Posts Tagged ‘Alice’s Restaurant’

Cumberland Days

I had to get to know my plaintiffs. I know, my client was the defendant. But in order to try to defend that client, I still had to know the plaintiffs, these machinists and brakemen and engineers and firemen and maintenance-of-way workers, and I thought of them as mine. I had to get to know about their individual asbestos exposures, their individual careers, their medical histories, their hobbies, their tobacco use, their families, their non-railroad occupational exposures to asbestos. Of course they were not being honest about asbestos disease; I daresay most of them knew that. But I’m sure they viewed the litigation as a way of getting a little bit of their own back against an employer which, if it didn’t exactly inflict asbestosis on them, had still completely let them down. I did my duty by my client, but I was glad it was so ineffectual.

The Bad Character of “Good Character”

As St. Paul trenchantly put it, “What I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.” And this was a saint talking, and he was using present tense. A saint whose deeds were imperfect even as he spoke, he typified us all. We are all mixed bags. The regulator, however, cannot make a mixed choice. The regulator must assign the label of good or bad character to each applicant.