Who should sue: Ugly banks and a beautiful pro bono lawyer.

“Your duty is to represent your client, not to carry the torch for the entire Western World…” — Hon. Duane A. Hart

In Joe Nocera’s January 23, 2011 New York Times column, Talking Business — Bank of America Is Shamed Into Modifying a Mortgage – NYTimes.com— he covers a whole bunch of categories I’ve been writing about as he relates the outcome of one of those lawsuits you’ll be cheering for:

  • How the media — in his case, a terrific reporter — can affect a lawsuit by telling its story.
  • Righteous lawsuits (an individual v. Big Business) that turn out well.
  • Righteous lawsuits entwined with politics that turn out well.
  • How a passionate lawyer works.
  • How a passionate public interest lawyer works.
  • How reading newspaper accounts of lawsuits can give you a list of great lawyers. This one, Elizabeth Lynch, can be found at http://www.mfy.org, one of New York’s excellent Legal Aid groups.
  • The court and the Court — the power of a judge.
  • The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. (Naah, I just threw that in because Nocera starts his column with it and I figure by noting it here I’m cheerfully participating in the uncertainty. For a much more profound participation, see Michael Frayn’s astonishing play, Copenhagen, and/or read Gino Segre’s engrossing and entertaining, Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics [hardcover Viking, paperback Penguin] in which Segre almost managed to teach me quantum physics while introducing me to the wonderful and weird characters who were the geniuses of that era in physics.)
  • (How did I get off on that tangent?)
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