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Danehy

Things Danehy doesn't understand, volume LXXXVI: DUI lawyers, Ka'Deem Carey, and the Star's copy editing

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There must be a special place in hell for people who write catchy jingles. You know, those 10- or 15-second ditties that burrow their way into your brain like a Ceti eel larva, and—just like in The Wrath of Khan—wrap around your cerebral cortex and cause you intense pain.

Such is the case for a jingle that I hear on the car radio about 8,000 times a day. It's for DUI lawyer Thomas Wilson. It's got kind of a Bruno Mars, retro-soul feel to it and it's catchy as all hell. I can't get it out of my head.

The initial lyrics lay out what the commercial is about: When you need a lawyer who knows how to fight/ Let a Marine fight for you and do it right. Lame, but effective.

But then comes: If you've got a DUI and you need expertise/ To get you back on the street ... .

I'm sorry, but if you've got a DUI (and you did it), I don't want you back on the street. I want you sitting in a jail cell for a while, and maybe when you're standing in the lunch line, getting winked at by a guy named Aryan Brother. Maybe then, the next time you've had too much to drink, you might think twice about getting behind the wheel.

I know, I know, I'm way too sensitive about this stuff. I mean, I've only lost a sister-in-law, a childhood friend and a college teammate to drunken drivers. That's about average, right?

I know that people have the right to legal defense and I'm not suggesting otherwise. But that song is cruel and unusual. It won't leave me alone. The only way to beat it is to drown it out with an even catchier jingle. So ... hold the pickle, hold the lettuce... .

• We all know how much it would suck to be a lawyer. Can you imagine having to twist, dodge, mutilate and/or avoid the truth for a living? It would be like being a conservative talk-show host, only with a better wardrobe.

I just about gagged when I read the official statement released by Ka'Deem Carey's attorneys, Ali Farhang and Maria Davila, after the Tucson City Attorney's Office decided not to proceed with the case against the Wildcat running back over an alleged altercation involving Carey's ex-girlfriend, who was pregnant when the incident occurred in December.

It reads: "We are very pleased with the City Attorney's decision to unilaterally dismiss the charges against (Carey)." Excuse me, but how else are charges dropped, except unilaterally? Carey's side didn't have the option of dropping the charges.

But here's the best part: "(Carey) did nothing wrong, and the City Attorney's determination to drop the case is an acknowledgement of that fact."

First off, based on the public statements that were made, we're all fairly certain that he did do something wrong. There is a chance that his actions didn't rise to the level of criminal activity. However, that's like confusing "innocent" with "not guilty." Lawyers use those two terms interchangeably all the time, when they certainly should know better.

What probably happened is that the City Attorney's Office saw some inconsistencies in the stories and figured that it would be hard to get a conviction. Or maybe they just shrugged, figuring, all things considered, it wasn't that big a deal. Whatever the case, dropping the charges does not instantly equate to "he did nothing wrong."

The statement also said that Carey "thanks God for this correct outcome and extends his utmost gratitude to his family, friends, teammates and coaches ... ."

How times have changed. Back in the day, friends, family members, teammates and coaches would have been lined up, ready to smack us upside our fat heads for having screwed up. Nowadays, an attorney tells us we did nothing wrong.

I enjoy watching Carey play football. He's young and we all hope he learns from this. Still, it would have been nice to hear "I messed up. I put myself in a bad situation and I'll try to do better in the future." That would go a whole lot further than "my lawyers said I did nothing wrong."

• Finally, this is a relatively minor point, but gee whiz, Arizona Daily Star! Where are your copy editors? I understand that people make mistakes—I made a doozy of one just last week—and I'm not just talking about misspelled words (although the Star did have a sports headline last week that read "Hellickson, homers hault streak").

And yes, I double-checked to make sure I didn't misspell "misspelled," lest I be swept away by a tsunami of irony.

Just today, I noticed a Star sports story by The Associated Press in which "neither" was misused as plural. What really bothered me, however, was a series the paper ran contrasting different Wildcat sports figures. Each day, it would present two athletes who had worn the same number, highlight their respective careers, and then ask for a vote. Unfortunately, each day, there would be this big-ass headline on the top of the front page of the paper that read "Who wore it best?"

When it's three or more, it's "best." When it's only two, it's "Who wore it better?" Are you going to tell me that nobody at the paper caught that? Come on!

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