Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Psychopath attorneys  (Read 25460 times)

pro_se

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
As to the 'Herd Instinct'
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2005, 06:54:31 AM »
Quote
Morality is herd instinct in the individual.

Crowd behavior is usually considered an ugly phenomenon. Think lynchings, riots, Nazism, China's cultural revolution -- or even financial bubbles and panics. Unreason and prejudice seem to rule. Chances are most people would agree with the Frenchman Gustave Le Bon, who wrote in 1895: "In crowds, it is stupidity and not mother-wit that is accumulated."

Yet, financial journalist James Surowiecki begs to differ. In "The Wisdom of Crowds," the New Yorker staff writer provocatively argues that, in many circumstances, the group collectively reaches better decisions -- and solves problems more efficiently -- than the smartest man or woman alone. In this, the author is supported by social scientists who salute "decentralized self-organizing systems," such as Adam Smith's invisible hand. Crowd wisdom can be seen in the superiority of American market capitalism over Soviet central planning. Surowiecki provides numerous examples of how the many are often smarter than the few, and he explores the implications of the phenomenon. He discusses when tapping into the crowd pays off big and why the group can go wrong. He makes a strong case that society should take advantage of crowd insights rather than depending on experts. In essence, he suggests, Le Bon got it backwards.

The capital markets provide the classic example of Surowiecki's thesis: Even if they are sometimes prone to bouts of enthusiasm or depression, they're an amazing social and economic institution for communicating all kinds of data and knowledge through price changes. The more pervasive the financial markets, the more investors will find and fund profitable ideas and, at the same time, flee from failed management strategies. Sound collective judgment shows up elsewhere in the economy, too. Linux, the open-source operating system created by Finnish programmer Linus Torvalds in 1991 but effectively owned by no one, is now the major rival to Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT ) Windows. Independent computer programmers from around the world contribute to improving the operating system, and solving the problems that intrigue them, although Torvalds and his peers keep a tight rein on what changes are acceptable.

The collective beats the individual expert in smaller groups, too. Surowiecki offers a number of examples, including the fascinating case of the May, 1968, disappearance of the submarine USS Scorpion on its way to Newport News, Va. The U.S. Navy had a general idea where the sub sank, but it was an area 20 miles wide and many thousands of feet deep. Naval officer John Craven hit upon a solution. He gathered a group of diverse experts and asked for their best guesses on why the sub ran into trouble, its speed as it fell to the ocean floor, the slant of its descent, and so on. Craven took all the speculations, ran them through a sophisticated mathematical formula, and ended up with the team's overall guesstimate. The Navy found the ship 220 yards from where Craven's group had predicted it would be, yet not one individual had picked that spot. "The final estimate was a genuinely collective judgment that the group as a whole had made," says Surowiecki. "It was also a genuinely brilliant judgment."

Of course, the crowd can go spectacularly wrong, as some of the best parts of this book reveal. For instance, the stock market works well most of the time. It is a decentralized mix of enthusiasm and skepticism, longs and shorts -- a global conflict of opinion and judgment that keeps prices within a reasonable approximation of value. Yet speculation at times spirals out of control, and the market becomes a single-minded mob. Witness the latter days of the 1990s, when a critical mass of dazzled investors began thinking that a price-earnings ratio of 100 was conservative and a price-earnings ratio of infinity alluring.


tag

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2005, 01:02:08 PM »
I just quit work at a company with 1 serial bully (out of 80 employees), though he was laid off the day before I gave my notice. I never had to work with the guy on a project, but I have seen him at work.

This serial bully was a former IT manager at a huge company and then hired at the company I worked for doing Implementation for new customers. As someone who has worked in IT for 20 years, you would expect him to know Microsoft Excel and Access (no), how to check his email and send attachments in Microsoft Outlook (no), how to use a fax machined (no), or how to type using more than 1 finger (no).

He hid his incompetence with anger and blaming the least informed person connected with an account. He always was frustrated and gave the appearance of being a hard worker. Anyone outside of upper management knew his salary was charity.

One other weird personality trait ... he kept the same coffee mug while at the company, always drank his coffee black, and never washed his coffee mug ... in 3 years. :o


labamba

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
How about an Attention-Seeker plus The Wannabe plus The Guru AND The Sociopath?

The Bully is the worst of all!

http://www.webspawner.com/users/serialb/




Quote
Projection

Bullies project their inadequacies, shortcomings, behaviours etc on to other people to avoid facing up to their inadequacy and doing something about it (learning about oneself can be painful), and to distract and divert attention away from themselves and their inadequacies. Projection is achieved through blame, criticism and allegation; once you realise this, every criticism, allegation etc that the bully makes about their target is actually an admission or revelation about themselves.

This knowledge can be used to perceive the bully's own misdemeanours; for instance, when the allegations are of financial or sexual impropriety, it is likely that the bully has committed these acts; when the bully makes an allegation of abuse (such allegations tend to be vague and non-specific), it is likely to be the bully who has committed the abuse. When the bully makes allegations of, say, "cowardice" or "negative attitude" it is the bully who is a coward or has a negative attitude.


I can see at my school many more people than what you'd be willing to label as "serial bullies" exhibiting this trait ..

)(

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2005, 06:11:02 AM »
Most of the complaints about lawyers are concerned with just plain bad manners. Lawyers who refuse to accept or return client phone calls top the list. Lawyers who are arrogant, abusive and patronizing to their clients are next.

MENTALLY ILL LAWYERS. The legal profession has found it necessary to create extensive suicide prevention, drug and alcohol counselling and help services for judges and lawyers. There exists a number of lawyers and judges who think they are demi-gods and who are bordering on meglomania and narcissistic personality disorder and a sense of entitlement that is well within the bounds of mental illness.

BULLIES. Judges who believe they have been annointed frequently turn into bullying meglomaniacs. Both come to believe that because they have a law degree they can walk all over people. They misuse their power to insult, attack and intimidate others. They are proof that power corrupts.

If a lawyer is rude, this is sufficient to suggest to clients that they avoid such individuals. There are plenty of lawyers who will be polite, respectful and appreciate your business. Why deal with someone who has demonstrated that they need to read up on basic courtesy?


_/

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2005, 06:10:03 AM »
Many attorneys suffer from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).

Narcissism, in human psychology is the pattern of thinking and behaving which involves infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of others. It may be seen manifest in the chronic pursuit of personal gratification and public attention, in social dominance and personal ambition, braggadocio, insensitivity to others (lack of empathy) and/or excessive dependence on others to meet his/her responsibilities in daily living and thinking.

The narcissist has an unhealthily high self-esteem. For the narcissist, self-worth is the belief that he/she is superior to his/her fellow humans; it is not enough to be "okay" or "pretty good," the narcissist can only feel worthwhile by experiencing him/herself as the "best". From childhood through adulthood, this narcissistic belief may be reinforced by others to the extent that the narcissist is actually competent, intelligent and/or attractive, or is manipulative enough to get others to make him/her seem competent, intelligent or attractive.

The narcissist most often comes to the attention of the mental health profession when, beset by some personal failure or having otherwise become aware of his/her lack of superiority, he/she falls into an acute depressive or anxiety state, or even becomes temporarily psychotic. Unfortunately, the emergence of such states has often been misinterpreted by mental health professionals as a sign that the narcissist fundamentally suffers from low self esteem. As a result, psychotherapy often ends up simply restoring the narcissism rather than helping the patient accept his/her true equality and mortality.

Conversely, narcissists who are repeatedly confronted with their own human limitations - often due to a lack of skills, intelligence, looks or social support necessary to maintain external reinforcement of their ultimate superiority - may become frustrated, angry and even dangerously aggressive. At this point, the narcissistic may evolve into a sociopath.

The term narcissism was first used in relation to human psychology by Sigmund Freud after the figure of Narcissus in Greek mythology (right). Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. As a punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name, the narcissus.



A narcissistic personality disorder as defined by the DSM (see DSM cautionary statement) is characterized by an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria are considered necessary for the clinical diagnosis to be met:

- Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);
- Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;
- Firmly convinced that they are unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);
- Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply);
- Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with their unreasonable expectations for special and favorable priority treatment.
- Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve their own ends;
- Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;
- Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of their frustration.
- Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions stemming from a belief that others are envious of them and are likely to act similarly;
- Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "above the law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people they consider inferior to themselves and unworthy.

MR2Tyler

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 94
  • Vrroom.
    • AOL Instant Messenger - MR2Tyler
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2005, 10:03:57 AM »
Anti-social personality disorder (what the original poster was talking about, assumedly, with their references to sociopathy) is a relatively common disorder that is often correlated with higher than average intelligence and a strongly competitive nature.  It seems intuitive for the law to attract individuals diagnosable with ASP.  What bugs me is the implication that sociopathy is bad.

:)

I'm not kidding.  If the traits that are comorbid with sociopathy lead to sociopaths being better attorneys, and if our society wants good attorneys, then that seems like a good impetus for the ABA to start recruiting anti-social individuals.  Heck, they practically do already.  I'm a firm believer in Michel Foucault's outlook that diagnoses are only valuable in the context of understanding maladaptive behavior.  As soon as you start making judgments about an individual's fitness from the fact that they're diagnosable - not from any specific actions the individual has undertaken - the diagnosis itself has become maladaptive from a societal standpoint.

-Ty
Won:  Idaho ($$)
Lost:  USC, UW, UC Davis (Whipped like a Yugo in F1)
Still Racing:  W&M

katrina

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2005, 05:03:14 PM »
Many attorneys suffer from NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder).

Narcissism, in human psychology is the pattern of thinking and behaving which involves infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of others. It may be seen manifest in the chronic pursuit of personal gratification and public attention, in social dominance and personal ambition, braggadocio, insensitivity to others (lack of empathy) and/or excessive dependence on others to meet his/her responsibilities in daily living and thinking.

The narcissist has an unhealthily high self-esteem. For the narcissist, self-worth is the belief that he/she is superior to his/her fellow humans; it is not enough to be "okay" or "pretty good," the narcissist can only feel worthwhile by experiencing him/herself as the "best". From childhood through adulthood, this narcissistic belief may be reinforced by others to the extent that the narcissist is actually competent, intelligent and/or attractive, or is manipulative enough to get others to make him/her seem competent, intelligent or attractive.

The narcissist most often comes to the attention of the mental health profession when, beset by some personal failure or having otherwise become aware of his/her lack of superiority, he/she falls into an acute depressive or anxiety state, or even becomes temporarily psychotic. Unfortunately, the emergence of such states has often been misinterpreted by mental health professionals as a sign that the narcissist fundamentally suffers from low self esteem. As a result, psychotherapy often ends up simply restoring the narcissism rather than helping the patient accept his/her true equality and mortality.

Conversely, narcissists who are repeatedly confronted with their own human limitations - often due to a lack of skills, intelligence, looks or social support necessary to maintain external reinforcement of their ultimate superiority - may become frustrated, angry and even dangerously aggressive. At this point, the narcissistic may evolve into a sociopath.

The term narcissism was first used in relation to human psychology by Sigmund Freud after the figure of Narcissus in Greek mythology (right). Narcissus was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. As a punishment, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name, the narcissus.



A narcissistic personality disorder as defined by the DSM (see DSM cautionary statement) is characterized by an all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria are considered necessary for the clinical diagnosis to be met:

- Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);
- Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion;
- Firmly convinced that they are unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions);
- Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply);
- Feels entitled. Demands automatic and full compliance with their unreasonable expectations for special and favorable priority treatment.
- Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve their own ends;
- Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others;
- Constantly envious of others and seeks to hurt or destroy the objects of their frustration.
- Suffers from persecutory (paranoid) delusions stemming from a belief that others are envious of them and are likely to act similarly;
- Behaves arrogantly and haughtily. Feels superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, "above the law", and omnipresent (magical thinking). Rages when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted by people they consider inferior to themselves and unworthy.


The majority of students at my school would fit this description!
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office

istically

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 31
    • View Profile
Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2005, 06:17:48 PM »
Take personality disorders with a grain of salt, they're not real diseases!

pissedoff11

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2005, 08:41:25 PM »
Quote
It seems intuitive for the law to attract individuals diagnosable with ASP.  What bugs me is the implication that sociopathy is bad.

:)

I'm not kidding.  If the traits that are comorbid with sociopathy lead to sociopaths being better attorneys, and if our society wants good attorneys, then that seems like a good impetus for the ABA to start recruiting anti-social individuals. 

Prepare a proposal for the ABA, what are you waiting for?

Bonkers, Jr.

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 22
  • Meet Me At The Pier!
    • View Profile
Re: Psychopath attorneys
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2005, 12:36:14 AM »
PS -- sociopathy and psychopathy are not synonyms, they are two different things.