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Wise Words


“A person who represents himself has a fool for a client.” – Abraham Lincoln

“A lie stands on one leg, the truth on two.” – Benjamin Franklin

“To me, a lawyer is basically the person that knows the rules of the country. We’re all throwing the dice, playing the game, moving our pieces around the board, but if there is a problem the lawyer is the only person who has read the inside of the top of the box.” – Jerry Seinfeld

“True, we build no bridges. We raise no towers. We paint no picture-unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men’s burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.” – John W. Davis

“But it too often is overlooked that the lawyer and the law office are indispensable parts of our administration of justice.” – Robert H. Jackson, Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 514-15 (1947)(concurring).

“Anyone who believes a better day dawns when lawyers are eliminated bears the burden of explaining who will take their place. Who will protect the poor, the injured, the victims of negligence, the victims of racial discrimination and the victims of racial violence?” – John J. Curtin, Jr., (remarks to the American Bar Association), Atlanta, Aug. 13, 1991, quoted in Time, Aug. 26, 1991, at 54.

“He was not always popular in his community, but he was respected. Unpopular minorities and individuals often found in him their only mediator and advocate. He was too independent to court the populace – he thought of himself as a leader and lawgiver, not as a mouthpiece.” – Robert H. Jackson, A Tribute to Country Lawyers: A Review, 30 ABA Journal 136, 139 (1944) (book review)

“If there were no bad people, there would be no good lawyers.” Charles Dickens

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld

“In the heels of the higgling lawyers, Bob,
Too many slippery ifs and buts and howevers,
Too much hereinbefore provided whereas,
Too many doors to go in and out of.”

– Carl Sandburg

“Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” – Ronald Reagan

“Where law ends, tyranny begins.” – William Pitt

“The lawyers’ contribution to the civilizing of humanity is evidenced in the capacity of lawyers to argue furiously in the courtroom, then sit down as friends over a drink or dinner. This habit is often interpreted by the layman as a mark of their ultimate corruption. In my opinion, it is their greatest moral achievement: It is a characteristic of humane tolerance that is most desperately needed at the present time.” – John R. Silber

“For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.”

– H.L. Mencken

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