Legal Aid Society Finds Squawk Guilty

As a young lad in the well of courtrooms in Manhattan, I came to appreciate how Legal Aid lawyers were the tough, hardened warriors of criminal defense. On the whole, they were a mighty group. Sure, there were lousy lawyers, lazy lawyers in the bunch, and defendants ridiculed their “lemon aids” as being barely lawyers, if lawyers at all. But we knew better. These were killers, unafraid of any prosecutor, any judge, any case.

That Legal Aid Society no longer exists, having been taken over by the toadies to social justice.

A couple of years ago we published “Are you a cissy?” , a spoof of a compulsory training inflicted on us by the boss’s wife who announced a mandatory policy of quizzing our clients about gender issues. On first contact, no less.

No doubt it’s impolitic to make fun of silly decrees when they emanate from the boss’s wife. So we weren’t too surprised that the boss got mad as a wet hen when she saw our blog on the Company email.

The idea that the first words out of a public defender’s mouth upon walking into the holding cell was not to get the information necessary to defend their client, to get them out of the can, to save their life. No, no. It was to ask, within earshot of twenty potential killers, what their preferred pronouns were and whether they identifies as gender fluid. Squawk ridiculed the abdication of defense in favor of the adherence to the inane because it was utterly fucking inane.

And so the Legal Aid lawyers whose acutely-honed eyes burned at the sight of wit, demanded she be burned at the stake.

Re: FINAL WARNING
You are being issued a final written warning as a result of your violation of The Legal Aid Society Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment (hereafter “EEO Policy”) in connection with the complaints of numerous staff members regarding a blog post written by you entitled, “Are You a Cissy?”

Squawk, being far more gracious about such matters, took it with her usual aplomb.

But we were surprised at how wildly misread our blog was by people in our office who call themselves appellate lawyers. Granted, they were new hires, but surely to get the job they had to show some ability to read and comprehend prose.  The howls of uninformed indignation that went up! “Offensive!” “Harassment of a protected class of individuals!”  “Lack of respect and compassion!”  “An ugly slap/laugh in the face!” “Management (or the union?) should step in!” “A huge distraction from doing my job today!”

They were especially adept at the “I’m-only-thinking-of-our-clients” pieties: “Reflects back on my colleagues and I [sic], and our clients.” “Clients may read this thinking this is the view of, or even condoned by, [us], and judges may, as well.”

The complaints weren’t merely idiotic, but so irrational and delusional as to condemn the “new hires” at LAS as being intellectually incapable of breathing, no less lawyering. But LAS is now in the hands of the idiot children, so Squawk was hauled before the Star Chamber.

The Committee finds that the blog post violated the EEO Policy because it was reasonably understood by the complainants to denigrate persons based on characteristics protected under the Policy and the City Human Rights Law, namely, gender identity and expression. As several of the complainants observed, the blog post demonstrated not just a lack of respect and compassion for, but outright hostility toward trans and gender non- conforming clients. By making jokes at their expense, the blog post can reasonably be interpreted to denigrate the concept of gender identity and ridicule the notion that questions should be asked of clients designed to ascertain and respect their gender identities. 

But the woke scolds of the Legal Aid Inquisition weren’t done with Squawk.

In addition, the blog post denigrated clients by using stereotypes to paint our clients in a disparaging light. Particularly offensive was attributing the use of racially charged language such as “homie” and “call me Killer” to the pretend client. 

It’s almost as if they’ve never met their clients, who tend to have a sense of humor, not to mention grasp of reality, where their ersatz saviors do not.

Although the blog post was evidently an attempt at humor, the EEO Policy explicitly states that inappropriate conduct or language meant as a joke can lead or contribute to harassment. 

Of course “an attempt at humor” can be harassment, in the eyes of the unduly passionate. Lawyers lacking any sense of their job, on the other hand, is merely the price defendants have to pay for making sure the foremost concern is that the correct pronoun is used.

A long-time Legal Aid lawyer, back from the days when they understood their job was to win their clients’ cases rather than cry sad tears for their failures, whose job it was to train the new hires, told me he couldn’t do it anymore. He told me they just lack the grasp of the purpose of a public defender, conflating their personal sensitivity toward social justice with their duty to get their guy out of lockup.

The same lessons that he was taught as a young lawyer, that he taught other young lawyers over the years, no longer worked. These new lawyers couldn’t hear it, as it didn’t fit into their paradigm of social justice. Instead of learning how to make a winning bail application, they told the judge of the plight of the marginalized and oppressed, thus guaranteeing they would rot in jail for lack of competent counsel. Then they could go on twitter and bemoan the horrible system that failed the poor and marginalized, utterly unaware of how their incompetence enabled it.

But at least no Legal Aid lawyer will have to suffer the harassment of an “attempt at humor” pushing them to care more about their clients than their ideology. Is there any room left at Legal Aid for lawyers who aren’t so wrapped up in their own feelings that they can still defend clients?

Now that the boss has avenged her wife’s honor and promoted the toadies to supervisors, we’re inclined to let it drop. As George Bernard Shaw said, “Never wrestle with a pig. You just get yourself dirty and besides, the pig likes it.”

On the other hand. . . what’s so bad about mud wrestling? Maybe we’d like it too.

Squawk may continue, if the scolds don’t execute her for this post, because the need to defend the indigent from the state is as critical as ever. And if she walks away, then defendants are left in the hands of the toadies to social justice. Legal Aid Society doesn’t deserve Squawk, but the defendants do. Without Squawk, only the toadies will remain.

35 thoughts on “Legal Aid Society Finds Squawk Guilty

        1. B. McLeod

          Obviously, Squawk has still not done sufficient obeisance to the hat on the pole, and remedial confinement in the mandatory, SOGIE Re-education Camp will not be nearly enough. Especially after Squawk has again wounded their totalitarian sensibilities by outrageously trying to defend herself. Counting down to the “retaliation” complaints in 3… 2… 1…

            1. B. McLeod

              The hatred and intolerance emanating from the various “complaints” is palpable. Hunting down and driving out any non-believers has obviously become their first order of business.

        2. Kathleen Casey

          Me too. I love satire. I love talent. Wouldn’t some outstanding criminal defense firms or solos have the same attitude and mud wrestle to hire Squawk? The wingnuts are likely to escalate this spectacle and fire or suspend her in retaliation for this latest howler from her. What good would the union be?

          It’s hard to know how judges have been responding to professional children routinely showing up before them. But what about them? Don’t they run out of patience in a New York minute and rebuke them for wasting their time with irrelevant, baseless statements? Or laugh? And how do the stenos make it through the docket without their ribs aching I wonder.

          But still. This is outrageous.

        3. Scott Jacobs

          It is possible I invented swear words when I read her post.

          I’m nowhere near the decent person Squawk is – I’d have responded to that notice with a “fuck you, I quit.”

  1. Pete

    If that post distracts a PD from doing their job, I have bad news about some of the case files that will be coming across their desk.

      1. Pete

        Anyone self proclaimed public defender who would take “advantage” of that rule deserves to be figuratively stripped of their patch. Pitiful.

        I get that this line of work sometimes needs extraneous motivators (sometimes pleasure of serving the client doesn’t cut it), but SJWs are dangerous. Usually that mindset drives the attorney/client relationship, instead of just being a warm platitude to fall back on in times of need.

        I’d take an office of cranky anti authoritarians over an office of feeling SJWs any day of the week.

    1. B. McLeod

      I was impressed that the SOGIE-Bottom Girls assume their “clients” follow Squawk’s blog. I suspect envy is the primary factor here.

      1. SHG Post author

        I don’t think they really assume that. They might have fudged their concerns just a bit to sell their grievance.

  2. Hunting Guy

    What took them so long to respond?

    Normally the woke pull them down and dance on the body before the laser printer cools down.

    1. SHG Post author

      LAS had a biglaw firm do their “investigation,” and by mandate biglaw must take an unnecessarily long time to do the most obvious of work or they’re unappreciated.

      1. Hunting Guy

        Ah.

        Rhetorical question.

        How much did the investigation cost the taxpayers, money that could have gone to defending their clients.

      2. Grant

        I would also wager that they were having a hard time tap dancing their way around Pickering. (And Flora v. County of Luzerne, 776 F.3d 169 (3d Cir. 2015) (Pickering and progeny applies to public defenders, at least in PA).) The text of the warning indicates that they just gave up.

        1. SHG Post author

          Unlike other public defender offices, such as Orleans Parish, the NYC PDs don’t lack for funding, and seem to have more than they need as they expand from criminal defense of the indigent to “special actions” and representation in civil matters and immigration court. There’s no Pickering problem in NYC.

          1. Grant

            I was thinking of Pickering v. Board of Education, 391 U. S. 563, 568 (1968) (government employees’ speech about work can only be regulated when it is screwing up workplace efficiency), This, historically, has often involved nasty vicious budget fights (e.g. Pickering and Flora, as it so happens), but not necessarily.

            My scan of the EEOC documentation is that they didn’t even sing the workplace efficiency song.

            1. SHG Post author

              As they’ve argued (here, in fact) in the past, their gleeful suppression of speech isn’t about speech at all, and particularly not about speech well outside the realm of employment (as here, despite their childish efforts to claim otherwise). Rather, they’re prohibiting harassment, the new catchall to conceal flagrantly unconstitutional conduct behind the vagaries of sad feelings.

              No doubt Squawk could go to court to challenge it, but that’s not a particularly effective use of time.

  3. CLS

    This wasn’t outrage gone wild. It was an activist hit job.

    And when the hit is on CDLs trying to do their jobs, especially public defenders/Legal Aid, that’s a horrid condemnation on modern society.

    1. B. McLeod

      These people are just as hateful and just as irrational as the “God Hates Fags” crowd. In essence, they are all siblings, because they all hate anyone who thinks a thought out of conformity with their “universal scheme of things.” Exactly like the “God Hates Fags” assholes, the dogma of these assholes is a dogma of hate and intolerance. They are the same, but they like to fool themselves otherwise.

  4. Skink

    It’s been a busy day, but I read this when posted. It’s bothered me through all the lawerin’ I’ve done today. It just sat there like a big bunch of undefined shit pissing me off. It’s still pissing me off. It’s gonna piss me off for a long time.

    LAS should kiss its body parts when any lawyer wants to take its cases. The pay is shit. The work is drudgery. The clients are often nutz. While I’m not a CDL, I’m around them enough to know how things work.

    Squawk is a real appellate lawyer. Those are hard to come by. Most just mimic what happened in the trial court and draft the same brief. Squawk doesn’t, and could demand boatloads of cash from Big Law. But that apparently doesn’t drive Squawk. Squawk is a believer. Of that, I am certain. It’s a rare lawyer credential. It’s what we wish we could be, if it was affordable.

    Squawk will be fine. But the folks needing help from LAS will miss someone like Squawk. LAS is too shortsighted to know what they have.

        1. B. McLeod

          I often think of the grave banners on the hill, at the end of the original “Seven Samurai,” and the accompanying line (translated), “The farmers are the winners, not us; never us.”

  5. Nigel Declan

    I guess modern “woke” Law Society lawyers won’t stand for criticism unless it comes from a judge, likely at the expense of their clients.

    1. rojas

      Not only are they thin skinned, petty and vulgar, but they had to hand down a beat down for a simple critique of their orthodoxy. It’s fucking amazing how similar they are to the people they claim to despise. I suggest the new motto of the NYLAS should be “stop resisting”.

  6. spodula

    “Yes, it may look like my client is guilty, but He explicitly identifies as not guilty! , so condemming him is a breach of his human rights!”

    That would bring the tecnique of pounding the table to a new level.

    I do however suspect Flaws in my cunning plan…..

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