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***Bar Assoc. Involved In Biggest Anti-Trust

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  • jail4judges
    THE LEGAL BAR DEFENDS ITS MONOPOLY Some observers say the legal profession is guilty of some of the grossest anti-competitive practices in the marketplace
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 17, 2000
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       THE LEGAL BAR DEFENDS ITS MONOPOLY
        
      Some observers say the legal profession is guilty of some of the grossest anti-competitive practices in the marketplace today -- and some of them are exactly the same faults plaintiffs'  attorneys are alleging Microsoft is guilty of. So far, attorneys  have filed more than 140 private antitrust suits against the  software maker -- hoping, critics say, to cash in on the  government's case.
       
      But lawyers do everything they can to keep their own
      competitors at bay.
       
          *  Earlier this month, the New York State Bar Association 
              called for a clearer definition of what constitutes the 
              "practice of law" and for stepped up efforts to prosecute 
              non-lawyers -- such as accountants and financial planners 
              -- it believes are crossing the line.
       
          *  In the 1960s, the same group tried unsuccessfully to 
              knock legal self-help books off the shelves -- claiming 
              their authors were effectively practicing law without a 
              license.
       
          *  Since then, state bars across the country have succeeded 
              in shutting down low-cost alternative providers of legal 
              advice.
       
          *  In one notorious case, a woman who helped poor clients         in failed relationships obtain divorces was actually thrown 
              in jail -- at the behest of the state bar -- for giving 
              legal advice without a license.
       
      While the legal profession protests that it is only trying to  protect the public from incompetents, the fact is that only an  estimated 11 percent of unauthorized practice suits involve any  allegation that customers were actually harmed. The remaining  cases are largely protectionist efforts to eliminate competition,  critics charge.
       
      Source: Robert Kry (Institute for Justice), "Real Monopolists: 
      Microsoft Pales Compared With Lawyers' Groups,"
      Investor's Business Daily, June 9, 2000.
       
      Received by JAIL from Harsha Sankar



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