An Amsterdam legal firm made up entirely of women was compared to an escort service in a tweet by a well-known legal business publication based solely on a recent firm picture. The tweet reads “Marketing question: legal firm or escort service?” and was met with astonishment and disgust by men and women alike. The photo has five of the firm’s lawyers sitting on and around a couch surrounding the managing partner, Marielle Van Essen.
Van Essen said she could not understand why colleagues would imagine it’s OK to call them prostitutes. “We like to look good, that’s all. If other people want to wear a sloppy suit, they can. This is what we do.” On Twitter there are parodies popping up, with pictures of policewomen being compared to hookers and doctors to whores to drive the point home. Many people commenting also wonder if it was a case of the dumb, young white male intern trying to be funny, but the publication has refused to comment or rectify anything. Trashing lawyers because they’re women is someone’s idea of normal in 2015 and it shouldn’t be.
This would be a non-topic if it was a bunch of men. It is free publicity, but the firm has more work than they can handle with Van Essen herself stuck at home with the flu as I write this.
(Link: www.ad.nl, Photo of wilted tulip by Graham Keen, some rights reserved)
Tags: lawyers, sexism, women
Last month, lost in a footnote, I hinted at a common practice in a rich neighbourhood of Amsterdam of not paying parking tickets.
Instead, the rich used to fight their tickets in court. They assumed that because the district had to pay its lawyers with public money, the district would prefer to turn a blind eye to parking violations.
Volkskrant wrote back in 2001: “In the entire neighbourhood committees were started to collect the legal expertise needed to fight parking fines in court. Once people had won a couple of their cases, posters started appearing at the dry cleaners: ‘Got ticketed? Fight the fine!'”
The article, a vignette of the Amsterdam neighbourhood Museumkwartier, quotes a police officer who gets worked up over the lack of respect shown to his office, but his colleague, one Jan Okx, sees the positive side of the situation: “The people get to know each other, which improves the cohesion of the neighbourhood.” Volkskrant describes his attitude without a hint of irony as “thinking in processes”.
I wonder if an article like that could still be published today. The one percent have destroyed the economy and the phrase ‘the rich are getting richer’ is no longer just a leftist cry but a scientific fact.
Tags: capital, lawyers, parking, parking fines, wealth
A remarkable verdict from a disciplinary court: a lawyer was found to have acted without the dignity proper to his profession when he kissed a friend on the cheek in greeting while representing her.
De Pers reports that the unnamed lawyer greeted the friend at a police station in 2008, where an assistant prosecutor took offence and filed charges for ‘unseemly behaviour’. Two weeks ago the Amsterdamse Raad van Discipline (Amsterdam Disciplinary Court) agreed with the assistant prosecutor.
Apart from the fact that there are gradations of familiarity, and that kissing somebody on the cheek at the police station is perhaps not the same thing as walking around a court room in bathroom slippers, there is also a whiff of sexism attached to this verdict. That is to say, I cannot remember hearing of a similar verdict regarding shaking hands, which is how most men greet each other in this country.
The lawyer has received a warning.
(Link: Martin Wisse, second day in a row! Photo by Steve Punter, some rights reserved.)
Tags: behaviour, courts, discipline, judges, lawyers, mores, prosecutors
Bankruptcy trustees often keep on-line shops running even though the companies behind them have gone bust, and therefore cannot deliver the goods.
Last week, Webwereld reported about at least three on-line stores that kept taking orders and payments even after they had gone bankrupt. Trade association ICTWaarborg had already sounded the alarm about this last year, but notices the problem continues unabated. According to the trade org, trustees in bankruptcies should shut down the on-line stores as part of their jobs.
In the Netherlands, the trustee in bankruptcy is the one who gets their salary by skimming the property off the top, and is often a lawyer appointed by their law school buddy, the judge. As you can see, absolutely no conflict of interest could possibly take place there.
From what I understand, people can only get money back from a trustee (curator in Dutch) when there has been an ‘undeniable mistake‘. The article I link to tells of a case where somebody wanted to wire money to party A, but accidentally wired it to party B who had just been declared bankrupt. That is considered an undeniable mistake, because the party making the payment had never intended to pay the bankrupt party.
Tags: bankruptcy, economic crisis, judges, law, lawyers
The Westboro Baptist Church, an American sect known for promoting the Christian God’s stance on homosexuality (it would appear he frowns upon it), has announced (PDF) it will picket the funerals of Dutch persons “killed at [the] Amsterdam plane crash.” No divine inspiration there, I am afraid. Yahweh forgot to tell the church there were no Dutch nationals among the dead. But these statements appear par for the course for the devout, as the church has also announced Turks will get the same treatment (PDF).
Meanwhile the radio this morning reported (RTV-NH, no written story available, yet) that at least two so-called American ‘ambulance chasers’, lawyers who try to represent accident victims, have been harassing the victims of the Turkish Airlines plane crash.
There’s a phrase the Dutch use for the extravagances we associate with the USA: ‘Amerikaanse toestanden’ (American situations). And the reason we apply that label is because we want no truck with them. Rare though is the time the Americans actually try and export their ‘situations.’
Photo of a citizen, a comb-over and a card by flickr.com user k763, some rights reserved.
Tags: ambulances, Americans, fatwa envy, fundamentalism, lawyers, plane crashes, USA