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Dear Ms. Legal Lonelyhearts: A headhunter asked me to move to Santa Monica and star in a “Bay Watch” spinoff about surfing tax lawyers who prowl West Coast beaches for tasty waves, lucrative loopholes and Internet connections. (It’s got a dot-com story line, too.) But California’s State Bar says that I have to pass its examination, or I can’t play a lawyer there. It has something to do with protecting residuals for “L.A. Law” and “Perry Mason” characters. The Bar told me to register with a California-only accredited law school and sent me an application printed on the back of a pizza box. I’m just a television character, not a real lawyer. What should I do? Ally McBeal Boston, Mass. California is tough on multijurisdictional lawyer acting but the law’s headed your way. Have the tax lawyers incorporate you in Belize and then file a complaint with the World Trade Organization. By the time it’s sorted out, the show’ll be in reruns. Dear Ms. Legal Lonelyhearts: I always wanted to be something more than just a Silicon Valley lawyer. But after my dot-com blew through $23 million in 23 days, I begged my way back into my old firm. Now we’re merging with some Cleveland sweatshop that wants to send me to Youngstown. The office manager comes by every day measuring things and trying to figure out how to fit two associates, a paralegal and the new day-care center in my soon-to-be-former office. Meanwhile, my draw’s been knocked down to $500K a year, the junior partners think I’m a profit-sucking twit, and the staff calls me Dead Man Walking. It’s so humiliating that I wish I could chuck it all. But Chauncey’s just started Choate, Taylor’s at Smith, and the wife’s still at Betty Ford. What should I do? Bummed out in Atherton Cheer up, you’re getting another chance. This time think like a venture capitalist. Add a dot-com or something techie-sounding to each Ohio client’s name, always get a piece of the equity, and take everything you can public. Something will hit. Dear Ms. Legal Lonelyhearts, The World Wrestling Federation offered us a handsome donation and a Maui seminar on wrestling law if it could license our name and logo for “Judicial Smackdown.” The New York Times got wind of the offer and complained that if we were educated by the WWF, we’d start ruling from the bench like Jesse Ventura. Now some senators want to ban all free seminars and make the circuit conferences meet in a Motel 6. What should we do? Judicial Conference Washington, D.C. Take the money, ignore the Times and invite the entire Senate to Maui. If judges and politicians don’t live better than ordinary citizens, they’ll end up thinking like ordinary citizens. Dear Ms. Legal Lonelyhearts, You know what really frosts us? It’s those headhunters who keep running off with our associates like Pride, Avarice and Sloth (well, they can keep Sloth). What’s a devil to do? Beelzebub & Mephisto Seven Palo Alto Square Palo Alto, Calif. Get over it. You still have Lust, Envy, Gluttony and Anger. Yo, Lonelyhearts! I was chiLLin’ with my homiez wHen the D*E*A* broke into my cRib, wanna blOw me away. I said, “Hey, cRacker ‘fore you bust that cap better cHeck with D*C* coz tHey know wHere I’m at.” Then I caLLed my main playa Congresswoman MaXine; Told Her “You gotta stop tha jANet ReNo machine!” YeaH, quICk as a wink, inveSTigation’s sHut down ScHumacher and CHad bum rusHed out of town. But tHe DNC want some mOney today! I gotta give to sTay ricH in the U*S* of A*? Scarface c/o Rap-a-lot Records Houston, Texas It’s not a bad idea, Mr. Scarface. Give to the Republicans, too — they’re better on tax policy. You’re learning an essential lesson that escaped even Bill Gates: One well-placed politician is worth any number of $1,000-an-hour Sullivan & Cromwell lawyers. Dear Ms. Legal Lonelyhearts, I thought that the masterpiece of a man of genius should contain those reflections of ours that we despised and repressed — a world of feeling we had scorned and whose value the work suddenly teaches us. But I still want to sell as many books as John Grisham. What should I do? Marcel Proust Paris, France You are so 20th century, Marcel. We want feel-good endings, stock options and Congressional connections, not self-reflection. It’s time you got with the program. Remember, all stories are true. George M. Kraw is a San Jose, Calif., attorney. His e-mail address is [email protected]

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