ONLY 48 HOURS LEFT – Fixing America and Best Song Lyrics and Movies Lines of All Time

Posted by Mack W. Borgen March 22nd, 2021

March 23, 2021 

ONLY 48 HOURS LEFT

To Take Advantage of 40% Off Pre-Release Price

for Mack W. Borgen’s Latest Book

Book Sale Ends Tomorrow at Midnight, March 25, 2021

Order Now 

The Writings of a Lifetime 

(Hardback or Paperback) (286 pp) 

Just click here at www.mackwborgen.com

Then click “Book Ordering”

Simple – Fast – Safe – All Books Signed by Author 

NOTE: The book is also available on Amazon but the low Pre-Release Prices are only available through my website www.mackwborgen/com (“Book Ordering’).

ONE MORE REVIEW

“An incredible, insightful story that is personal, heartfelt, and honest.”

Reid Olson, Chicago, Illinois 

TWO READER’S FAVORITE LINES FROM A COUPLE OF MY STORIES 

“I sometime fear that I have taken from life more than I have given”

 And on a less serious note,

“However, with Lu Chee in mind, I have long believed – and maybe have here proved – that there may be a story to be found

at the bottom of every bottle of red wine.” 

Dear Readers,

 Having completed this last book, this writer is going to take a couple of months off and enjoy the sounds of spring and the breeze of some growing covid-freedom. After that time, I will be resuming and expanding my Fixing America series of writings and my presentation of The Best Songs Lyrics of Modern America – although I plan to extend this latter series to include also The Best Movie Lines of All Time as well.

If you wish to add any of your friends to my Free, Twice-a-Month Fixing America Blog, just send me their email addresses to mackwborgen.com.

 

2 More Reviews – Samples of Story Titles – Only 10 Days Left for Special Pre-Release Prices

Posted by Mack W. Borgen March 13th, 2021

March 14, 2021 

Mack W. Borgen’s New Book – The Writings of a Lifetime

Now Available on Amazon

For Discount Prices – 

Go to www.mackwborgen.com (Then Click “Book Ordering”) – Fast – Efficient – Author-Signed Copies. 

Short Excerpt 

“Many of the stories contain a degree of levity and humor. Partly, this is merely a matter of style. Partly, this is because the author believes that it is sometimes hard to learn from the thick and heavy books of philosophy, politics, and history.

There are times when the picky details of experts and the pushy words of pundits and scholars are needed.

But not always … And especially not now … Not today.”

 – –  

 Two More Reviews

“Passionate and inspirational”

Lisa Consani, Napa, California

A splendid autobiographical account of the evolution of a writer and commentary on the American condition …

In the spirit of Mark Twain and Will Rogers.

Dr. Roger Acheatel, Whitefish, Montana 

The Writings of a Lifetime 

Samples of Story/Essay Titles

 It Was Still I Early and I Was Still Young

I Knew My Day Would Come

And the Child Asked

It’s Not Where I Grew Old, But It’s Where I Grew Up

Heroic Goodness and the Power of Please

And 40 More Stories, Essays, and Poems

 – –  

Order Your Copies Today 

ONLY 10 DAYS LEFT for 40% Off Prices

Just go to  www.mackwborgen.com (Then Click “Book Ordering”) – Fast – Efficient – All Books Author-Signed

Order Now – Pre-Release Prices Expire March 25, 2021

FRONT COVER! – Mack Borgen’s New Book – 1st 3 Reviews – Order Now – Pre-Release Prices

Posted by Mack W. Borgen March 8th, 2021

March 8, 2021

Mack W. Borgen’s New Book The Writings of a Lifetime 

Written over the course of a lifetime, this collection of stories, essays, articles, and even poems are offered to lift our spirits, to make us laugh, and to help ease the tensions within our society.

Some of the articles are autobiographical. Some are lighthearted. Some are serious.

Most – just like life – lie in between.

The Writings of a Lifetime 

 1st Three Reviews

“Part memoir, part diary, past reminiscence, and part reflection about the things that make life a joy  —  family, friends, community.

… Possibly the author’s best work to date

Robert Badal, Santa Barbara, California

“Touching, engaging, sensitive … at times, brilliant.”

Michael Levin, New York Times Bestselling Author, Boston, Massachusetts

“As insightful as historian Jon Meacham… providing both perspective and hope.”

Larry Malcolmson, Tucson, Arizona

 

Order Your Copies Today

Pre-Release Special Prices for the Next 15 Days Only

Hardbacks or Paperbacks – 40% Discount Price 

Just go to

www.mackwborgen.com

 and click Book Ordering.

Author’s Note RE Jeff Bezos and Amazon: The book, of course, will soon be available on Amazon etc. However, as much as we all love Jeff Bezos and the Amazon Team, they take nearly 60% of the sales prices “off the top.” So please consider ordering directly from my publishing company, Brody & Schmitt Publishing, an Imprint of Summerland Publishing – www.mackwborgen.com Click Book Ordering. Fast, safe, and efficient.

 

Release of New Book by Mack W. Borgen

Posted by Mack W. Borgen February 28th, 2021

March 1, 2021

Announcing the Planned Release 

of

Mack W. Borgen’s New Book

The Writings of a Lifetime

– –

An Entirely New Type of Writing

– 

About 

Life and laughter,

The need for ethics and the power of decency,

Hope and happiness,

Love and even loneliness.

Mack W. Borgen  

More Information 

and

A Presentation of the Book Cover

In Five Days!!

6 Books in 8 Years

 

Having Fun and Happy New Year – More of the (Please) Now Go-Away Words of 2020

Posted by Mack W. Borgen December 31st, 2020

Blog No 128
December 31, 2020 

Politics and Pandemic

More of the (Please) Go-Away Words of 2020 

READING TIME: Just 7 Minutes
By Mack W. Borgen
Recipient of Eight National Book Awards.  For a “cleaner” / non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at https://www.mackwborgen.com/

Introduction

Two weeks ago, I posted my Blog No. 127 in my continuing presentation of the Best Song Lyrics of Modern America. In an almost passing manner, I closed my blog with a short list of ten of the new words of 2020. This led to an outpouring from many of my readers – a very appreciated outpouring – thank you!! Many of you asked for other words to be included in the list of the 2020 words to be soon dumped and forgotten.

As you will see, some of these words or phrases were introduced prior to 2020. Nevertheless, they are here included because, for various reasons, their use reached both a boiling point and a dumping point in 2020.

In appreciation of you, my readers, and in a weird celebration of this last day of the weird year of 2020, there is an expanded list of “The (25) Words of 2020” to be soon dumped and forgotten.

Alternative Facts: A phrase coined by Kellyanne Conway, the former Senior Counselor to the President, during her Meet the Press interview in January 2017 to defend then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s false (but who really cares) assertion that Trump drew the biggest inauguration crowd ever.

Alt-Right: A far-right movement based on rough, vague concepts of white nationalism and antisemitism. One of its leaders, Richard Spencer, described the Alt-Right movement as “identity politics for white people.” Even earlier, when Steve Bannon was running Breitbart News – and obviously before he became a Senior Advisor to President Trump, boasted that his news network was “the platform for the alt-right.”

America First. Variants of this phrase were used throughout the 20th Century; however, President Trump used this phrase and concept of American self-interest to galvanize his base. Upon election, he followed this premise as a partial basis for withdrawing from the Paris climate accords and renegotiating multiple trade agreements.

Antifa: A far-left movement, somewhat like the flip side of the alt-right movement. Some – even most — of its followers have used aggressive tactics and confrontational means to seek to intimidate groups seen by them as authoritarian or racist.

BIPOC: A term for Black, Indigenous and most other people of color. In particular, the identities and experiences of Black and native America communities in the U.S.

Blursday: The fuzzy merging of the time since the pandemic shut down so much of the world, making it difficult to determine what day of the week it is.

Bubble: A small group of individuals who follow the same rules and standards for behavior – and can thus spend time together – during the pandemic,

China Virus: An alternative and intentionally accusatory phrase for Covid-19 which was used frequently by President Trump and his followers to remind American’s of the original source of the virus. Variants of this phrase include the more demeaning phrase “Kung Flu.”

Contact Tracing: A phrase used in public health to describe the process of identification of persons who may have come into contact with an (Covid-19) infected person and subsequent collection of further information about these contacts.

Covidiot: A pejorative term, for someone who ignores health and safety guidelines intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Deep State. This concept that civil servants and bureaucrats within the political system and the government run a de facto secret government has been in existence for many years, but this concept was advanced loudly and often in the many conspiracy concepts advanced by Trump.

Defund: To withdraw financial support, as in calls by the movement to defund the police, which promotes a public-safety model that shifts resources from law enforcement to community-led social programs and initiatives.

Doomscroll: To addictively thumb through the deluge of bad news shared on social media in 2020, frequently undertaken at bedtime.

Fake News. The derisive term used constantly by Trump and his followers to describe (and implicitly seek to dismiss) any news or piece of information which was inconsistent with the goals or desires of the administration.

Hoax: Like “fake news: this is the all-encompassing word used by Trump to dismiss all multitudes of perceived erroneous facts or inconvenient truths — from climate change to the Mueller Russian investigation, and on and on.

Karen:   A colloquial term for a white woman weaponizing her privilege often at the expense or well-being of a BIPOC individual.

Lockdown: In the context of Covid-019, a lockdown is a restrictive policy for people or a community to stay where they are and amongst only themselves (e.g., small groups, family). In the context of Covid-19, the phrase was also used to describe the many, oftentimes severe, restrictions imposed upon businesses and facilities prior to their opening to the public.

MAGA: Borrowed from Ronald Reagan, the phrase – standing for – “Make America Great Again” became the slogan of many of Trump’s rallies and was presented on hats and endless other forms of political merchandise.

Never Trumper. Originally, the Never Trump movement was a failed attempt by some Republicans to keep Trump from winning the 2016 election. Later, however, it found new expression in anti-Trump groups such as the Lincoln Project and as a generic means of supposedly describing anyone who at a given moment may have opposed President Trump or one of his policies.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Clothing or equipment that is worn or used to provide protection against hazardous substances, environments, or – in the case ofCovid-19, a highly contagious virus.

Quarantini:  The day- or nighttime cocktail many have used to unwind amid remote work and Covid-19 lockdowns.

Second Wave: A phenomenon of infections that can develop during a pandemic. Infections occur first in one group of people. Infections appears to decrease, but then infections increase in a different part of the population resulting in a “second wave” of infections.

Social Distancing: A term for a set of measures to prevent the spread of a contagious disease.

Superspreader:   A person or event responsible for transmitting an infectious disease to many people.

Other Older and Over-used Words, Phrases and Chants Over-used During the Last Year(s).

Collusion                                               Disinformation                                     Enemy of the people

Failing                                                    False and misleading                          Globalist

Herd immunity                                    Lock her up                                          Loser

New Normal                                         Norms                                                    Patient zero

Quid pro quo                                        Resistance                                             Sad!

Self-isolation                                        Seriously not literally                          Triggered

Witch-hunt                                            Zoombombing

And maybe most of all, a closing thought

“If I never read another Tweet ….” 

Sources:

Emails and response comments and ideas from readers of my December 16, 2020 Blog No 127.
Mersinoglu,Y., indy.com;
Smith, David, “Alternative Facts … The Trump Era in 32 Words and Phrases, The Guardian, Dec. 28, 2020;
Time Magazine, December 21-28, 2020 Issue.

 NOW LET’S GET ON WITH 2021

 HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL

 

Books authored by Mack Borgen

Get Copies of My Books

Now Recipient of Eight National Book Awards

Best Nonfiction Book of the Year in Three Separate Categories! 

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Best Song Lyrics – Part 16 – And THE NEW WORDS of Our Covid 2020 Year

Posted by Mack W. Borgen December 16th, 2020

Blog No 127
December 16, 2020 

SPECIAL HOLIDAY GREETINGS

TO ALL AMERICANS AS WE CLOSE A TOUGH YEAR.

And, With That, Let Us Celebrate 

The Best Song Lyrics of Modern America – Part 16

– The Poetry of Our Time –

READING TIME: Just 10 Minutes
By Mack W. Borgen
Recipient of Eight National Book Awards.  For a “cleaner” / non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, essays, and articles, just go to my website at https://www.mackwborgen.com/ 

Introduction

Song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America. The lyrics of our favorite songs roll around in our heads for decades. Almost unconsciously, every day we honor the words of America’s songwriters who said something in that perfect, poetic, or clever way.

Here is Part 16 of my assembled list — done over the last ten years in conjunction with my research for my last series of books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America.  For an explanation about the background of this Best Lyrics project, see below.

To order copies of my books at the lowest prices, go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ .

But, now, … The Best Lyrics of Modern America

– From 1957 through 2015 –

Enjoy.

 Some of the Best Short Lines 

Waterloo, Abba (1974) (Group) (Years Active: 1972-1982, 2018 – Present).

            “The history book on the shelf

            Is always repeating itself”

I Fought the Law and the Law Won (1966) (The Bobby Fuller Four) (Group) (Years Active: 1962-1966).

            “Breaking rocks in the hot sun,

            I fought the law and the law won.”

Third-Rate Romance (1975) (The Amazing Rhythm Aces) (Group) (Years Active: 1974-1981, 1994-Present).

           “…The talk was small when they talked at all…

            Third-rate romance, low-rent rendezvous

            … ‘I’ll tell you I love you, if you want me to.’”

 The Sixties

Lay, Lady, Lay (1969) (Bob Dylan) (Born 1941: Robert Allen Zimmerman) (Duluth, MN).

            Lay, lady, lay, lay across my big brass bed

            Stay, lady, stay, stay with your man awhile,

            His clothes are dirty, but his hands are clean

            And you’re the best thing that he’s ever seen.

            …

            Why wait any longer for the one you love,

            When he’s standing in front of you.

 The Seventies 

Sister Golden Hair (1975) (America)(Group) (Years Active: 1970 – Present). 

            “Well, I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damned depressed

            That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed

            I ain’t ready for the alter, but I do agree there’s times

            When a woman sure can be a friend of mine.

           . . . 

            Well, I keep on thinkin’ ‘bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise

            And I just can’t live without you, can’t you see it in my eyes?

            I been one poor correspondent, and I been too hard too too hard to find

            But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind.”

The Nineties

Together Again (1997) (Janet Jackson) (B: 1966; Gary, IN).

Everywhere I go ..  Every smile I see

           I know you are there … Smilin’ back at me

           I know you are free … Cuz I can see your star

           Shinin’ down on me”

 Country Western

 Close Enough for Perfect (1982) (Alabama) (Group) (Years Active: 1969-2004, 2006-2007, 2010 – Present).

            “Right or wrong, she’s there beside me

            Like only a friend would be

            And that’s close enough to perfect for me

. . .

            Don’t worry about my woman

            Or what you think she ought to be

            She’s close enough to perfect for me.”

Not on Your Love (1995) (Jeff Carson) (Born 1963: Tulsa, OK).

           ” We both said some things we don’t really mean

            Sometimes love can be like that

            And right now, they hurt, but they’re only words

            There’s nothin’ we can’t take back.

           . . . 

            When we started out, we made a vow,

            Not to sleep ‘till we settled the fight

            And there have been times we’ve seen the run rise

            But it always worked out alright.”

Background of These “The Best Lyrics of Modern America” Blogs

 As noted above, song lyrics are the real poetry of Modern America, and about a decade ago, when I started my research for my books, Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America, I spent much of the initial year assembling, sorting, and selecting those “memorable” song lyrics to be included in my books.

However, I eventually decided that it was necessary to exclude song lyrics from my books. This was done partly in deference to the needs of book brevity and in bowing recognition to the unavoidable subjectivity of making such selections. This was also done because most songs are almost definitionally “intra-generational” in that they remain the separate and proud province of each generation. They are a part of each generation’s formative and collective memory – but not beyond that.

Nevertheless, as a result of those years of research, I assembled a relatively massive collection of what may be, by some measures of broad consensus, the greatest song lyrics of Modern America.

I have decided to start presenting them here for your remembrance and enjoyment. I confess that this is partly triggered by the fact that I have already done the fun, but painstaking, work of such assemblage. However, these lyrics blogs are also triggered by the fact that America needs – maybe now more than ever — to reach back and enjoy something or, as best said in 1967 by the Beatles in their song A Day in the Life” — “I read the news today, oh boy.”

Thus, starting on October 9, 2018 with Blog No. 83, I have started posting some excerpts of this author’s humble suggestions of The Best Lyrics of Modern America.

– – –

The New Words from Our Covid-19 Year  the Day

Excerpted from Time Magazine, December 21-28, 2020 Issue

BIPOC:             A term for Black, Indigenous and most other people of color. In particular, the identities and experiences of Black and native America communities in the U.S.

Blursday:        The fuzzy merging of the time since the pandemic shut down so much of the world, making it difficult to determine what day of the week it is.

Bubble:            A small group of individuals who follow the same rules and standards for behavior – and can thus spend time together – during the pandemic,

Covidiot:         A pejorative term, for someone who ignores health and safety guidelines intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Defund:           To withdraw financial support, as in calls by the movement to defund the police, which promotes a public-safety model that shifts resources from law enforcement to community-led social programs and initiatives.

Doomscroll:    To addictively thumb through the deluge of bad news shared on social media in 2020, frequently undertaken at bedtime.

Karen:               A colloquial term for a white woman weaponizing her privilege often at the expense or well-being of a BIPOC individual.

Quarantini:    The day- or nighttime cocktail many have used to unwind amid remote work and Covid-19 lockdowns.

Social Distancing:       A term for a set of measures to prevent the spread of a contagious disease.

Superspreader:           A person or event responsible for transmitting an infectious disease to a large number of people.

Get Copies of My Books

Now Recipient of Eight National Book Awards

Best Nonfiction Book of the Year in Three Separate Categories! 

— U.S. History, Current Events, and Reference —  

Best prices. Fast shipping. Just go to http://mackwborgen.com/shop/ . All books will be signed by the author and will be shipped within five business days. My books are, of course, also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. and at select independent bookstores. How about this one? One of my books  ….

book cover

All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical without the prior written permission of the author.

 

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Fixing America – Too Many Attorneys and Too Much Litigation – Part 2

Posted by Mack W. Borgen December 3rd, 2020

Blog No. 126 
December 3, 2020 

Fixing America – Idea 21 – Part 2 

Reading Time: 7 Minutes
By Mack W. Borgen
University of California at Berkeley (Honors, Economics); Harvard Law School; National Award-Winning Author, The Relevance of Reason (Volumes I and II) (2013) and Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Volumes I,  II,  and  III (2018-2019).
My Resolution for the Year: To write shorter blogs. Part 1 on this subject (Blog 125) was posted on Dec. 1, 2020.  
For a “cleaner” / non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at https://www.mackwborgen.com/ .

Introduction

Over the last two years, I have presented a wide-ranging set of ideas for “resetting” and “fixing” America. This blog is Part 2 of Idea No 21 in this “Fixing America” series of articles. 

We Attorneys Are a (BIG) Part of America’s Problems

Part 2

Background Summary as presented in Part 1 of article (Blog 125, December 1, 2020). This author has practiced law and written about social, economic, and political matters for many years. With that experience, I hope to address the roles (and abuses) of attorneys from the perspectives of both an attorney and a writer/social commentator. In Part 1 of this article, it was noted (1) that, unquestionably, there are many any conscientious, dedicated, competent, and honorable attorneys who provide essential legal services for their clients – and in doing so, for our society and its economy, and (b) that many of the issues raised in this two-part article could be resolved merely by changing America’s legal practice so that attorneys’ fees are paid by the losing party. However, since that significant awarding-of-attorneys-fees change is unlikely to soon occur, other approaches as here discussed are necessary.

In Part 1, three threshold problems were identified. First, there are too many attorneys in our country. Second, there are too many laws in our society. Third, there is far too much litigation in our country for many reasons including the fact that (a) any good attorney can mold a claim out of almost any set of facts, (b) litigation is too often used as a tactic of negotiation, intimidation, or even retribution, (c) even though the final litigation commencement decision is that of clients, attorneys too readily acquiesce—or even encourage, litigation as a course of action, (d) attorneys and their clients too often blindly believe that everyone deserves vigorous, committed counsel and “their day in court,” and, lastly, (e) although states have various litigation containment mechanisms, such abuse of process or vexatious claimant statutes are rarely invoked by the courts.

Part 1 closed with the following statement – “….Americans too often ‘abuse’ the legal system and attorneys too often are complicit in the filing of baseless Roy Cohn-type lawsuits for purposes of harassment, intimidation, negotiating position, retribution, spite, and even whim.”

Ideas 

Idea 1. Change Legal Curricula and CLE Ethics Courses. Legal ethics and professional responsibility classes are taught both in law school and as a part of state continuing legal education (“CLE”) programs. These courses traditionally focus upon matters such as the standards of representation, conflicts of interest, management of trust accounts, and avoidance of malpractice claims. However, the scope of such courses must be changed. Such courses should explain the right, and sometimes the duty, of attorneys to decline acceptance of a case. For most attorneys, this will require a change of perspective as well since, in most instances, such declination of representation may not be in the attorneys’ immediate, short-term financial interests.

However, filing a materially baseless claim is basically a fraud upon the court and upon the other party or parties. And wholly apart from the plaintiff/claimant, the attorneys’ complicity in such fraud should not be overlooked. Once again, this problem could partially be addressed by merely awarding attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party, but until this is done, then attorneys themselves must start stepping forward in their rejection of baseless (or more technically, materially baseless) claims. 

Idea 2. Narrow the Societal Mantra of One’s Right to Their “Day in Court” and Change Society’s View of the Use of Litigation Itself. Societally, we must start recognizing that not everyone should have their “day in court” – consuming the resources of the judicial system and imposing undeserved and costly burdens upon multiple other parties. Furthermore, the mere filing of a lawsuit cannot be seen, by itself, as somehow legitimizing one’s claims if such claims are baseless.

The first well-known dirty secret is that the amount of litigation in this country would drop significantly if litigious clients were turned down by responsible attorneys and had to turn to Better-Call-Saul, strip mall attorneys rather than dressing up their supposed cases with thick filings and the retention of big firms.

The second well-known, but rarely discussed, dirty secret is that a great amount of litigation could be avoided by once again teaching and embracing the reality that there are powerful distinctions to be made between that which is legal and that which is ethical; between that which is legally permissible and that which is morally acceptable. Greed, even if lawful, may not be “good.” And the writings of Milton Friedman have been taken too far — raw greed and the unchecked pursuit of profit are not always good for our country. It is easy to dismiss these concepts — and this entire discussion — as ethical discussions which should be saved for buddies, rants, campfires, kumbaya moments, weekends, and church. But that is not the case. These concepts – or, more precisely, the core concept that “if it’s legal, it’s o.k.,” dramatically affect how our society functions. From the perspective of litigation, another substantial amount of litigation could be avoided by just doing the proverbial “right thing”; by not lawyering up; by viewing litigation as a last – not first – resort; and by viewing litigation at least with a sense of disappointment and even regret and embarrassment – just as bankruptcy used to be viewed.

Note: With your permission, may I underscore this last point. It is only in the recent years of Modern America that bankruptcy has been viewed by some as “acceptable” and as merely a “business tool.” Historically, there was a certain degree of disappointment, bordering on shame, associated with the filing of bankruptcy – whether it be Chapter 7, 11, or 13 bankruptcy. While one’s filing of litigation is far less draconian a measure than the filing of bankruptcy, it would be – literally — useful for society to view litigation askance as well.

Idea 3. Increase the Transparency of Representation. Assure higher level of transparency and publicity with respect to the attorney representation of parties so that any party – including the press – can readily identify which attorneys and which law firm(s) are representing which claimant parties.[1] This is not suggested as some variant of any cancel culture. Indeed, some attorneys and firms routinely publicize cases they win. In a parallel fashion, the public should be able to readily discover which cases (and types of cases) these attorneys and firms take and which clients (and types of clients) they represent. Thus, when a baseless case has been taken and is readily dismissed, the public should have ready access to knowing what attorney and firm represented such losing party. 

Idea 4. Substantially Increase the Fines (or Other Financial Consequences) Resulting from Frivolous Litigation (or Litigation Dismissed by Summary Judgment). Substantially increase the fines and consequences relating to the filing of baseless claims or even discovery motions made by clients and their attorneys. Without getting overly technical in this article, it is also recommended that consideration be given to imposing a substantial fine or other charge payable to the innocent party in the event of any case dismissal via summary judgment motion. Lastly, the imposition of such fines should not be limited to the client. A portion – or even a parallel assessment – should be imposed upon the attorney(s) who articulated, filed, and initiated such spurious cases. 

Implementation. Very bluntly, each of the foregoing ideas will be both hard and slow to implement. Especially the narrowing of the right to “one’s day in court” societal mantra will require civic discussion and explanation. Likewise, the economic thrust of some of these ideas will require attorneys to occasionally turn away cases and this will require them to work against their own (at least short-term) economic interest.

Nevertheless, these issues must be addressed. America has become far too litigious. America is becoming more sophisticated and more aggressive in condemning enablers, and it cannot be ignored (a) that our country is buried under the weight of too much litigation and (b) that some attorneys’ and law firms have become enablers in the worst sense of that word.

Closing: In the interests of focus and brevity, this article has not addressed the reality that most Americans can no longer access the American judicial system. They cannot afford the high fees of attorneys and the cost of litigation. As a result, attorneys in the context of non-criminal matters are retained almost exclusively by the wealthy clients or corporations, but these subjects are not here addressed. In addition, this article was also NOT intended to revisit Shakespeare’s four-centuries-old line “let’s kill all the lawyers”[2] To the contrary, I believe that many attorneys provide innumerable, constructive services for the benefit of Americans and our society and economy. However, some attorneys are blinded by the economic rewards of litigation. Some attorneys have unduly, even unwittingly but conveniently, embrace the concept that everyone has a right of representation. But that is not always the case. America cannot any longer ignore the reality that some attorneys have become powerful enablers in the misuse of our judicial system for wrongful purposes – retribution, shakedown, intimidation or negotiating advantage. Such behavior will never be eliminated, but societally we must start imposing consequences not only upon the plaintiff/claimants but also upon their attorneys. 

INVITATION 

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For you or your friends to receive direct copies of my blogs, just send your or their confidential email address to me at mwborgen@live.com.

The Fancypants Word of the Day

Esurient (Part of speech: Adjective) 1) Hungry 2) Greedy.

Examples of use in sentences: “He skipped breakfast, so by lunchtime he was positively esurient.”

“He hated being called greedy, but because of his ignorance he did not mind being called esurient.”

Source and thank to wordgenius.com and Shawna Borgen.

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More Relevant Than Ever! – Start the New Year with New Books

Get a set of my books.  All books will be personally signed. Simple ordering and special prices at  https://www.mackwborgen.com/shop/ .

My books are also available on Amazon etc., but your ordering direct from my publisher is greatly appreciated — and they are the lowest prices.  In addition, a percentage of my receipts are donated each year to selected charities. 

Your buying of my books is appreciated beyond words — and they make good gifts!

Copyright 2020 by Mack W. Borgen. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews, without prior written permission by the author.

Mack Borgen's Book Series

[1]  I am not suggesting that this information be used in furtherance of America’s recent engagement of cancel culture. (See, Carney, T., “Canceling Lawyers and Punishing ‘Enablers’). However, members of the public should be able to know and have ready access to the public records or easily find out who a lawyer or firm has represented.

[2] This famous line is from Shakespeare’s 1591 play Henry VI, Part 2.

Fixing America – Idea 21 – We Attorneys Are a (Big) Part of the Problem – Part 1

Posted by Mack W. Borgen November 30th, 2020

Blog No. 125 
December 1, 2020 

Fixing America – Idea 21 

Reading Time: 6 Minutes

By Mack W. Borgen

University of California at Berkeley (Honors, Economics); Harvard Law School; National Award-Winning Author, The Relevance of Reason (Volumes I and II) (2013) and Dead Serious and Lighthearted – The Memorable Words of Modern America (Volumes I,  II,  and  III (2018-2019).
My Resolution for the Year: To write shorter blogs. This is Part 1 on this subject. Part 2 will be posted on Thursday, December 3, 2020.
For a “cleaner” / non-email presentation of this and my other blogs, essays, and articles, please go to my website at https://www.mackwborgen.com/ .

Introduction

Over the last two years, I have presented a wide-ranging set of ideas for “resetting” and “fixing” America. This blog is the twenty-first idea in this “Fixing America” series of articles.

We Attorneys Are a (BIG) Part of America’s Problems

Part 1 

(Note: All footnotes are at the very end of this article)

1. Background. 

A. Even Before We Begin – Three Preliminary Notes and Caveats

                First, my background and career. It is impossible for this author to be entirely impartial with respect to the practice of law in the United States since I have practiced business and real estate law for decades. During that time, it has been my honor to work for and with large national law firms, medium-sized law firms, small firms, sole practitioners, and corporate in-house counsels. With that experience, I hopefully can accurately address the roles (and abuses) of some attorneys in our society from the concurrent perspectives of both an attorney and a writer/social commentator.

                Secondly, many good and honorable attorneys and the provision of many useful services. There should be no doubt or confusion that there are many good, conscientious, dedicated, and honorable attorneys and that attorneys provide innumerable essential services for many Americans and, in the process, for our economy and our society. They help clients memorialize agreements, structure businesses, anticipate problems, resolve disagreements, protect and preserve assets, establish estate plans, minimize taxes, and achieve clarity in documents and communications. The list of valuable services is endless.

                Thirdly, awarding of attorneys’ fees. Many of the issues raised in this article could be resolved merely by changing America’s legal practice so that in the context of litigation attorneys’ fees are paid by the losing party. See my article, Fixing America – Idea No. 4 (Blog 107, October 28, 2019). However, just as the adoption of terms limits in the context of American politics is unlikely, there is regrettably little reason to believe that America will soon change its manner of awarding attorneys’ fees to the winning, i.e. the prevailing, party. Thus, other approaches, such as those included in this article, may be necessary. 

B. Problem 1 – Too Many Attorneys. There are too many attorneys in our country. This is both a cause and a reflection of many societal problems. In the U.S., there are about 1,350,000 attorneys – about one for every 250 people. In California alone, there are about 266,000 licensed attorneys[1] and 199,000 licensed and active attorneys — about one for every 208 Californians (and one for every 161 adult Californians!).

In the opinion of this author, there are too many attorneys – especially, for example, compared to other professions. In California, where there are 266,000 licensed attorneys, but there are only about 143,000 physicians. There are 266,000 licensed attorneys, but there are only 119,500 full-time law enforcement personnel.[2] Worse yet and almost eerily, there are almost exactly the same number of attorneys in California as there are schoolteachers (266,000 attorneys vs 266,255 teachers).[3]

Admittedly, comparing the number of attorneys to other professions or to the total population is, at best, a very rough measure of whether there are too many or too few attorneys. Other factors, such as the size and legal complexity of our economy or the over-legislation and over-regulation by our government are contributory problems. Also, the high number of attorneys might merely reflect, but does not independently cause, many of the problems discussed below. But whatever the reasons or no matter the measure, there are too many attorneys in our society.

C. Problem 2 – Too Many Laws and Regulations. There are also too many laws and regulations in our society. I have discussed this subject before in the context of the over-criminalization in American society. [4] However, there are too many federal and state laws and regulations in the context of both criminal and civil statutes. Over the course of many years, these laws and regulations have been stacked upon us — one on top of another. The suggestion of mandatory sunsetting of all new legislation will be made in a future Fixing America article, but for now, it is only necessary to note that, almost definitionally, the more laws passed by politicians usually means, over time, a higher demand and need for more attorneys.

On the other hand, blaming politicians for the proliferation of our nation’s and state’s laws is a bit circular since 145 members of the U.S. House of Representatives (i.e. about 33%) and 47 of the U.S. Senators (i.e. 47%) are attorneys. One could argue that blaming politicians and legislative bodies merely leads us to come full circle … back to blaming lawyers once again.

D. Problem 3 – Too Much Litigation. For several primary reasons, litigation is far too frequently – indeed almost far too routinely — commenced in our country. In 2019, there were 610,627 civil cases[5] filed in California Superior Courts alone. Because many of these cases were initiated by corporations or other legal entities, it is difficult to juxtapose this number with the population of California. However, the number remains – 610,627 civil cases in one year alone. As briefly discussed above, it is tempting to blame this litigation volume upon the size and complexities of the world economy and the proliferation of laws and regulations, but we lawyers have played a substantial role as well.

First, any good lawyer can mold an argument and make a claim out of any set of facts, any bowl of clay, or — to be blunt –  any pile of bullshit. Any good attorney can weave thin threads of truth into a thick rope of claims. Both attorneys and the litigation process itself can transform obvious truths into reasonable doubts. In most instances, such molded claims survive summary judgments, and the costly, protracted litigation continues — in part to the continuing economic advantage of the litigant attorneys.

Second, while litigation is sometimes necessary and unavoidable, too frequently litigation (or the threat thereof) is used as a tactic of negotiation, intimidation, or even retribution. In some instances, litigation becomes a test of resolve and resources more than a matter of right and wrong; a devil’s brew of staying power and stubbornness more than a means of finding truth or achieving justice.

Thirdly, it is tempting to suggest that the decision relating to the commencement of litigation is the sole province of clients but that is oftentimes not true. Clients do (and should) make the final decision, but attorneys have a powerful, influential role. As I wrote in an article published years ago (which was reprinted in a number of California legal publications),[6] attorneys should remind their clients more often and more aggressively that litigation is rarely a prudent course of action. There are certainly some major exceptions and unavoidable needs for litigation, but while the attorneys will normally be paid “upfront,”  any favorable judgment (and the collection thereof) for the client will usually be the hardest money they ever earned.

Fourth, attorneys (and their prospective clients) too often blindly believe that everyone deserves vigorous, committed counsel and that clients deserve “their day in court.”[7] However, this author suggests that this adage is far too blindly and far too widely accepted. In the first place, except in the rare case of court-appointed representation, attorneys do not have an obligation to accept a client; to further his or its cause; or to advance his or its claims. Admittedly, once a matter is accepted, then withdrawing from a case has appropriate ethical and judicial restraints. But initially, cases can be turned down. And more cases should be turned down.

Fifth, states have various litigation containment mechanisms by which they seek to control the destructive, harmful whims of what are called “vexatious plaintiffs.” However, such variously named mechanisms (abuse of process or vexatious claimant statutes) are rarely invoked by the courts.[8] Consequently, if there is to be a meaningful control upon the filing of spurious claims initiated primarily for purposes of retribution, shakedown, intimidation or negotiating advantage, then attorneys can help society by merely asserting their right to decline representation. Not all news is fit for print. Likewise, not all cases are deserving of representation.

Thus, the focus of this article, is that Americans too often “abuse” the legal system and that attorneys too often are complicit in filing baseless Roy Cohn-type lawsuits for, as referenced above, purposes of harassment, intimidation, negotiating position, retribution, spite, and even whim.  Author’s Note: It is beyond the scope of this article, however, it is also a financial reality that due to cost alone, the retention of attorneys is far beyond the capacity of most Americans. In that sense, attorneys themselves become an unwitting tool almost solely of the wealthy class or their corporate entities.                                               

SOME SOLUTIONS AND IDEAS – SEE THURSDAY’S BLOG 126

INVITATION 

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For you or your friends to receive direct copies of my blogs, just send your or their confidential email address to me at mwborgen@live.com. 

The Fancypants Word of the Day

Neophilia (Part of speech: Noun; Origin: American English) 1) Love of, preference for, or great interest in what is new 2) A love of novelty.

Examples of use in sentences: “My damn neophilia makes me always bring home the next generation of iPhone as soon as it’s released.”

“My aunt says she’s not a hoarder, but she admits suffering from extreme neophilia and has to get a new thing for her house every day.”

Source and thank to wordgenius.com and Shawna Borgen.

Order a Set of My Books

More Relevant Than Ever! – Start the New Year with New Books

Get a set of my books.  All books will be personally signed. Simple ordering and special prices at  https://www.mackwborgen.com/shop/ . 

My books are also available on Amazon etc., but your ordering direct from my publisher is faster, greatly appreciated — and they are the lowest prices. 

A percentage of my receipts are donated each year to selected charities. 

Your buying of my books is appreciated beyond words — and they make good gifts!

Copyright 2020 by Mack W. Borgen. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews, without prior written permission by the author.

FOOTNOTES TO ARTICLE

[1] In California, there are 266,000 licensed attorneys, but of these only 190,000 are “active” and permitted to practice law at this time.

[2]  Of this 119,500 law enforcement number, 78,500 are full-time officers with full arrest powers and 41,000 are civilian staff.

[3]  This translates to an average California teacher:student ratio of 1:24 — compared to the national average teacher:student ratio of 1:16. In addition, there are about 16,555 school administrators representing an administrator to student ratio of about 1:386.

[4]  See, Borgen M., “Streamline the Federal and State Penal Codes and Address the Issue of Over-Criminalization om American Society” (Blog No 114, February 25, 2020).

[5] This number even excludes criminal cases (189,013 felony and 766,782 misdemeanor cases), family law cases (375,529), juvenile law cases (74,507), and probate matters (49,152). See courts.ca.gov.

[6] Such publications included the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the San Francisco Daily Journals, and various other county and regional bar publications.

[7] This article focuses upon civil litigation rather than criminal cases where the right to counsel has been long established by the US Supreme Court.

[8]  Since 1991, California has maintained a Vexatious Litigant List, however because the threshold for “repeated” motions or causes of action is very high, vague, and hard to prove. Thus, the Vexatious Litigant statutes are rarely invoked. After nearly three decades, the California list includes only a few thousand names. Other than The Church of Scientology and a couple of trademark trolls, most of them are not well-known individuals or entities.

Books authored by Mack Borgen