Letters to the Editor

Letters: No excuses

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four men in hats with roses over their faces

Illustration by Jean-Francois Podevin


Regarding "Dewey's Judgment Day," February, page 36: I was at a midsize firm for 30 years, a partner for 24 of them, on our management committee for 20. We made sure our financials were bulletproof. All partners had access to them and to the staff who did them for us. We never borrowed to pay draws—ever. We never guaranteed partner income—ever. The firm is still going strong, though I had to retire for health reasons some years ago.

I had classmates at both Dewey and LeBoeuf. They were and are very smart. There are no excuses for what happened here. Frankly, all of the partners are responsible for their stupidity, greed, willful ignorance and worse. Period.

Roy Shults
Santa Monica, California


Regarding "Sites for Sore Eyes," February, page 15: It is not rocket science, folks. If a customer is blind, there needs to be a way to use a screen reader to read essential information. If a customer is deaf, the customer needs to be able to see essential information. If a customer is dexterity limited, the customer needs to be able to enter any information that needs to be entered slowly, without anything timing out. These are not things that customers with disabilities merely want or find nice to have; these are things that people need.

Granted, if what you are offering is totally worthless junk, then we do not need to access your website at all. But if what you offer is useful, then preventing us access via the Web is as problematic as preventing us access by having steps to your door and no ramps. Many of us live alone without someone to do things for us, and we manage quite well when things are accessible. Large organizations that cannot make their sites accessible better be making plans to change this. Eventually it will be a requirement, if it is not already.

Kit Donner
Grand Forks, North Dakota

I'm a disabled attorney, and I appreciate what the ADA makes possible for me, but [online commenters] act like the Internet is one system and all the website has to do is accommodate that system. There are millions of different systems that access the Internet, and thousands of disability-capable interfaces.

The ADA doesn't require companies to bankrupt themselves on the possibility that a disabled customer with a certain setup will attempt to access their website. I don't walk well. Stores are required to have a ramp with a certain maximum slope and a certain minimum width so certain wheelchairs/scooters can enter their establishment. But if I show up in my golf cart, I have no right to demand that they bring a sedan chair and bearers to carry me throughout the place. There are millions of websites out there; if the user wants to access them, then the user bears the responsibility to have a system that's compatible with Internet data and the user's abilities.

Ronald Nims
Columbus, Ohio


Regarding "Second Time's a Winner," February, page 22: I am wondering if Andrew Dwyer's victory in the 3rd Circuit is an example of "doing something because you can." I do not quarrel with the ruling of the court. However, Mr. Dwyer's decision not to accede to what appears to have been a reasonable request by a judge seems like a very unlawyerlike thing to do. Perhaps the judge in question—and possibly others—will continue to give Mr. Dwyer high marks for his ability and passion, but much lower marks for his judgment.

Robert B. Anderson
Pierre, South Dakota


As always, I enjoyed reading Bryan Garner's February column, "The Power of Naming," page 24. But I had to laugh out loud at his contention that "most lawyers don't even know the verb abnegate." I am certain that any lawyer with a preteen or teenager most certainly is aware of the verb, and the sentence shows Mr. Garner is not in touch with hugely popular young adult literature.

Of the five factions in the best-selling book series Divergent, and the movie of the same name, the Abnegation faction is one of the best described, being the home faction of the two main characters. I hope he'll take some time to read these highly enjoyable books and discover that our youngsters are better educated than "most lawyers." The Divergent books certainly address the key point of his article.

Karen Monsen
San Antonio, Texas

ABA Journal Centennial Cover

The ABA Journal Centennial Cover by Brenan Sharp


Regarding "100 Years of Law," January, page 38: I read the article and timeline with great interest. I appreciated the coverage of civil rights, particularly the Voting Rights Act and the piece on women. However, I was surprised and extremely disappointed to find that Asian-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics and people with disabilities were pretty much absent from the 100 years of law as recounted by the ABA Journal.

As an avid consumer of popular culture, I appreciate the inclusion of pop TV, movies and books in setting the scene. And I understand the interest in providing a historical context with the timeline. But the fact that there was room to mention the Falkland Islands and Homer Simpson, but not the ending of the Chinese Exclusion Act or internment of Japanese-Americans and the related Korematsu case; or the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act; or Plyler v. Doe or Hernandez v. Texas in the timeline or the articles presents a history that falls short of telling a more inclusive recounting of American law. It is impossible to cover the entirety of 100 years of law, but as a magazine that has talked about diversity and inclusiveness, all the more reason to take particular care in how it tells the story.

Karen K. Narasaki
Washington, D.C.
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