Lang Wiseman of Wiseman Bray Shares His Take on the Importance of Law

This is the 11th entry in our new weekly blog, "Beyond the Bio," where we ask MBQ Power Players to write a post of their choosing about their industry. This post starts the entries from our March/April Power Player category of Personal Injury Lawyers. Last week's post featured Gary Mmith of Apperson Crump on the importance of justice. The January/February Power Players category,Chief Operations Officers, featured Dawn Rapoport COO of Waddell & Associates discussing what makes COOs a "unique bunch." The week before, Chuck Woeppel, COO of UT Medical Group, addressed the future of health care. Previously, Mary Sharp, COO of CB Richard Ellis, discussed why business plans are so crucial to have to fall back on in a time of crises. Lee Rone, COO of Youth Villages,  shared why youth are so important to the family unity and the community. Richard McDuffie, COO of Dunavant Logistics, discussed the impact of technology on businessCheck this space weekly for future installments of "Beyond the Bio."

“The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.”

This clever little line was penned by none other than Shakespeare in King Henry the Sixth, Part II. You’ve probably heard it quoted for laughs, or maybe as evidence of how longstanding an aversion for lawyers seems to go.


Ironically enough, the play is not even one of Shakespeare’s more well-known or well-regarded works of art. In fact, the isolated quote actually enjoys more fame than the play itself.


The next time you hear Shakespeare’s pithy line, though, know that the quote actually comes from the lips of a murderous traitor who Shakespeare aptly named “Dick the Butcher” in his play, which has caused many to interpret the line as actually being a compliment to lawyers, not necessarily denigrating them. Indeed, “Dick the Butcher” was part of a plot to overthrow the government and set up a dictatorship, and as you might expect, lawyers and the rule of law can be pesky little problems for guys like him.


Lawyers suffer from the fact that we are often associated with times of great stress, anxiety, and angst. I often find, for example, that many of our clients seek our help because they find themselves in unfamiliar, and sometimes even threatening, territory. They don’t really want a lawyer. They need one.


To be sure, the pursuit of justice is imperfect. It can be ugly. It can be costly. It can at times even seem unfair. The pursuit of justice is often no different than that other branch of government and the proverbial comparison between making sausage and legislation -- something you’d rather not see, and definitely not be a part of. By definition, legal claims involve at least two competing sides and contentions, and they can be quite disagreeable and unpleasant. Lawyers are at the forefront of that unpleasant fray, fighting for justice on both sides.


No matter how tempting it may be, though, we must always remember that it is precisely the rule of law that separates our great republic from all of the other failed political experiments in the history of the world. Or to borrow from yet another great Englishman, Winston Churchill, who famously said about democracy “[I]t is the worst form of government except all of the others that have been tried.”


Power Player Bio: Lang Wiseman

Founding Partner, Wismean Bray, PLLC. B.S., Finance, University of Tennessee; J.D., Harvard. Former basketball player for the Tennessee Vols. Concentrated in personal injury, wrongful death, health care liability, construction disputes, and business and commercial litigation. Board Member, Memphis & Shelby County Sports Authority. Board Member, Memphis Bar Association. Former Chairman, Shelby County Republican Party.

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