail continues at a record pace. I love it!

Phil Newman wrote, “Enjoyed your ‘Check please’ column in the Nashville Ledger, but would submit that you left out one of the most famous usages of the phrase. In Dumb & Dumber, after Harry and Lloyd kill the bad guy accidentally by slipping peppers into his burger, Jim Carrey raises his head from the chest of the bad guy and says, ‘Check, please!’ Perfect line and timing.”

Stephen Kyle Tapp read the column about dress codes in court in the Memphis Daily News and wrote, “Requiring a jacket and tie of male attorneys, while female attorneys can wear any number of styles, is obviously sexist; and it is high time judges grant equal latitude, on the same principles (not tradition), to men as to women in court.

Could a male attorney wear shorts in court? If not, then why can a female attorney show even more leg without challenge? Equality is equality.”

Jim Drake also weighed in on this issue: “[A] friend of mine in Memphis is a judge. … One of his pet peeves is chewing gum in his court room. Recently, another friend of mine, who had to testify in the judge’s court, was adjusting his bridge.

My judge friend stopped court, pointed at my other friend adjusting his bridge and declared that there was no gum-chewing in his courtroom and went on his gum-chewing diatribe. My friend with the bridge was angry and embarrassed.”

Jim continued, “I am going to start a dress clothing line for summer professional attire that my judge friend would not allow …. My idea … would be … clothing line like the English wore in India – knee socks, short pants and a short sleeve shirts. … It gets really hot in the South, and it is just foolish in my opinion having to wear a starched long sleeve shirt with a tie around your neck, then to top it off, put on a coat. … Anyway, when I do start my clothing line, I’m going to my friend’s courtroom so he can place me in contempt of court to assist in marketing for free media exposure!”

As regards the recent column on lawyer advertising, Daphine Craig, the “real butter lady from Olive Branch,” wrote, “One of our Beale Street divas, Ruby Wilson, advertises for Memphis lawyer Jimmy McElroy.

Her pitch is ‘Miss Ruby sings the blues so you don’t have to.’”

Lynn Lisk of Northwest Arkansas likewise let me hear from him on this topic: “Loved your article on lawyer advertising. Saturday Night Live has done some great parodies…. I recall one about ‘near accident stress syndrome’ that had testimonials like, ‘I didn’t know it, but when I jumped in front of that subway train, I was taking my first step to financial independence’ and, ‘Sure, there were signs that said “no trespassing,” but when you’re as drunk as I was, what does that matter?’ ”

Keep those cards and letters coming! OK, those emails.

Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Contact him at vicfleming@att.net.

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