We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Monday, January 2. 2012
Everybody knows what they are doing. They are trying to run a guild in a post-guild society. One aspect of that is keeping prices high - the prices for the schools, and worse, the prices for the poor clients and to hell for those who cannot afford a lawyer but are not poor enough to get a cynical, burned-out Legal Aid person.
Justice is exorbitantly - and unjustly - expensive and, as I have often said here, I think a better case could be made for socialized legal coverage than for socialized medicine, because equal justice is an American ideal, but illness is just human fate. In my view, the American legal system is a broken and often piratical mess run for the benefit of the lawyers (most politicians are lawyers). Just consider how many people settle unjust and annoying claims simply to avoid legal fees.
Of course, if you want a Big Job in a Big Law Firm, you will want a Big Degree. It's just one more example of greedy Big Education's monopoly on credentials. Big Oil, Big Tobacco, Big Government, Big Education, Big Farming, Big Tort Law. Same old story. Just follow the money.
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On the mark and much overdue. But only scratching the surface. The delivery of legal services in this country is and long has been beyond scandal; it is too often criminal in its fraud on the public. I was a member of the trade - not a profession, in my view - for more than 40 years, and at the highest levels, so I know of what I speak. Someone should write a book . . . .
Public defenders often do the best they can, and I don't want to kick them. But they are sometimes required to get up to speed very quickly on a specialty area of law, and may not have much to protect their clients with.
Because of my job, I know a great deal of mental health law, though I am not an attorney. What fascinates is how many cases from other counties, which do not have the number of cases the county with the state hospital in it has, could absolutely be overturned if someone were to challenge them. (The NH state Supreme Court has often ruled on the issue.) A few attorneys in the state really know the case law and the statutes - I can list them on my two hands - and anyone who goes up against them is likely going to go down in flames.
So, let's say we get socialized law. "ObamaLaw", we can call it.
Probably works great for wills, trusts, contract reviews, property transactions, boundary disputes, some crimlaw - the rote stuff, where knowing the books and sources gets you where you need to be. Lawyers become fungible and faceless, everyone makes a middling amount of money, your clients come in like clockwork and you don't choose your cases, you just take what Central sends to you.
Now, let's say Birthdefects"R Us Inc. sells your daughter pills for acne, and ten years later she gives birth to five kids attached together in a daisy chain. Very tough case to take on - usually reserved for the big, fancy, celebrated lawyers with private jets who specialize in bad drug law, and who can afford to finance the case for years with a small chance of a big payoff.
But you run down to the Department of ObamaLaw (Intake), take one of their numbered tags at the door and sit down and wait until you're called, and then you walk back to Lawyer 156B's cubicle and describe the problem to her. She asks you for your proof that the acne drug caused the problem. You look puzzled, she sighs, and then she points out that she's expected to take on X number of cases per year, no matter what kind, and that she can handle 2196 DWI's with the same expenditure of resources as your case will probably take, plus she doesn't dare take her underfunded government office up against the corporate defense lawyers who make 300 times her yearly wage and who have unlimited dollars for tests, experts, etc.
Plus, with the simultaneous advent of ObamaCare, the circle of kids is going to be quietly euthanized next Friday, so you have no damages anyway. In the end, you creep away, and BirthDefects 'R Us keeps on churning out those same pills with impunity.
Or, your house burns down, and your insurer points out that your Homeowner's Fire Insurance doesn't really cover, um, you know, FIRE per se, it's just part of the title on the policy, and so off you go in search of an insurance coverage lawyer, which tends to be a fairly specialized area, and you're assigned to Lawyer DD33g in the West District office who does . . . well . . . everything . . . and he reads your policy and tells you that the insurer is correct, there's no listing for fire coverage even though you asked specifically just for fire coverage and the policy is labeled "Fire".
Plus, the insurer doesn't need to rely on these free "general" lawyers - they hire their own, and since they're paying better than government work, they get the smart ones, and they learn everything there is to know about coverage, and so they never lose.
Since no one knows the ins and outs of (insured's) coverage law anymore, you're sort of stuck. And so the insurer can keep sending out more and more outrageous denials to its insureds.
Or you're falsely accused of raping a woman you've never met, but she's sure it was you even though she was drunk and passed out. You can win this case with some DNA testing and confirmation of your alibi. But your Public Defender (your "ObamaMouthpiece", in Newspeak) points out that the taxpayers decided to build a high speed train this year, and took away the office testing budget to help pay for it, but he thinks he can get the state to let you plead to something less serious, like Crim Sexual Conduct 2, and you'll be out in less than ten years! When you object, he tells you that your allotted appointment time is over, but he'll meet you in court next week and you can discuss it all as you both approach the judge's bench for the plea. As he scurries out, the guards walk you back to your cell.
With no true opposition to their coses, prosecutors know that they can drive MUCH harder plea bargains then they could before, back when people could actually fully defend against crim charges.
Or, finally, let's say Mom feels ill, goes to the ObaDoc, and is diagnosed with Plattiken's Disease. (Don't bother looking it up. It's brand new.) It can be cured easily, with two $6000 pills. Without the pills, she'll die a slow, agonizing death over a four-month period. Her ObaDoc tells her that she won't be getting the pills, because he doesn't much like white people.
So you troop on down to the place where they keep the lawyers, wait in line, and sit down with one. You describe the situation to her, but as soon as she figures out why you want to contest the ObamaCare ruling, she stops you and tells you that she cannot help you. "But it's a clear case of illegal discrimination," you tell her. "Maybe not," she says - she points out that ObamaLaw is part of the Justice Department, still run by Holder, and, as a matter of policy, "we don't much like white people." You'd sue her for her outrageous malfeasance, but she has all of the lawyers, so you just take Mom back home.
Socialist law will do us as much good as does socialist health care, or socialist employment. Our access will be cut, our aims and goals will be second-guessed and "corrected", the funding for our efforts will be decided by the legal system's version of "death panels", and any rights we might have that protect us from government will become moot, as we realize that asking a government lawyer to attack government is sort of dumb.
I've only been around for twenty or so years, in a host of legal areas, but I've seen a lot of people get a lot of help from our current system. Sure, there are always instances where something unfair happens, but they've been the exception rather than the rule. I'd run fast and far if someone asked me to recommend ObamaLawyers.
Thanks for the comment, bobby b. I have a hankering to agree with you. But I'm mulling it over.