Akst is right aiming his sights at the excesses inflicted upon us by too many lawyers. But his analysis is incomplete; he does not address the reasons for lawyers' behavior. Lawyers do what judges let them get away with.
Lawyers, like most other people, only respond rationally to the incentives and disincentives that confront them. When they face a result-oriented judiciary that sees public policy-making and ad hoc legislating as its most important functions, the consequences are predictable.
Because of the absence of judicial self-restraint, judge-made law is often a mess, and in some areas it has become not just confused and contradictory, but almost unknowable. The price is a lack of standards and costly litigation.
Lawyers operating in this climate understandably make arguments that serve their clients rather than society. That is the job that society has assigned them. It is supposed to be the job of impartial judges to curb excesses and irrationalities in the law and in the operation of the branch of government they administer.