Special pleader


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SPECIAL PLEADER, Eng. practice. A special pleader is a lawyer whose professional occupation is to give verbal or written opinions upon statements submitted to him, either in writing or verbally, and to draw pleadings, civil or criminal, and such practical proceedings as may be out of the general course. 2 Chit. Pr. 42.

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I prefer another phrase that I heard often from his mouth: "Ideas don't matter; only interest-group influence does." That conclusion is depressing but grist for the scholarly mill that explores the contours of special pleaders' influence on the policy process.
It has reduced labor to the level of special pleaders, of lobbyists often indistinguishable in the public eye from any number of other special interest groups.
Will the next president, prodded by big Democratic majorities in Congress, really be able to say no to all the special pleaders? And what happens when congressional Democrats and their labor allies begin pushing for new protectionist measures to cushion the blow of the global downturn?
Davis once said he was prouder of graduates who became societal critics than those who became "special pleaders."
The fact that a half-dozen special pleaders contact the newsroom, or light up a chatroom, doesn't make their cause one of broad or enduring interest.
But the Lewinsky scandal is already being used to make feminists look like special pleaders: Where, assorted male pundits wonder, are the charges that Bill Clinton "doesn't get it," the defense of the much-maligned Flowers and Jones, the warning to the White House not even to think about trashing Monica Lewinsky, whom Clinton has already referred to as That Woman and aides are calling The Stalker?
When cynical, misleading ads backed by big-moneyed special pleaders drown out rational political debate?
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