Open Letter

From an immigrant lawyer to a California lawyer

Aida Poulsen, Editor in Chief, Lawyer, Investor, author

Aida Poulsen, Editor in Chief, Lawyer, Investor, author

Dear Antony

You indeed have every right to bring up that I’m used to “another legal system”, throwing me back to the day my daughter was taken by the police from the street in Moscow for a choice of rape vs bribe—the call I received from the screaming 16-year-old while stepping on stage with my guest speaker—opposition leader and world chess champion Gary Kasparov...

Or back to witnessing police beatings into pulp of dark-skinned immigrants from ex-USSR—because I needed this literally bloody legal system to find my kidnapped-for-ransom 8-year old son. Which I ended up doing on my own.

Read: Editor's Letter

Or back to hearing a judge incredulously saying: “You understand, counsel, that no judge could survive a judgement against an airline owned by X? I’ll end up in jail no matter what arguments you have.” I won that big trial; I won the appeal; the judge was “only” stripped of his job and benefits. He was jailed within a year. He told his wife, a younger judge, to divorce him so she could keep her freedom.

Aida Poulsen with son Nikita in Cambridge, UK

Aida Poulsen with son Nikita in Cambridge, UK

Are the three flashbacks enough to deliver some sense of what kind of value we, lawyers from very different legal systems, put on the US legal system? Unlike some who have never dealt with anything less than the best in the world.

I appreciate your apologies accompanied by the precipitous praise of my legal acumen, but I’m not in dire need of either: I’m indeed a hunky too used to worse than mere insults; it’s difficult to surprise me with behavior like yours.

Aida Poulsen's grandfather, attorney ans judge

Aida Poulsen's grandfather, attorney ans judge

I'm just a single mom of two, born thousands kilometers East from Moscow into destitution invoked by Stalin’s repression of high achieving ancestors and the fallout of WWII. And still trying to atone for the achievements they were robbed of.

As too many in the big, big world outside sunny California, I am used to being treated as a second-grade meat from birth for being female; 3rd grade meat for being not a pure blood of the right nationality; 4th grade meat for not belonging to the Communist Party, etc, etc.

I’m gracious that on this soil what you (and some other CA lawyers, in fairness) have used against me is merely the failure of not being born into this silver spoon land—California.

I am, however, certain that my capital deficiency in producing a more palatable to you birthplace has contributed to my worth both generally and on the HealthyLivinG cause. The HealthyLivinG team has witnessed what a particular effort has done to the entire industry, in which you wouldn’t have been even interested before due to peanut sized outcomes and general contempt towards consumer health attorneys arisen from those peanuts.

Aida Poulsen in Africa with African Children

Aida Poulsen in Africa with African Children

My so-called colleagues—California consumer lawyers—who in the heat of arguments routinely resort to the “inferiority” of another lawyers' origin, likely to remain blissfully unaware they might never have a chance for the inspiring and true human rights achievements of many lawyers coming from unimaginably challenging legal environments.

To say how much approvals not wanted I shall add certain details.

Aida Poulsen and Gary Kasparov speaking in British Embassy

Aida Poulsen and Gary Kasparov speaking in British Embassy

Despite your presumption towards "other legal systems" it would be worth observing that some of them require five years of rigorous legal studies plus a year of after-law-school attorney’s internship to be admissible for a bar exam, as opposed to only four years in the US and lack of other requirements, which might account for a profound foundation and depth of education in systems that naturally represent older schools of the same Roman law, comparing to the US school.

It not a classified information that lawyers who populate the Prop 65 field in California would unlikely be considered a top tier of their profession: the cases are of the most basic nature, practically never even reaching a trial and, because of that, consisting of plain, mundane sets of repetitive templates.

Whereas lawyers making here home coming from the world’s more challenging zones should by definition possess quite a set of endowments, just as those of your ancestors who have pre-arranged for you this blessed birth place.

An immigrant lawyer often can’t help finding himself a navy seal watching a sand box fight when California lawyers so innocently and insensibly flaunt about their negotiating skills for closing a facile pre-lit settlement. They better be wary that they are bragging, like in this case, before a lawyer capable of initiating and closing mergers and acquisitions of about 50 banks, where a negotiator ought to bring together a number of headstrong execs the size of the US Senate, internationally, getting that "Senate" through massive due diligence and audits,—the achievements featured by Forbes, WSJ and FT.

Aida Poulsen in British Embassy farewell party leaving to the US

Aida Poulsen in British Embassy farewell party leaving to the US

We are probably yet to see a California consumer lawyer capable of getting into Stanford Graduate School of Business and Yale, with scholarships. After self-learning a foreign language (English in my case) in their thirties to the extent evident in hundreds of US publications; moreover, to the extent of feeling impaired when reduced to representation by a certain California attorney’s unsophisticated non-eloquence.

Add representing an entire country in the Independent EU Lawyers Association; or winning the Tony Blair and British government’s Know-How Fund management award; or having the British embassy throw a farewell party for an individual leaving the country to the US.



Read: Pure Mexico

Aida Poulsen in the Supreme Court of the United States of America

Aida Poulsen in the Supreme Court of the United States of America

Again, this is only to say approvals not wanted. I do care, however, about being heard even if this takes longer with an accent—a fair price, according to my kids, for a double-able multilingual brain and richer understanding of the world—as those strategies have proven critical to HealthyLivinG outcomes and the outcomes are critical to all US consumers, even when those strategies appear too complicated to a California consumer lawyer.

Sincerely

Hunky lawyer, executive, investor, editor in chief



Read: Discovering Ayn Rand

Read: Q&A with Aida Poulsen

Read: Bonaire in 3D

Read: Pure Mexico

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