North Korea: Of Family Feuds and Attorneys

Young Un Drunk, Machine Guns Uncle, Lawyers Do Nothing

The story of this public family feud continues.  Then only good thing I can imagine coming from this is that it may finally force China to intervene. Letting a paranoid delusional play with other people’s lives and property can not be good for China. China, I suppose, says that nothing that happens in North Korea is the responsibility of the Chinese government.  In the words of the immortal Bogart, China says “I am shocked, shocked.”

The public story of Kim Jang Un  might also help in our own societal problem with paranoid neurosis.  People with this problem are fairly common, indubitably including many members of the Tea Party as well as the folks who run amuck every week with guns in schools and malls.

While liberals want better laws to control the access of such disturbed people to guns, there is nothing the law can do.  Under our laws a paranoid neurotic, unlike a paranoid psychotic, knows right from wrong and can not be forced to accept treatment.  In one case I have dealt with, the ill person acknowledged the problem to family but refused therapy because of fear that business colleagues would not trust any one seeing a “shrink.”  The illness led to family alienation, public demonstrations, yelling and threats.  While the latter behavior can lead to restraint by the police, the underlying neurosis is not reportable by law and even its existence as a health problem remains confidential between any health care professional and the patient. This, in fact, was one of the reasons the US passed the HIPAA law.

The harm done by the refusal to seek care can be enormous at the personal level and, I would guess, a  serious issue in the work sector as well.  As for guns, the weekly news stories testify to that problem.

Our court systems are not much better in dealing with paranoia.  The intent to do harm is largely legal.  For example lawyers acting outside of formal representation have virtually no reins on how they can use their knowledge even if the intent is vindictive .  In my job, as a university professor, it is common for university attorneys to depose employees without explaining, as a police officer or an attorney representing an adversarial client would have to do, the rights we all have under the Miranda Rule.  A good example discussed here on THE Ave is the case of Aprikyan where a judicial procedure was carried out on behalf of one faculty member vs. another.  Even though the procedure involved criminal charges, the identity of the accuser was never revealed and Dr. Aprikyan, regardless of any presumption of innocence, was deposed while uninformed of his rights and no similar testimony was required of the accuser !

This sort of abuse of legal process motivated by paranoid ideation occurs wherever attorneys operate,  One rather aggressive attorney I know is given to sending emails that are derogatory .. efforts to extract legally liable statements under the false impression that any answers, because they are not given under “oath,” are not useable in court.  This attorney has the bizarre idea that something she thinks is valuable was stolen.  Rather than filing a police report, the attorney , supposedly not acting as an attorney while being sure to identify her status, has written many emails demanding an answer to a question that could lead to charges of theft of property.  I seem to remember a novel by Hawthorne about an adulteress being branded with a letter A.   I wonder if something like this might be done to require attorneys to be identified?

Back at China and North Korea, I suggest the time has come to bring Young Un to the international courts.  Surely his recent internment of Jang Song-thaek’s family and the execution without trial of Jang Song-thaek’s attorney is a crime against humanity?  Isn’t there a lawyer who would take this case?

3 Comments Add Yours ↓

  1. Barbara Schwartz #

    NOT Bogart! Claude Rains (police captain Louis Renault) says it in “Casablanca”

  2. theaveeditor #

    Another troll! Surely you realize that Rains was a straight man for Bogey? Next thing you will be telling me that George Burns said “Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years. “

  3. Barbara Schwartz #

    Nope. George was straight man for Gracie, of course.

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