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Bar News - May 17, 2013

Morning Mail: Amused and Insulted

I read the April 19, 2013, NH Bar News piece, "The Gray Area, Aging Bar Brings Cognition Concerns," with a strong combination of amusement and insult.

The authorís suggestion that the "prime working years" for lawyers is between 41 and 50 is laughable. Most lawyers arenít dry behind the ears at 41 and maybe, just maybe, they have gathered enough real time experience at 50 to expect a client to trust their judgment.

The insult caused by the piece may be personal.

I have been invited to attend the Bar Association annual meeting to be recognized as a 50-year lawyer. The main speaker is a psychiatrist with the Colorado Attorney Regulatory Committee with advice on how lawyers should act near the end of their careers, presumably to avoid ethical difficulties.

Should I consider myself honored by recognition of 50 years in this proud profession or should I consider that I am Exhibit A in a talk about ethical quandaries for aging lawyers?

Since Iím still actively practicing, maybe Iím just hanging on to my "reserve function," another psycho-babble phrase in the piece, all the while not knowing my "cognitive abilities remain impaired," yet another weighty phrase.

Arthur B. Cunningham

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