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Monday, December 17, 2007


Executive Editor

“Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct”



(CHICAGO)(December 18, 2007) Today I work off and comment on the original research by Abdon Pallasch of the Chicago Sun-Times.,CST-NWS-Obama-law17.article

What follows is my opinion and reaction to the story about Barack Obama’s grossly inflated legal career as a “civil rights attorney.” There was “no there, there.”

When a lawsuit is initiated, or when a new attorney enters an existing case, an attorney files an “appearance,” a formal legal document which notifies the court and, more particularly the clerk of the court, that counsel has “appeared” in the case.

Obama has made a career of defrauding the American public about his legal “career.” Obama, a Harvard Law School graduate, never filed a single appearance in a single case all of the years he was “practicing” law.

Obama was an “Arm Candy Attorney.” Or, to put in a Palm Beachy sort of way, he was a “Walker.” In other words, he was almost always paid to show up in court, and do nothing more than be there.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports during the years Obama was affiliated with a law firm, he never formally was counsel of record in any lawsuit. I have a friend, a retired airline pilot, who has tried more cases than Barack Obama. One.

Obama describes himself as a “law professor,” but he was actually a Lecturer, who is a contract employee paid to teach courses on a semester-by-semester basis. He was never on a “tenure track” to become a permanent part of the law school staff. I was an adjunct professor of law, akin to a lecturer but usually with fewer courses.

Obama’s former partner says Obama “wrote lots of substantial memos, but he didn’t try any cases.” Obama would usually show up in court, and then let other lawyers do the talking. He was the legal equivalent of what people in the social pages call “arm candy,” someone basically hired to appear in public and make the holder “look good.” In Palm Beach we used to call these people ”Walkers,” because they were asked to squire ladies of a certain age and walk around with the lady in tow. You get the idea.

Obama was an arm candy attorney. A make believe civil rights attorney.

Legal memos are assigned by lawyers to junior attorneys. Indeed, Obama’s vacuous legal career almost perfectly tracks his vacuous career as a national candidate. Barry O is brilliant at getting up and speaking in a situation he controls (compare to writing a memo). But when he has to enter the rough and tumble of political debate (compare to a courtroom hearing or trial) Obama is absent and ineffective. He can’t cut the rigors of a courtroom. Couldn’t then. Can’t now.

I first walked in to the United States Courthouse in Chicago in 1969. I saw lawyers who would “practice” for days to appear in front of a federal judge for a couple of minutes, and argue with passion and vehemence—all for a two day extension of time, or for permission (leave) to “file instanter” (instantly). Eventually many graduated to presenting cases before a jury. Obama never graduated. Why?

Democratic Presidential candidate John Edwards was a real attorney. He tried real cases and he made piles of money for his clients, and for himself. He didn’t only achieve the American “dream,” he became American “reality.” Sadly, Obama is still in the dream stage. He is a wonderful dream merchant. But reality is another matter altogether.

Small law firms such as Obama’s, with only a few attorneys, usually send young counsel into the courtroom to fight just as quickly as possible. Obama was never up to the task.

In all fairness, Hillary Clinton also has a grossly inflated legal resume. I remember when she was “ranked’ as one of the top 50 lawyers, or something like that, in America. Another fraud artist. Clinton was not much better than Obama. Hillary was basically a bagman (bagwoman?) for Bill.

By comparison, Republican Fred Thompson was also a “real” lawyer. He actually went to federal court and tried cases before a jury, as an assistant federal prosecutor.

To be sure, everyone who was contacted and quoted in the Sun-Times article was exceedingly polite about Obama’s legal endeavors. They should be. He could make them federal judges if he wins the White House. And lawyers as a group are polite. Or perhaps imbued with a sense of politesse.

In fact, as I read Abdon Pallasch’s article I had a sense that Obama may have performed one of he worst sins of an attorney: he may have inflated his billing hours to bilk the opposing party. The bank paid. Over billing is a crime, and lawyers have gone to jail for bilking their clients or opposing parties (in some cases, a party has to pay the bills of an opponent). Obama billed almost three hours of legal time for a routine court appearance that may have taken a few minutes, as well as “reviewing documents.” I submit Obama’s billing records need much more scrutiny, searching scrutiny. No doubt they have been or will soon be destroyed. Like his state senate files and records.

“Professor” Barack Obama, meet “Professor” Harold Hill, of “The “Music Man.” The Music Man was a Broadway hit and later a big movie about a con man who shows up in—of all places—Iowa. Maybe history is repeating itself. First as fiction, and this time as fact. Or is Obama’s “civil rights career" just another one of his many fictions, that he has merchandised so successfully to the gullible American public?

I’d say “You be the judge,” but then Barry Obama never tried a lawsuit in front of either a judge or a jury. I invite you to read the Sun-Times article and e-mail me with your responses. Obama and Hill, perfect together. Perfect fictions. Hey, they even sound like a law firm, “Obama & Hill.”

Obama was sure no Johnny Cochran. Or, if I met Obama I could say, “Barry, I knew Johnny Cochran, and you’re no Cochran. Not at all. You’re an ‘arm candy attorney.’” Lordy, lordy. I don’t envy the Democrats having to pick between two “arm candy attorneys” and a real trial lawyer, John Edwards.

Ok, you win. You be the judge. Iowa, are you listening?

Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of © Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with over forty years of experience. He is currently a candidate for U. S. Senator from Illinois. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law. Columns also posted at; Comments? E-mail: Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites:


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