Every so often, news emerges that explains the mixed esteem in which lawyers are held, and the news that Michael Cohen has been Donald Trump’s “fixer” is the latest.
According to Merriam-Webster, a fixer is “a person who intervenes to enable someone to circumvent the law or obtain a political favor.” The less prestigious Wordnik, citing The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition, capture more of the connotations: “A person who uses influence or makes arrangements for another, especially by improper or unlawful means.” Wiktionary, again via Wordnik, goes further: “A person who arranges immunity for defendants by tampering with the justice system via bribery or extortion, especially as a business endeavor for profit.”
The most offensive thing is how fixers beslime the legal profession, the true ethos of which is helping clients achieve their lawful objectives by lawful means. (That’s pretty close to the Merriam-Webster definition.) My Fair City’s rumored legal fixers were not held in high esteem by judges and lawyers.
Or maybe the most offensive thing is how the existence of fixers proves that some people, if rich enough, can live “above the law” for a substantial while, and how others, if base and shrewd enough, can get rich facilitating life above the law. How many zillionaires so lived, and died unexposed to any but God, is not known.
I would not trade places with any of them for so parlous and spiritually debilitating a life.
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Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.
(Philip K. Dick)
The waters are out and no human force can turn them back, but I do not see why as we go with the stream we need sing Hallelujah to the river god.
(Sir James Fitzjames Stephen)