Actress Lindsay Lohan listens to her attorney Shawn Holley during her probation… (Los Angeles Times )
Every now and then, The Times publishes an article that draws all kinds of witty, funny and germane responses from our letter writers -- that probably won't get published on the space-constricted letters to the editor print page. Sandy Banks' column on Saturday sympathetic to actress Lindsay Lohan and her lawyer was one of those pieces.
This isn't to say we never publish letters written in response to lighter, celebrity-focused news. But it is likely that given the weighty topics of the last few weeks (the Trayvon Martin shooting and healthcare reform in the Supreme Court, to name just two examples), when it's time to start piecing together the next day's page each morning, Lohan's legal troubles probably won't make the cut.
Below is a selection of submissions worthy of consideration for a page that happens to be light on real estate. The letters have been edited for spelling, grammar, clarity and style, and they reflect the unanimous sentiment of those who sent their responses to email@example.com: Neither Lohan nor her lawyer deserve much sympathy.
Does Lohan deserve praise? Reader John Holmstrom of Hollywood writes:
"Sandy Banks' earnest column features lawyer Shawn Holley discussing her client Lindsay Lohan's five destructive years of headline-grabbing substance abuse, theft convictions and resultant jail time.
"Holley calls her client 'a sweet girl' and says, 'I consider it an honor to protect her.' Apologist Holley insists Lohan didn't do 'things that other young women don't do.' Really! What if Lohan's repeated antics resulted in loss of life or serious injury?
"Perhaps Lohan should volunteer at Mother Teresa's clinic in India -- minus the media coverage -- to nurture poor, sick street people in their final days. Scrubbing floors and cleaning bedpans might encourage Lohan to grow up."
Was the lawyer really all that altruistic? Giuseppe Mirelli of Los Angeles writes:
"Banks introduced us to a lawyer who obviously benefited from a client who repeatedly broke the law. And every time they appeared in court, they both got their free publicity. Lohan's whispered 'I love you' to her lawyer is as common a phrase in Hollywood as 'call me,' and Banks' suggestion that it signifies more than just a client-attorney association is as foolish and inane as anything involving Lohan.
"Perhaps the majority of children misbehave, but not all of them break the law by committing theft and driving while intoxicated."
What about the judge and the courts? Reader Jonathan Mandel of Encino writes:
"Though Holley is a fine attorney, I found Banks' fawning piece on her representation of Lohan odd for several reasons.
"First, though I am sure Banks believed her focus on Holley to be an untold story, the media's saturation of the five-year saga hardly calls for more on any related topic.
"Second, as long as we're at it, most of the credit for Lohan's eventual success goes to the person Banks fails to mention: L.A. County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner. It was she who developed a 'relationship of trust and respect' and used her powers wisely to straighten Lohan out.
"Lohan's five-year legal struggle punctuated by a serious theft charge hardly requires any legal skill except perseverance and possibly a large wardrobe to avoid wearing the same outfit twice at one of the numerous court appearances. And unlike Holley, who I am sure was well compensated, Sautner worked her magic for her regular salary.
"Finally, while Lohan also deserves credit for her successful struggle with demons, she did benefit from having considerable resources. Although Banks touched on it, the real heroes in the courtrooms aren't the well paid who represent the affluent. Instead, Banks' attention and praise should go to the hundreds of appointed counsel who daily work against all odds to help the poor and powerless."
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