Legal profession needs oversight, accountability

info@islandpacket.comNovember 17, 2013 

Regarding the Oct. 13 editorial, "Indigent defendants should have a lawyer," please don't do this to the poor indigent defendant. Or to rich defendants, for that matter.

The system of law in the U.S. is a self-serving racket shrouded in arcane language so rubbery and incomprehensible that a lay person must hire a Wizard of Oz attorney to interpret it and address even simple conflicts.

An attorney has no financial incentive to resolve a client's issue efficiently. And when you've discovered you're being taken to the cleaners, it's impossible to shake him or her. And the judiciary has gone so long without any oversight or accountability that judges' arbitrary and capricious behavior revealed in trial transcripts read like scary fiction. But who reads trial transcripts?

Attorneys and judges are a collegial bunch of back scratchers. The truth of, "A good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer knows the judge," is more of a determinant of the outcome of a trial than anything resembling justice. And to think that the "adversarial system" is where we force divorcing couples to dissolve their marriages and families. The poor children.

The legal profession, ironically bound by a system of laws, is likely the least regulated, most exploitative and corrupt profession. In England, locally-elected "magistrates" handle simple civil disputes transparently. Why can't we have something similar?

Kate McClintic


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