Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ATLA goes to Eleven

Changing Organization's Name Won't Change the Image of Trial Attorneys
Los Angeles Daily Journal, July 26, 2006, at 9.

The Association of Trial Lawyers of America's latest attempt to change its image by simply changing names, "Trial Lawyers Reborn as American Association for Justice" (Daily Journal, July 20), somehow reminded me of that famous scene from the movie "This Is Spinal Tap," where we are introduced to the first guitar amplifier that goes to 11. Here is the transcript of the scene where Nigel Tufnel, the fictional musician, is being interviewed by the fake documentary director Marty DiBergi played by Rob Reiner:

Nigel Tufnel: The numbers all go to 11. Look, right across the board, 11, 11, 11 and ...
Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most amps go up to 10?
Tufnel: Exactly.
DiBergi: Does that mean it's louder? Is it any louder?
Tufnel: Well, it's one louder, isn't it? It's not 10. You see, most blokes, you know, will be playing at 10. You're on 10 here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on 10 on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?
DiBergi: I don't know.
Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?
DiBergi: Put it up to 11.
Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One louder.
DiBergi: Why don't you just make 10 louder and make 10 be the top number and make that a little louder?
Tufnel: [pause, blank look and snapping chewing gum] These go to 11.

If ATLA thinks that trial lawyers as a group have an image problem, the solution cannot be simply "go[ing] to 11." They ought to "make 10 louder."

[Source of transcript: Wikipedia.]