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How Not To Respond to the Newtown Massacre a/k/a Why the Public Hates Lawyers

There have been many suggested responses to the Newtown massacre.  Generally, they involve more stringent gun control, improving our ability to commit mentally unstable people, and posting armed guards or police at schools.  All merit discussion, although I have no great faith that, in anything resembling a free country (and probably not a dictatorship either) any of them will work.  The occasional triumph of evil in this world is a part of life we are required to accept.

There is one suggested response, however, that merits no discussion beyond ridicule. Thus I bring you this headline from the Associated Press:  Connecticut Attorney asks to sue state after shooting  Here's the story:

A New Haven attorney is asking permission to sue the state for $100 million on behalf of a student who survived the mass shooting at a Newtown school.

The Hartford Courant reports that attorney Irving Pinsky filed notice Thursday with Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. The state has immunity against most lawsuits unless permission to sue is granted.

Pinsky said the 6-year-old student, identified as "Jill Doe," was in her classroom at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14 when "the horrific confrontation" with Adam Lanza came over the loudspeaker.

Pinsky said the student has been traumatized by the killings, and accused the state of failing to protect students from "foreseeable harm."

The actual foreseeability of a student's being attacked in a mass school shooting is considerably less than the foreseeability of being struck by lightning on the playground.  Maybe Mr. Pinsky should sue thunderstorms, too.

[Editor's update note -- see follow up post.]


There really is nothing to say.

If our profession had anything resembling standards of decency, this guy would be shunned. Unfortunately, the way it works is that if you don't have a criminal record and are sober enough to pass the bar, you're in.

What do you think the chances are that his local bar association will issue even slight criticism? Not a censure or a reprimand, mind you, just criticism.

Right. Zip.

As I say, this is why the public hates lawyers. Who can blame them?

Not the same Irving Pinsky that can be found on the Connecticut Grievance Committee's website as having been Reprimanded on 5/1/89 and Suspended from practice of law by the Superior Court from 5/2/2003 to 12/15/2006?

I don't know, but I'd love to find out. If it is the same guy, I guess he didn't learn a whole lot.

I find only one Irving Pinsky registered as an attorney in Connecticut.


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