A Few Inconvenient Truths About Michael Crichton’s State of Fear: Lawyers, Causes and Science
Seton Hall Journal Sports & Entertainment Law, Vol. 20, No. 1, p. 49, 2010
36 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2011
Date Written: January 10, 2010
Although Crichton has lost the battle regarding global warming, his characterization of lawyers and law practice remains unchallenged. This article challenges his damning portrait of lawyers as know-nothing, self-aggrandizing manipulators of various social and environmental causes. A more nuanced examination of “cause lawyering” reveals that lawyers are not part of a vast conspiracy to grab power through the causes for which many work; in fact, the rules of professional responsibility as well as the structure of “cause lawyering” limit their power and influence. Regardless, lawyers are nonetheless vital, and generally principled, participants in the debates and causes that inform environmental (and other scientific) policy-making in a democratic society.
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