29 June 2009

Fourteen Years As A Lawyer

Fourteen years ago today, I was formally admitted to the practice of law, in New York State. A little later, I would move to Colorado and practice law there. New York State has several hundred more years of history (New York has had a continuous governmental regime longer than the United States, for example), and has spent much of that history at a reasonably high population. This shows in their legal system, which has case law on everything and statutes cluttered with exceptions and anachronisms.* But, both the Colorado and New York systems work well enough, most of the time.

* It isn't just me that thinks New York's legal system can be quaint:

[V]oters might be ready to consider a full-scale constitutional convention to overhaul New York's rambling document - which addresses such minutiae as the size of ski trails and railroad grade crossings but is unclear on leadership succession. Just 12 days ago we noted that it had been 42 years since the last convention. That effort in 1967, however, cost $6.5 million - and not one recommendation was subsequently approved by the voters.

Colorado's constitution has a deeply flawed, overconstrained budget process, mostly due to TABOR, but due to regular "housekeeping" amendments passed by Colorado voters, is comparatively uncluttered with spent provisions and minutiae.

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