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Letters: Supreme textualists?

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Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan.

Supreme textualists?

I always enjoy Bryan Garner’s “Words” column. In the August-September issue (“Legal Intrepretation,” page 20), he noted that a few years ago, Justice Elena Kagan said, “We are all textualists now.” She backed away from this statement in 2022: “It seems I was wrong. The current court is textualist only when being so suits it.” (West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency.) Indeed, there is strong evidence that whatever the merits of textualism are in theory, in practice, it is being put to ideological ends.

Joseph Kimble
Okemos, Michigan

The real Jerry Maguire

Randy Maniloff’s piece about sports agent Leigh Steinberg, the movie Jerry Maguire and new horizons for name, image and likeness licensing was entertaining and informative (ABAJournal.com, Sept. 5).

I would like to add a footnote wrinkle: I used to compete with Leigh Steinberg—or at least my firm, Zucker Sports Management Group, founded and led by the late Chicago sports agent Steve Zucker, did. As general counsel and chief operating officer of the company, I can attest that we were continually mindful of the competition and vice versa. Steve signed and represented upwards of 100 pro athletes, many of them first-round NFL picks like Bears quarterback Jim McMahon; phenom Deion Sanders; and dominant linebacker Quentin Coryatt, the No. 2 pick in the 1992 NFL draft. He and Mr. Steinberg were competitors and rivals at the peaks of their respective careers.

The 1996 film Jerry Maguire depicts much of the cutthroat sports agent world accurately. In particular, I could not help but notice the movie’s “villain” agent named Bob Sugar. After all, the German word for “sugar” is, in fact, Zucker. I have no doubt this was a barely veiled, friendly competitive wink to Zucker Sports. I could be wrong, but how could such a clever allusion be a mere coincidence? I am hardly offended; I admire the creative effort.

I have taught sports law at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Chicago‚ÄźKent College of Law for 30 years. I believe and teach that Leigh Steinberg invented the modern sports agent for team sport athletes. He is a legend because he deserves to be. Much like the article recounts, I, too, suggest that the best way to get into the sports agent business is by accident. That was true for Mr. Steinberg, Mr. Zucker and even my own association with Zucker Sports. But I do not believe that Bob Sugar’s name was an accident. And I’d be really disappointed if it was.

Eldon L. Ham
Chicago

Issue substance

I received the August-September issue of the ABA Journal, read it in about 10 minutes and was greatly disappointed in its contents. (I also prefer the physical dimensions of the former issues.) My main problem with the issue is with substance. The Bryan Garner article was essentially the only substantive piece. With all that is going on in the U.S. legally, it defies belief that the focus of the issue, including the letters to the editor, pertains to whether lawyers should be called doctor. The issue (as usual) contains multiple articles that deal with law firm management issues. As a retired government attorney who has a nonprofit state appellate law practice and devotes considerable time to pro bono immigration asylum cases, all these articles are irrelevant to me.

This magazine should address the legal issues facing this country; law practice management is not what being a lawyer in this country is all about—nor, in my opinion, should it be. If this is what the ABA Journal is going to be in the future, you are likely to lose a number of members, among them me.

Linda J. Vogel
Pomona, California

Law firm names and numbers

Regarding the article “Gordon Rees rebrands, becomes first law firm to add ‘numerical identifier’ to name” (ABAJournal.com, Oct. 10): Gordon Rees may be the first large law firm to add a numerical identifier to its name, but it isn’t the first law firm with a numerical identifier.

The first one I’m aware of was Allen2 Law, LLC, whose members were two sisters named Allen (hence the name and the number to identify that the firm had two Allens). It was formed on Jan. 6, 2006, and operated until 2010. In print, the “2” was shown as an exponent [and the firm was called] Allen Squared Law.

Dean Alterman
Portland, Oregon

Judging content

With regard to “Meet Arthur Engoron, the ‘somewhat quirky’ judge deciding the fate of Trump and his businesses in civil trial” (ABAJournal.com, Oct. 2), the ABA needs to be appalled at this judge instead of portraying him as a legitimate, honorable, neutral person who will decide the fate of former President Donald Trump. First, the judge already decided the case before the court hearings started, and his statements and actions show no connection to the facts, evidence and law. Second, there was no trial with experts, and a person’s rights and property were taken away without a hearing and third-party testimony.

The constitutionality of the New York statute itself needs to be challenged—because who decides when and if valuation is proper? Additionally, New York Attorney General Letitia James should be investigated for prosecutorial misconduct and disbarred permanently if she is found to have acted improperly. This Trump trial is the 2023 version of the Salem witch trials. ABA, once again you have misrepresented or falsified the legal effect of an event.

John Noone
La Quinta, California

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