X-Message-Number: 9032
From: Ettinger <>
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 09:43:25 EST
Subject: lawyers donating work

John de Rivaz recently suggested that lawyers in cryonics might donate their
time/expertise to save expense for members. But it isn't always that simple.

Cryonics Institute has several lawyer members, some of whom have in fact
donated work (both legal and otherwise), and continue to do so, including
David Ettinger and Joseph Kowalsky. But they can't just automatically take
over any "legal" problem.

First of all, "lawyer" is no more monolithic than "scientist." You wouldn't
ask an astronomer for an opinion on food supplements, and you shouldn't ask an
attorney for an opinion outside his specialty, except perhaps in the simplest

My son David is an antitrust attorney with a national reputation, especially
in hospital mergers. He is a partner and head of the antitrust department in a
large firm. He has done a lot of work gratis for CI, including writing the
basic contract or cryonic suspension agreement. But when we wanted a trust
agreement drafted we went to a trust specialist, and when we were involved in
serious estate litigation we used the appropriate hired specialist. Part of
being an "expert" is in knowing what you don't know.

If a cryonics organization wants a free opinion or a document drafted for
free, rotsa ruck. You might get it, in relatively simple cases. Even then, you
might run into a problem with a firm's policies on "pro bono" work; many firms
don't want their lawyers giving away time or diverting energy except for
approved purposes.

Well, nobody said becoming immortal would be easy or cheap.

Robert Ettinger

Rate This Message: http://www.cryonet.org/cgi-bin/rate.cgi?msg=9032