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Why Halloween Is A Lawyer Holiday
Some Think Attorneys Are Even More To Be Feared Than Vampires
Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa all involve the giving of gifts to loved ones, and stress peace on Earth. Easter celebrates the rebirth of Spring, and playful childish fantasies about rabbits and chickens and jelly beans. And Thanksgiving reminds us how wonderful it is that different races and cultures can nevertheless cooperate and celebrate together.
But in sharp and dramatic contrast, Halloween venerates if not worships the dead and the undead: Witches symbolized by ancient crones who eat children, Zombies who rise from moldering graves to feast on all of us, and especially Vampires who seduce us and suck out our blood while keeping us alive as long as possible in order to keep satisfying their greed. See, e.g., Jarndyce v Jarndyce
But some would argue that this description of vampires applies equally well or perhaps even better to many in the legal profession.
On Halloween night, children dress up in all manner of ghoulish disguises and go to homes demanding "TRICK OR TREAT."
In other words, we begin teaching them at an early age to use deceit, deception, trickery, and cunning, as well as threats, fear, coercion, and extortion, to take what they want from others.
Yes, that's how, some might say, we teach our children at an early age how to act just like many lawyers who use threatening and often misleading lawyers' demand letters, and threats of terrible but nonexistent lawsuits, to extract money from their helpless victims.
Perhaps that's why Halloween is at heart a holiday for and about lawyers, and why it was traditionally celebrated most prominently in Washington, D.C., which some say has almost more lawyers than people.
And it is why the streets of Georgetown - but not to the same extent Times Square or Bourbon Street or Haight-Ashbury or the Loop - have always been filled with people celebrating this holiday which honors everything we fear or loath or find revolting, and in many ways what most also find incomprehensible or unbelievable;
By the way, the AboveTheLaw website once suggested: "Isn't just being a lawyer scary enough?"
And turning the tables, the "Voice of Washington's Legal Community" posted an article entitled "How to Terrify a Lawyer for Halloween."