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Party-Animal Lawyers Item Called Low Blow

December 15, 1991

I am a UCLA student who is happily married to a man who has a sense of humor, social grace and happens to be a lawyer.

I began to question the objectivity of reports in the Los Angeles Times (when) in Orange County Newswatch (Dec. 1) on the front page, I saw the headline "Anything Goes," describing ways to "enliven your office Christmas party."

I became a little angry when I read that one of the ideas was to "make sure the lawyers are there." This short article goes on to quote "veteran party-goers" as saying that lawyers "hold the bit so tightly on these people, when you let it out, they can't keep their clothes on." This Newswatch article is not news, nor is it even an article, it is nothing of the sort; it is an opinionated, prejudiced teaser designed to get the reader to read the article--which I did.

The article appeared on D1 and was titled "Unabashed Office Bash." Because of my personal bias, I was careful to read through the article with an open mind, looking for statistics, psychologist's findings or any kind of evidence to support the accusations of the work on the front page. I found none.

What I found was a decent article on office etiquette, funny at times, informative and basically unbiased. I did not find any statistics on which profession breeds the most obnoxious party-goers; I did not find any psychologist's reports on such behavior; in fact, I found that the social behavior of lawyers, at a party or otherwise, was not mentioned at all.

I've been to many office parties that included lawyers, and many which have not. What I remember was many accountants, secretaries, office managers, waitresses, waiters, bartenders, company presidents, employee guests and lawyers alike letting go at parties and unable to "keep their clothes on." I have seen many such people "enliven" many office parties.

While these people do not have a career in common, such as being a lawyer, they do have one thing in common: They all have trouble controlling their behavior, albeit stress-induced, when mixing a party with alcohol.

What I am saying is that usually (and notice that I say usually) the most animated and obnoxious people at parties are the ones with drinking problems. So why didn't your writers tell us to invite the alcoholics to "enliven your office Christmas party"?

Of course, they wouldn't say such a thing. That would be a prejudiced viewpoint. And that is exactly what the Orange County Newswatch item was: prejudiced.

LOIS K. MYERS, Laguna Beach

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