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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, August 5, 2006

Lawyers here to work hard and play hard

If Honolulu feels as though it has a slightly more legal air about it, that may be because of the more than 10,000 lawyers in town for the prestigious American Bar Association's national convention.

For the next few days, O'ahu will have more lawyers per square mile than anywhere in the world.

The lawyers, true to their "work hard, play hard" motto, have scheduled serious business, including debating whether to challenge President Bush in court for his wholesale use of signing statements when approving legislation.

An ABA report last month criticized that practice as overstepping executive authority.

Other events include professional training seminars and discussions of matters ranging from Hawaiian legal rights and the Massie case to the pressing issue of immigration and environmental policy under the Roberts Supreme Court.

But the lawyers also are here to enjoy themselves and have a good time. The Hawai'i Visitors and Convention Bureau expects the six-day event to generate $38 million in total spending and $3.7 million in state tax revenues.

The lawyers' good time is a real boon to the tourist economy, and we should welcome them with aloha.

In addition to all the hard work, there will even be a surfing competition, although it is not an officially sanctioned ABA event because of fears of legal liability.

These are lawyers, after all.