March 25, 2015

There's a Legislative History of the 12 Rules of Client Service?

Of sorts, yes. Originally there were 14 rules.

We've mentioned often since publishing them nine years ago that this blog's 12 Rules of Client Service sprang from the "How To Practice Law" section of Hull McGuire PC's Practice Guide, a 35 page booklet written in 2000 for associates and paralegals that we revised frequently through 2004. In fact, the single paragraph introducing the Rules on April 3, 2006 cites this dubious and certainly mysterious authority up front.

Beginning November 19, 2005, I set out to write a rule-by-rule "12-Step" program for lawyers, professionals and executives. The rules were derived from the "How To Practice Law" section of our firm's Practice Guide, written for associates and paralegals in 2000. Well, they are finally completed. The goal of the "What About Clients?" 12 rules is to align the interests of clients/customers and service providers to the fullest extent possible. The rules are not perfect, and can be improved. But this model works--if you work at it. If you follow these rules by building a disciplined culture at your shop where they are enforced and kept alive, your clients and firm both benefit as you go along. You'll see repeat business. You'll make money. Think of the rules as clientwork.

The current 12 rules, each with a link to an explanatory note about the rule, followed the above paragraph.

But the rules on which they were based appeared in our June 2004 edition of the Practice Guide:

A. General Black Letter Principles for Lawyering

1. Be Client-oriented. Clients are everything. You are always practicing law and marketing at the same time. Be constantly available. Return calls quickly. Bombard the client and the lawyer with whom you are working with your written work product.

2. Be overly-communicative about the status of your work for clients with both clients and other lawyers (inside and outside HMPC) with whom you are working.

3. There should be two (2) lawyers on each project, no matter how small.

"The Lawyers", circa 1855, Honoré Daumier (1808-1879)

Continue reading...

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March 24, 2015

Think Like the Client--Help Control Costs.

Rule 8 is Think Like the Client--Help Control Costs. The 2006 Explanatory Note for Rule 8--we reluctantly decided that an Advisory Committee Notes regime was a bit grandiose--begins this way:

Ask an associate lawyer or paralegal what a "profit" is. You will get two kinds of answers. Both answers are "correct" but neither of them helps anyone in your firm think like the client. The answers will be something like this. (1) "A profit is money remaining after deducting costs from receipts." This is the correct young transactional/tax lawyer answer. Or (2) "it's money left over at the end of the hunt." This is the correct fire-breathing young litigator answer.

The right answer?

A profit is a reward for being efficient. And until a lawyer, paralegal or staffer gets that, she or he will never know how a client--or a law firm partner--thinks.


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Training Justin, Part II.

See our March 20 post, "Justin, exactly how would you like us to train you?" Two other lawyer-bloggers chimed in on the happy workplace theme--the nice-sounding theme featuring workers, especially younger ones, that never seems to make much room for clients or customers. Many of us had hoped that happy workplace theme was dead or dying. Apparently not. See these two pro-client/pro-customer pieces that come at the issue from different angles: "The Return of The Happy" by Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice, and "Stop Trying to Be Happy, Lawyers" by Kate Mangan writing at The Lawyerist.

Allergic to Work: Bob Denver as Maynard G. Krebs (CBS photo).

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March 21, 2015

Mircea Eliade's "Shamanism": A classic in the history of religions.

Or you may view it as a classic of anthropology. Whatever you call it, it is serious scholarship and in a class by itself. Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) was a famously-erudite and highly regarded University of Chicago religion professor and writer. His study "Shamanism" (about 600 pages in my 2004 edition pictured below) was first published in 1951. It covers 2500 years of shamanism all over the planet, including the Americas, Siberia, China, Indonesia and Tibet. Consider reading all or part of this deeply interesting and often strange study of the drive for a spirit-life that comes up from the Earth and dwells in the infinite.


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Any NYC or DC lawyers out there with an unpublished novel in the bottom desk drawer?

If you do, visit Double Bridge Publishing. Double Bridge uses crowdsourcing to get unpublished books critiqued, edited, cover-designed, published, marketed and distributed.


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March 20, 2015

Justin, exactly how would you like us to train you?

Read or skim in Entrepreneur this month the article "This Is How Millennials Want to Be Managed". It's a "happy workplace" piece and you can get its gist and message in a flash. We've all seen them before.

Finish it? Good. Thanks for reading. At the risk of sounding old, mean and cranky, let me make two quick comments.

First, in the last 15 years, my firm has hired, managed and worked closely with scores of Millennials/GenY--at least 100--and probably scrutinized even more members of that age group employed by my own clients or other law firms. I've also read maybe 50 misguided articles just like this one that urge us all to mold our people-management style at work to what certain generations, usually GenY, "want" based on their experiences growing up at home and how they were taught in school. While I want to know every single cultural and educational fact there is about each employee and team member, my obligations to understand "how they want to managed" are pretty close to zero. My informal advice to you employers--whether you're an older blue chip manufacturer with thousands of employees, or the next big player in molecular nanotechnology--is generally the same:

a. Get off your knees, you guys.

b. Ignore well-meaning writers and consultants who would have you manage people based a north star or "trend" other then your own vision and instincts.

c. Employees are important but they are "third"--after customers (#1) and the company or division you're managing or building (#2) to serve them. In service professions, clients are more important than any employee--and more important than the firm or company itself.

Second, I've been through the "we work better with constant feedback" thing with younger employees over and over again. Nearly 90% of the time--not all of the time but most of the time--that request means something quite different. It means that the requesting employees would like constant kudos and encouragement--think happy drumbeat or cheerleading--without negative criticism.

I know, it doesn't seem possible. I must be mistaken about what these employees would like as a "best practice" feedback. But that's what is happening here. The problem is obvious. A truly conscientious manager or mentor will never give that kind of "feedback". It teaches nothing, it dumbs down standards and, most importantly, it hurts customers or clients who have to live with those standards.

Thanks for listening.


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March 18, 2015

Round 2: "One Night, One Person".


Lots of us who work somewhere "downtown" during the day have a chance to participate in Round 2 of "One Night, One Person". See our March 5 and March 7 posts. Over the next 10 days, temperatures in virtually all of the Northeastern and Midwestern Yuppie-laden cities will hit freezing or well below, especially in Boston, Cleveland, Detroit and NYC. Others like Chicago, DC, Indianapolis, Columbus and Wilmington will approach or hit freezing. The "rules" here are simple. And intuitive. You find out--and you do this in person--exactly who on the streets needs warm wraps a night or two before they will really need it, and get that stuff to them directly within, say, 24 hours. Oh, and you may need to check weather forecasts in your cities. Cold winter nights are back for a while. For some, your excess winter clothing--and believe me, you have some--could certainly lessen what can only be described as suffering and even save a life. How much fleecy stuff from The North Face do you need to keep around the house anyway?

Here again are "rules" from our March 7 post:

1. Pick out and ask a homeless woman or man what articles of warm clothing she or he needs that you already have at home or in storage, for examples thermal gloves, wool scarfs, warm hats and beanies, big sweaters, winter coats, thermal underwear, socks, etc. Ask just one person at a time.

2. Agree on a time to meet (preferably at the same place) later that day or the next day.

3. Find the winter stuff you have at home or in storage.

4. Bring said stuff to the homeless woman or man as agreed. Nine out of ten times, your new friend will be there when you show up.

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March 17, 2015

1916: Forógra na Poblachta


("Proclamation of the Republic", April 24, 1916)

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St. Patrick's Day and Irish Guys: Having the Wrong Stuff.

Today is Saint Patrick's Day.

For starters, be advised that real Irish-American males do not wear green on March 17.

They do the same things they do any other day, to wit: (a) get up, (b) inhale aspirin, (c) dress as usual (Dockers, clean "Guinness"-emblazoned golf shirts if there's an important meeting) (d) work, (e) read a little (don't count on Ulysses), (f) head to a real bar (never ones with faux-Irish names like "The Dubliner" or the generic "Irish Bar"), (g) tell stories, (h) listen to some music (rarely Irish tunes), (i) get drunk and (j) fall down on the floor.

I happen to know I'm Irish--maybe too Irish--and as Irish as they come. One great-grandmother, a Belfast Protestant named McQuitty, provides most of the DNA there. In my case, that's 12.5% of my genetic makeup and, believe me, it's enough. If you're not a slam dunk at proving you're Really Irish--e.g., your parents' names are Flanagan and Murphy, and those are their first names--and want to know for sure if you've got the Wrong Stuff, here's a test you can take and decide for yourself:

1. All your brothers and sisters are in Alcoholics Anonymous.

2. You talk incessantly and in your sleep and for no reason.

3. Captivated audiences, juries and Rhodes and Marshall scholarship selection committees take months and often years to realize that nothing you said made sense.

4. Your idea of foreplay is 'I'm home. Brace yourself, Brigit'.

5. Distant relatives in County Cork list "wearing trousers" and "road bowling" on resumes.

6. You read "Angela's Ashes" and secretly dread the first day your long-suffering wife or girlfriend humiliates you in front of your kids, your mates and the rest of the neighborhood.

7. For years after your last appointment psychiatrists beg you to take your money back.

8. You've spent 20 minutes on the phone with long-distance relatives giving a detailed report on your current weather. You hang up, and look out the window to see if you were right.

9. You make fun of Welsh people because they drink too much.

10. You're available at any time to speak at any length about any subject.

Pont Saint-Patrick, Cork 1900

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March 16, 2015

Storytelling for trial lawyers. In just 16 words.

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

--Anton Chekhov (1860-1904)

Chekhov with Maxim Gorky in Yalta, probably 1900

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White Boy Action Wear?

"When being a white dude just isn't enough...."

Twenty years ago I started a company in Pittsburgh called Black Dog to sell tees, sweatshirts, jackets and the like under the name of "White Boy Action Wear". The WBAW logo and "White Boy" (see T-shirt image below) would have appeared on every product. We shelved the company and the clothing line it when we realized something while selling a few items initially to obtain trade and service marks. Very few people outside of the largest U.S. cities and some fun (but insular) snowboarding, skateboarding and extreme sports communities (a) "got it"--the name, that is--and (b) felt comfortable with it and the "concept", such as it is. Lots of people said they felt uncomfortable--and in ways they could not always explain to us.

Help me out:

1. Does, for example, the T-shirt product below offend you?
2. Would you buy it?
3. Would you wear it it it were a present?
4. Would you let your kids wear it?
5. Even if you have no problems with it, an think it's wonderful and funny, what problems do you see other people having with it?
6. Have things (and sensibilities) changed or loosened up enough for people to understand the mild fun and satire connected the "White Boy Action Wear" idea and the goofy White Boy who would appear on every product?

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Budapest, July 11, 2007

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Caption under development

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March 14, 2015

Crowdsourcing Double Bridge Publishing releases first book on May 1.

Washington, D.C.-based Double Bridge Publishing announced yesterday that its first imprint--"It's Like This, Jim", a book of poetry by Canadian writer and muralist Jack O'Brien--will be released May 1 (e-book) and June 1 (print). Launched six months ago by Richard O'Brien, Double Bridge features a crowdsourcing model for publishing, including the editing process. In addition, the company offers a popular written evaluation service in which for a nominal fee any writer--established or novice--is provided with probing and independent evaluations (or critiques) by three experienced editors, reviewers or other publishing industry veterans.


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March 13, 2015

Alice Roosevelt Longworth, American Badass.

If you have nothing nice to say, come sit by me.

-- Alice Roosevelt Longworth (died 1980, age 96)

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See this extraordinary film.


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March 12, 2015

Jack Kerouac, The James Dean of Letters.

It's Jack Kerouac's 93rd birthday today. Since you talk about the work that made him famous On The Road so much at parties and in bars, it's high time you read it. Truman Capote called it "typing". I call it "reflective" and "ambitious" with moments of greatness in language. Here is the full if imperfect text:

On The Road


I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. I had just gotten over a serious illness that I won't bother to talk about, except that it had something to do with the miserably weary split-up and my feeling that everything was dead. With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road. Before that I'd often dreamed of going West to see the country, always vaguely planning and never taking off. Dean is the perfect guy for the road because he actually was born on the road, when his parents were passing through Salt Lake City in 1926, in a jalopy, on their way to Los Angeles. First reports of him came to me through Chad King, who'd shown me a few letters from him written in a New Mexico reform school. I was tremendously interested in the letters because they so naively and sweetly asked Chad to teach him all about Nietzsche and all the wonderful intellectual things that Chad knew. At one point Carlo and I talked about the letters and wondered if we would ever meet the strange Dean Moriarty. This is all far back, when Dean was not the way he is today, when he was a young jail kid shrouded in mystery. Then news came that Dean was out of reform school and was coming to New York for the first time; also there was talk that he had just married a girl called Marylou.

One day I was hanging around the campus and Chad and Tim Gray told me Dean was staying in a cold-water pad in East Harlem, the Spanish Harlem. Dean had arrived the night before, the first time in New York, with his beautiful little sharp chick Marylou; they got off the Greyhound bus at 50th Street and cut around the comer looking for a place to eat and went right in Hector's, and since then Hector's cafeteria has always been a big symbol of New York for Dean. They spent money on beautiful big glazed cakes and creampuffs.

Above: Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty) and Jack Kerouac

Continue reading...

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Happy 93rd Birthday Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac

Mad to live.

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March 11, 2015

Checking in with Ms. Montague

Visit American expat Maryam Montague at her brand new blog and see Marrakesh: and a tale of Moroccan decorating at Peacock Pavilions. Maryam makes interior decorating so cool, tribalchic, intelligent and powerful that I'm thinking about changing my name to Raphael and opening up a shop near 14th and P.

Photo: Natalie Opensky and M. Montague

Photo: M. Montague

Photo: Natalie Opensky and M. Montague

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March 09, 2015

A Southern Town No More: Washington, D.C.

I've been back in Washington, D.C. for three months now, taking only a few short trips out of town since early December.

I live here again.

Even though I traveled here for clients and to see friends several times a year during my"'absence"'--two lengthy back-to-back stints in Pennsylvania and California--there have been quite a few non-physical changes to this town I didn't pick up on until I moved back. Atmospheric ones, if you will. All positive. And all are just fine by me. Three examples are changes (a) to D.C.'s international community (bigger, more sophisticated), (b) to its racial relations (astoundingly better; virtually integrated socially and in any number of local efforts to improve the quality of life on a number of fronts) and (c) to the overall intensity, energy, "rhythms" and pace of life (a quantum leap upwards here, too.)

It's beginning to behave like a 24-hour town, too. D.C. over time has been getting more and more like Manhattan--but apparently only in some of the better ways. Amazing.

At DuPont Circle's enduring Afterwords, the bookstore, café and restaurant do not close on weekends.

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March 07, 2015

Report on Inaugural "One Night, One Person": Thank you, a few good Yuppies--and there is lots more work to do.

Thank you, a few good Yuppies.

Let's do it again. Soon. With more people. With more soul.

Happy to hear that a few of you in the larger American northeastern cities--23-year-old GenY/Slackoisies at Boston offices of big consulting firms to late-60ish hard-driving Baby Boomer law firm partners in DC and Chicago who will die happy at their desks--participated in "One Night, One Person" in anticipation of the very cold last two nights (March 5 and 6). See our christening post last week, A Proposal For Cold City Nights: "One Night, One Person", which attracted a very respectable number of hits, by the way.

Nicely done. But we can do better than "a few". The bitter cold forecasted for the nights of March 5th and 6th hung on in some of the affected cities. In Washington, D.C. this fine bright morning it's 27 degrees at 11:15 AM. And certainly we can expect more cold nights before Spring finally takes over--so we have time and opportunity for you to get your "white collar angel" thing on and pick out a street sleeper to help. We can practice a little. Also: my guess is that some of you have problems engaging strangers anyway--not in your nature--and that chatting up street people is a pretty advanced exercise for a novice. Try it anyway. Take someone with you or whatever. Or I can help you with it if you ask. Just call. Below, and for your convenience, is ONOP in a nutshell and its four steps:

Whether you live in the suburbs or in a downtown neighborhood, if you work during the day in downtown areas of American cities with cold climate winters and significant homeless populations, go forth and do this:

1. Pick out and ask a homeless woman or man what articles of warm clothing she or he needs that you already have at home or in storage--thermal gloves, wool scarfs, warm hats and beanies, big sweaters, winter coats, thermal underwear, socks, etc. Ask just one person at a time.

2. Agree on a time to meet (preferably at the same place) later that day or the next day.

3. Find the winter stuff you have at home or in storage.

4. Bring said stuff to the homeless woman or man as agreed. Nine out of ten times, your new friend will be there when you show up.


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March 06, 2015

What if the Internet was just an important tool--but not the main event?

If you ever feel that way--I do almost every day--consider reading Tom Keen's The Internet is not the Answer. This is an honorable if imperfect book.


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March 05, 2015

A Proposal For Cold City Nights: "One Night, One Person".

Every year winter cold claims lives of homeless people all over the world. In the United States, the number is thought to be roughly 1000 a year--but no one is really certain.

Tonight, Thursday, March 5, and tomorrow night, Friday, March 6, most Northeastern American cities and several Midwestern ones will see nighttime temperatures drop to between zero and 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The "One Night, One Person"* idea reflected in this post's title is that if you work during the day in downtown areas of one of certain American cities--i.e., you're a young or old yuppie, exec or professional between the ages of 22 and 72, and whether your politics are hopelessly right wing, left wing, nihilist, Ted Nugent, Rand Paul's dad--with significant homeless populations, go forth and do this:

1. Locate and ask a homeless woman or man what articles of warm clothing she or he needs that you already have at home or in storage--thermal gloves, wool scarfs, warm hats and beanies, big sweaters, winter coats, thermal underwear, socks, etc.;

2. Agree on a time to meet (preferably at the same place) later that day or the next day;

3. Quickly find the stuff you have at home or in storage; and

4. Bring said stuff to them as agreed. Don't worry, nine out of ten times, your new friend will be there when you show up.

And that's it. You can do One Night, One Person whenever a cold night is coming.

I've done this ten times in the last three weeks--at night and during daytime in downtown Washington, D.C., where I live and work--to see if it works--and it does. It's not time-consuming. It's not scary. It's not even that noble. From a humanitarian standpoint, this idea doesn't even make the team. It's not lofty enough to get a movie made about any of us. Maybe think of it simply as refusing to randomly run over someone you don't know with your car. Or better yet, the rent we each pay for taking up space on planet earth. None of us should get kudos or gold stars for basic human being-ness. If we know bitter cold one night can make someone suffer or die, and it's easy for us ensure that neither will probably happen, we do that.

Here are just some of the cold cities this week where you can do this, all with big homeless (and pretty big yuppie) populations: Baltimore (homeless population 4,500), Washington, D.C.(7,700), New York City (60,000 in shelter system, 5,500 on streets), Chicago (62,000 metro area), Boston (7,200) and Indianapolis (5,000 to 8,000, all Marion County) to name some. Sure, the way stats are developed and kept by different governments on homeless populations is not uniform and is often unreliable. True, some will find shelters or get put up in hotels this week. But not everyone will. And you can get a good idea of who they are on your way to work in the early morning and on your way home.

Once again, find them, ask them what they really need (or they can trade; someone will get it) and then bring your stuff back at an appointed time that day or the next day. My stuff? I had 31 scarfs, about 10 pairs of gloves, over 25 sweaters. Stuff I've had in some cases since the Beatles split up and never wore, including cashmere (very warm, by the way) because no one apparently noticed that since I was 10 or so that I only wore black or dark outfits even back then. I rarely wear colors or lighter clothing. (I'm glad I don't have to tell you about the ties). I did keep my letter sweaters and my Dad's--the guy had four of them through high school and college playing both hoops and football at Indiana schools--but anything else was fair game.

Oh. A new and amazing thing I tried, and you should, too: give away some stuff you really like.

Yes, the Catch: you have to talk to them. The homeless. The street sleepers. Or in the UK "those who are sleeping rough". But it's the best part. If you're not talky, pretend you're that man or woman you know or know of--your gabby senior class president in high school, your Uncle Seamus, my own Mom, Bill Clinton, or me--who can talk to anyone. You'll be surprised, as I was, with some of the conversations you'll have. If you are nervous or doing this at night, take someone with you. If you're in DC--and I'm not helping corporate America pay less in environmental fines or firing another guy named either Josh or Skyler--I will go with you.

There are so many different reasons people end up sleeping on the streets. But on a cold night, it shouldn't matter why. Few if any of the folks you will talk to are overtly nuts, stoned or drunk. However, if you are threatened or just feel threatened, walk away. Safety first, and all that. Please consider doing this NOW, for tonight and tomorrow night. If it's a go, you'll have to jump on this.

The cold has already cut short several American lives this winter. No need for more.

*Thanks, Peter Friedman, for the input on this and the "One Night, One Person" name.

Autumn-and-WInter-Men-Wool-Blends-Men-s-Tops-font-b-Jacket-b-font-font-b (1).jpg

That's the idea, David Beckham and skinny metrosexual Mayfair model guy. And give it up. The clothes, that is. London homelessness, by the way, is up 79% in last five years.

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Ever done anything with this much heart? (Even Ginger Baker's blown away...)

They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday's just as bad.
They call it stormy Monday, yes but Tuesday's just as bad.
Wednesday's even worse; Thursday's awful sad.

The eagle flies on Friday, Saturday I go out to play.
The eagle flies on Friday, but Saturday I go out to play.
Sunday I go to church where I kneel down and pray.

And this is what I say:

"Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me. Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy on me. Just trying to find my baby, won't somebody send her home to me."

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March 03, 2015

Ten compelling win-win reasons to hire and invest in Millennials.


We'll get back to you, okay?

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March 02, 2015

New book by Elizabeth Wurtzel, enduring literary wunderkind. And these days one of the two or three authentic, interesting lawyers still living.

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February 28, 2015

Writing Well: Melvin Tolson's Harlem Gallery turns 50 this year.

A funny, fearless and densely layered poem (1960s super-critic Karl Shapiro said the "baroque" style used made it funnier and more ironic), Melvin B. Tolson's Harlem Gallery was first published in 1965, shortly before Tolson's death in 1966. Nearly 160 pages long, it showcases and comments upon a wide variety of humans living in that pulsating, screaming, dancing and crying New York City neighborhood from the time of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s through the 1950s. Twenty years before Harlem Gallery, Tolson had finally found the widespread recognition and praise through his customary shorter and more conventional verse forms. But Harlem Gallery surprised readers and critics in its novelty. A poem was crafted for each human subject in the gallery were based on interviews Tolson conducted when he lived in New York for an entire full year. In the poem, however, Tolson, who was ethnically both African-American and native American, continued to write about race, and the difficulty of squaring the actual experiences of American minorities with the idea of equality promised by the American experiment since the 18th century. True, the form of Harlem Gallery suggests that it is as least loosely modeled on Edgar Lee Master's Spoon River Anthology--to which Tolson's steady parade of characters has been favorably compared. Tolson's gallery characters, however, speak the many colorful and often-warring dialects one could hear on the Harlem streets.

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Great Slackoisie Moments in American Drama: David Mamet.

Blake [Alec Baldwin]: Nice guy? Good father?

--Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet


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Great Slackoisie Moments in American Film: Ben Younger's Boiler Room.

Jim Young [Ben Affleck]: You want vacation time? Go teach third grade, public school.

--Boiler Room, written and directed by Ben Younger


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February 27, 2015

Clients want excellent--not perfect. Excellent is way harder.

Clients 99.5% of the time are not paying you to be perfect. Clients don't want perfect. In the rare instances they do want perfect, they will let you know. So clients want excellent. Be excellent, not perfect. See, e.g., "Rule 10: Be Accurate, Thorough and Timely--But Not Perfect" of our world-famous and irritating but life-changing 12 Rules of Client Service.

Perfectionism: The horror, the horror. Above: Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now (photo: Miramax).

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February 26, 2015

It's legal, mostly: DC's Hip-osie may now rock the ganj'.

As of 12:01 a.m. today, persons 21 and older in the District of Columbia can:

• Possess 2 ounces or less of marijuana;

• Share 1 ounce or less with another person at least 21 years old, as long as no money, goods or services change hands;

• Cultivate up to six marijuana plants, but have no more than three mature plants, in their primary home; and

• Use marijuana on private property.

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Warner Bros.

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Did the House Appropriations Committee just go hippie on us?

The congressional staff of a respected seven-term Ohio Republican routinely filed all office documents relating to "Indians" under "Environmental Matters", the staffers apparently having decided that Native Americans were primarily part of the nation's natural resources and outdoor life.

Note that on its agenda--it is copied in part below right after the picture of the late Mr. Rogers--that the now GOP-run House Appropriations Committee yesterday morning heard budget testimony in the Rayburn House Office Building on "Quality of Life in the Military".

A good thing? A Birkenstock creepy thing? Did the Republican takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives last month for the first time in almost a decade somehow create a magnanimous, kinder, gentler and more caring-sharing GOP-controlled House we can all enjoy? Or did a rogue very young sweet, male Gen-Y committee staffer or intern totally lose it a couple of weeks ago in styling hearings of the House Appropriations Committee--and no one has noticed yet?

And can we get a transcript?

We're not sure what happened here. We do know that, not that long ago, the congressional staff of a respected seven-term member (R-Ohio) routinely filed all office documents relating to "Indians" under "Environmental Matters", the staff having decided that Native Americans were primarily part of the nation's natural resources and outdoor life. So a hearing entitled "Quality of Life in the Military"? Get the net.


From the website of the House Appropriations Committee yesterday:

Budget Hearing - Quality of Life in the Military
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 9:30 AM in 2362-B Rayburn
Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies

Command Sergeant Major Daniel A. Dailey
United States Army

Master Chief Petty Officer Michael D. Stevens
United States Navy

Sergeant Major Ronald Green
United States Marine Corps

Chief Master Sergeant James A. Cody
United States Air Force

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