I know, you want to finish the sentence “can live without ’em.”
So those of you who have preconceived notions that lawyers have it one up on the rest of you, and for no good reason, will find confirmation of sorts in this interview by Prof. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit with his colleague, Prof. Ben Barton, author of The Lawyer-Judge Bias in the American Legal System,
Here is the jacket summary of the book:
Virtually all American judges are former lawyers. This book argues that these lawyer-judges instinctively favor the legal profession in their decisions and that this bias has far-reaching and deleterious effects on American law. There are many reasons for this bias, some obvious and some subtle. Fundamentally, it occurs because – regardless of political affiliation, race, or gender – every American judge shares a single characteristic: a career as a lawyer. This shared background results in the lawyer-judge bias. The book begins with a theoretical explanation of why judges naturally favor the interests of the legal profession and follows with case law examples from diverse areas, including legal ethics, criminal procedure, constitutional law, torts, evidence, and the business of law. The book closes with a case study of the Enron fiasco, an argument that the lawyer-judge bias has contributed to the overweening complexity of American law, and suggests some possible solutions.
The interview is even more interesting than the jacket summary, and is available at PJTV for free, although you do have to register.
Update: YouTube version of interview now available: