This Time Judge Carnes Cites An Old Opera!

Listen, anyone who reads this thing knows I'm all for historical references, pop cultural references, musical references, literary references, you name it.

And so is Judge Carnes!

But I think at this point Judge Carnes is just playing with us.

Get a load of this opening in an interesting opinion dealing with the Florida Bar's certification process:
This case reminds us of the observation of the Grand Inquisitor in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers. Upon finding that all ranks of commoners and servants have been promoted to the nobility, he protests that there is a need for distinction, explaining that: “When everyone is somebody, then no one’s anybody.” 1 The same is true of a state bar’s certification process. If every attorney who practices in an area is certified in it, then no one is anybody in that field. The easier it is to be certified, the less that certification means.
Ok, that's a long way to go (all the way back to 1889 in fact) to make the point that you dilute the exclusivity of an honor when you expand the critieria for membership.

Didn't Groucho say something similar, only funnier?

Anyway, then the Judge goes on to affirm the district court's holding that an attorney, who was once certified in family law but was denied recertification based on negative confidential peer reviews, has no "entitlement" or constitutionally protected property interest in same, and no "right" to confront her peers.

Maybe the Grand Inquisitor reference has a deeper meaning?


  1. Carnes should update his references.

  2. is that brian tannenbaum on the left?

  3. Quite useful piece of writing, thank you for this article.
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