Sunday, February 07, 2010

House Legal Counsel on Suicide Watch

Let me start with the good news: Next week all the lawyers in and working for the CNMI House of Representatives will have twice as much experience writing laws as they do today. That's because between the 20 members, their staff, and the staff of the Legislative Bureau there is exactly one lawyer (everyone else quit). And he's been working there for all of one week. Next week he'll have been there for two weeks, hence double the experience.

We are so screwed.

Sure, there are plenty of House members with experience. 70 year old House Speaker Froilan Tenorio is essentially the Thomas Jefferson of the Northern Mariana Islands. I know he speaks at least two languages, has a degree in Engineering, and has been a Senator, Washington Representative, Governor and now heads the House of Representatives. All he lacks is the ability to play the cello!

But he's not a lawyer and has never passed the bar.

And the speaker has to share his only counsel with the minority Republicans. Can you imagine what it would be like to be the attorney representing both the majority and the minority in any Legislature, never mind one as mind warping as the CNMI Legislature? How is he going to maintain attorney-client privilege? Are there things he's not allowed to let himself know after he's worked on something with the other side so as not to violate that trust? Who is he going to represent when there are opposing bills?

Like I said, we are so screwed.

1 comment:

Saipan Writer said...

there's a link to the "council process guide" on this page:

but the link doesn't work.