Evans: How you can still lose while winning in court

Many years ago, during a conversation with an old lawyer, he made a comment I still remember: “You can sue the bishop of Boston for bastardy, but that doesn’t mean you are going to collect.”

It was Frank Karpan’s way of reminding a young editor that merely filing a lawsuit is not the most important occurrence in a dispute. The outcome is. My friend’s Frank-isms have been quoted in these columns before. My favorite is the rarely wrong observation, “I never had a client listen himself into trouble, but I’ve had plenty who talked themselves into trouble.”

Frank’s comment about the bishop occurred back when it was easier to figure out winners and losers in court fights. These days, however, someone can win in court but ultimately lose, because the cost of a skilled legal defense can be staggering.

World War II Victory Garden Mania Hits Iowa

“Own your own victory garden and four room house,” a Davenport realtor suggested to buyers in a local newspaper ad in spring 1942. All over the state businesses used the victory garden campaign to sell their products and services. Seed and gardening stores offered free seed packets and information pamphlets to customers to entice customers to plant victory gardens. Clothing stores advertised slacks for women to wear while tending their victory garden. A Charles City nursery advertised for “Victory Garden Salesmen” to help sell products to “make healthy American workers and fighters.”

Iowa History, a weekly column, appears at IowaWatch on Saturdays.