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Mystery Solved

Five weeks ago, attorney Jerry Stevens was up to his neck in a six-month battle with the Colorado Supreme Court over required continuing legal education courses ("A Real Page-Turner," June 21). Stevens wanted the classes he'd taken at a mystery-writers' convention last fall to count; the court's Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education wasn't going for it, and a bitter exchange ensued.

Stevens won. In a letter mailed in late June, he was awarded the five credits he'd demanded for what the board called "the legal-related portions of the world mystery conference."

But for Stevens, a student of psychology, the idea of a simple victory can't be trusted. Somehow it negates the complexity of the human psyche and disrupts the flow of the Hero's Quest. So perhaps Stevens has been left with a Pyrrhic victory, with a finale that was so anti-climactic, such a letdown. "They didn't want to fight," he said shortly after receiving the board's letter. "And they compromised. I knew they'd compromise. That is not the way they should do it. They should fight, and then things would get better -- or work with me, and they'd get better."

Ogden had no comment for this story.

Stevens says that the matter of whether lawyers can decide their own continuing-education needs also remains unresolved. "The question is whether [the board] will revisit that."

It's likely Stevens will. This month he plans to attend a seminar in Santa Fe titled "Mysteries and the Law: The Nature of Evidence." The readings? Aeschylus, Dostoyevsky and Melville. Will he try to apply the classes toward his next set of continuing-education credits?

"Oh, yeah, probably."

 
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