Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dammit Jim, I'm an attorney, not a cop!

I'm not a cop and I don't play one on TV either.

But for the absolute rock bottom price of $120, Michigan attorneys can buy a badge that looks like this:

Kind of expensive and a fair bit more than the badge you got in the Cracker Jack box, hmmm?

Of course, and rather unsurprisingly, local law enforcement is not impressed: Company selling lawyer badge: Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel 'acting as a rogue cop'

Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said last month "The Attorney Badge" looks too much like a Sheriff's and said his deputies will arrest anyone carrying one.

But Officer of the Court, the company selling the badge designed for lawyers, says Hackel is off-base.

"Sheriff Hackel is giving bad legal advice," company president Trish Guzik told the Macomb Daily. "He's actually acting as a rogue cop, using his uniform to give bad legal advice."

The customizable badge is sold online at OfficerOfTheCourt.com for $120 to licensed attorneys and is designed to counter "non-attorneys representing themselves as attorneys to the public."

Guznik argued the badge is not illegal because it's not an exact replica, pointing out the badge has only five points (Sheriff's have six) and is inscribed with "attorney" and "officer of the court."

"No one could construe this as a police officer's badge," she told the Daily, promising her company would pay the legal expenses of anyone arrested for wearing the badge.

The Michigan State Bar provides an annual membership card and said last month the badge will not replace that document.

In a released statement, the SBM said it "does not endorse or recommend the purchase of 'The Attorney Badge' and cautions its members regarding its use."

"I cannot even believe they put this thing out there," Hackel told the Oakland Press last month. "They want it to look like it's from a law enforcement agency. My concern is that you will have people out there trying to portray themselves as police officers."

The police tend to take offense at people, wannabees or otherwise who try to pass themselves off as such. This is why those "US Taxpayer" or "CCW Permit Holder" badges are similarly dumb.

Think about it, what are you going to do with an attorney badge? It is not issued by a government entity, grants you no privileges, isn't going to get you out of a speeding ticket like the real thing does, and may get you arrested for impersonating a police officer.

What attorney could possibly resist?

1 comment:

Scott said...

Those robes and wigs are a dead giveaway for me!

Badges? We don't need no steenkin' badges! [sorry - couldn't resist the obvious movie quote]