Our blog has moved, and is new and improved.

You should be automatically redirected in 3 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Lawyers do make mistakes

Minneapolis attorney Corwin Kruse -- chair of the MSBA’s Animal Law Section -- is taking a bit of beating in the press this week for sending a letter to Ramsey County District Court Judge Michael DeCourcy, encouraging DeCourcy to give the harshest punishment possible to a man accused of ripping the head off a duck at a hotel in St. Paul. (Click here for the Pioneer Press article.)

DeCourcy recused himself from the matter after receiving the letter, stating it “raises the issue of impropriety and is prejudicial to the defendant” since the defendant has not yet pleaded or been found guilty of an animal cruelty charge.

As an animal lover myself, I feel strongly that tearing the head off a tame animal that had come to trust humans is a disgusting, heinous act. If Scott Clark is convicted or pleads guilty to the animal cruelty offense, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Kruse and I are on the same page with respect to that conclusion.

Kruse’s apparent mistake here was his timing. Had he sent the letter after Clark pleaded or was found guilty, none of this hoopla would have occurred.

Kruse is a young lawyer, having graduated from law school just over two years ago. New lawyers are bound to make mistakes. Unfortunately for Kruse, he made his in a public arena in a high-profile case. Fortunately, no real harm was done, a new judge will be assigned to the case and this will blow over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh Please! Yes, animal cruelty is wrong, but this case is about an upstanding guy who got drunk & did something stupid. He lost his federal job, has to come back to this icebox to defend himself, and has to spend oodles of dollars on an attorney.

People can back-date stock options to the tune of millions of dollars, rip off investors through "creative" accounting, and steal people's pensions yet not suffer any consequences. Harm one waterfowl and Katy bar the door. Let's get our priorities straight.

I guess it's okay to kill a duck with a shotgun and then eat it, but if you do it at a hotel, it's a felony. Is it wrong? Yes. Should he be a criminal because of it? No.

Priorities people, priorities!