To the Editor:
We finally heard from the president in his first press conference in eight months. Many pages could be written about his arrogance and lies to the American people. We’ve all heard the adages, “Lawyers are Liars,” and “Children Learn What They Live,” and both represent certain truths.
Our first lessons as children are those from our parents. We are taught to tell the truth, be kind, share with others and so on. These early teachings are meant to become an integral part of our character. I’m sure that Obama’s grandparents did their best to instill a good fundamental core of values while raising their grandson. What happened? He became a lawyer.
To fully understand the core of the maxim, “Lawyers are Liars,” if you’re in Rhode Island, all you need to do is make a trip to any law library and research RHODE ISLAND TORT LAW AND PERSONAL INJURY PRACTICE, specifically Rules #425 and #426. Among the words that will jump out and stun you, will be those giving Rhode Island lawyers an “absolute privilege” to lie. The law reads that lawyers can publish statements that are “malicious” and untrue. A quote from Rule #426, “it is immaterial that the allegations (contained in the pleadings) are false and malicious,” and another quote reiterated in words arranged differently, “even if the statement is made “maliciously with knowledge of its falsity.” Why does Rhode Island law give lawyers permission to lie? That is explained in Rule #425, and I quote, “for reasons of public policy.” If you are bothered by this law in general, and even more so by the explanation, you are not alone. The judicial system defends this law by saying that it refers to allegations, not lies. That’s not even legal jargon; it’s simply playing with words! Allegations are accusations, and false accusations are lies. Ask a kindergartener what a lie is!
If little Tommy’s friend climbs up on the counter and eats all the cookies and Tommy “alleges” to his mother that the puppy did it, even though the puppy was not there at the time, chances are Tommy will be punished for telling a lie. He “accused” the puppy, knowing of the “falsity” of his statement. He lied! If Rules #425 and #426 applied to how parents should raise children instead of how lawyers should conduct themselves within the legal system, Tommy’s character would be doomed early on.
The good news is that not all Rhode Island lawyers are liars, although, according to state law, they all have permission to be. Some are sharp and proficient at what they do and have no need or desire to invent lies to adorn their lawsuits and motions. These lawyers are products of good rearing. They live what they’ve learned as children. God bless their parents!
To make things worse, Rules #425 and #426 also encompasses judges. That obviously made sense to those who enacted the law. Judges, after all, usually carry the same values and habits to the bench, which they practiced as litigators, and some may at times need legal amnesty if confronted. All “Your Honors” are not honorable. Some judges, on the other hand, are highly respected, and rightfully so; they earn the respect of the people, plaintiffs and defendants as well, rather than demand it.
As a pro se litigant, I have firsthand knowledge of the travesty of justice, which Rules #425 and #426 allow and encourage. I’ve been in court since 2007 (count the years) battling my long wait to be heard by a jury. I’ve learned the strategy of the many games lawyers play (delays, unfounded and time-wasting motions, mounds of paperwork, legal harassment, etc.) and have listened to and been victimized by legally acceptable lies, which no longer shock me. The statement, “well, he wasn’t under oath,” is prevalent within the legal system. Does that mean that a lie is not a lie unless told under oath?
Walking into a courtroom to me is like walking into a classroom. The judges are my teachers and I always learn interesting stuff. Some tests I pass and some I fail, but I’m still in the game holding my own after so many years. Not only was I taught not to lie as a child, I was taught to never give up if you know you are right. “Stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit, it’s when things seem worse that you must not quit!”
We, the people, must never give up on our hopes and prayers for our beautiful country, even when it is being led by lies. That’s temporary! The U.S.A. is forever.
Even though President Obama is playing by the same rules that he was “privileged” to as a lawyer, those rules are wrong. Parents need to continue teaching their children honesty and good values; the children of today will represent the America of tomorrow and early character building is paramount.
Carel Callahan Bainum