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Top 5 Reasons Society Needs Lawyers

Top 5 Reasons Society Needs Lawyers

Oh, the anarchy!

We’ve all heard the jokes about the greedy corporate lawyer, or the shady ambulance chasing personal injury attorney, but the fact of the matter is that lawyers serve an extremely important role in our society.  In fact, to even state that lawyers are a “necessary evil” in society hugely undermines the attorney’s role in a well functioning society.  We all know there are bad apples in the law profession, but primarily due to an incredibly stringent ethical standard, I would argue that attorney’s uphold a moral framework that far surpasses any other profession.  Below are the top five reasons we need attorneys.   5. An average person cannot understand the complexities of the law – While one can argue the natural intelligence inherent in most attorneys, what is irrefutable is that lawyers dedicate their lives to understanding, studying, enforcing and creating the laws.  Therefore, it is unreasonable to expect any non-attorney to have the same level of knowledge. 4. Carry out the laws purpose – Society requires laws to function.  Imagine a world where there were no consequences for backing out of a contract, or where parties never paid for their negligence. 3. Protecting the rights of the “little man” – There is a clear divergence between the powerful and not powerful in our society.  Between the big corporation and the little consumer, between the rich and the poor, and between the employer and the employee.  Lawyers help balance that inequality of power, as the threat of a lawsuit is always in the background.  For example, when a manufacturer is negligent in their production of a defective product, they will face the repercussion of a bad faith lawsuit.  Similarly, when insurance companies purposefully fail to pay on a legitimate policy, they face bad faith litigation 2. Protecting the rights of the innocent – It’s been said that finding an innocent man guilty is worse than letting 10 guilty men go free. 1. Serve a police function – Lawyers provide a certain checks and balances that otherwise would not be available without them.  For example, who will ensure that companies follow epa guidelines, or that a water company will make sure their bottles are not contaminated with harmful pollutants.  Government has proven itself highly inefficient and incapable of handling such matters.

COMMENTS (1)

5. is an egregious example of lawmakers’ abuse of authority. However, the one service lawyers most need to be doing for the society is bringing suits against the government for abuse of their role. The law need not be 2700 pages of legalese in a single bill. The lawmakers cannot understand the language in their own bills. They rely on ‘volunteers’ (read lobbyists) and staffers to ‘draft’ legislation. To quote the Speaker of the House in the last congress, “We have to pass the bill before we can find out what’s in it.” This is bureaucratic insanity.

4. Contract law is an entirely different animal. Here we frequently have corporations with teams of lawyers on each side bargaining for their respective firms’ interests. This is more of an even playing field. When it comes to corporation vs. small business, he doesn’t get to bargain, he gets handed a lawyer approved contract and his lawyer explains the rights and responsibilities and he then makes a decision whether to sign on or not. The rest of us get handed a contract and we “usually” sign without reading it. That’s as bad as the #5 issue. It is so complex and so corporate favored, we just sign and trust your point under #1 covers our butts. We’ll come to the negligence suits under item #3.

3. Everything mentioned in this point should be accomplished by the free market. People vote, support, and exchange value for value with honorable business practitioners. If a business is unethical, the customer finds another provider of that good or service. The net effect of lawyer/law/judgment interference at this stage is ‘no suit is too ridiculous for a million dollar payday.’ So my $.25 cents to make pill costs $200 for 30 count bottle and my $1500 dollar to make car costs $42,000 retail. There are winners and losers in every style of commerce. What the courts have become is a winner maker and a loser chooser via interference to natural consequence of applied ethics in business. A man who starts a lawn mower then picks it up to trim his hedge is not worthy of a million dollar payday. (Actual court case and award) Slipping on a WalMart floor does not constitute a million dollar payday. Sorry! if it had happened on the sidewalk the slipper would have gotten nothing. Being in WalMart does not make WalMart culpable.

My immigrant friend from Romania tells me I have no idea how ‘not free’ I am. Romania under Russian control was never so controlled as present day America in personal freedom. Here, my neighbor acts like a spy and informant to the state to regulate my child rearing skills, my pet ownership, my lawn care!!! And the state is willing to dictate my insurance purchase, caloric intake, and most recently exampled by DOJ charges against avid hunter and outspoken rocker, Ted Nugent and intimidating pollsters whose poll results disfavored the sitting president, political speech. You may think I’m living in a dream world expecting common sense to return to the judicial system, but I intend to help redirect the narrative in our culture from ‘it’s stupid but what can we do about it’ to ‘legislators will make some big changes or we’ll be making big changes to the legislature. Lawyer guild lobbyists have been blocking TORT reform for ages and lawyers will have to decide for themselves which side they’re on. Correcting obvious wrongs, or vying for conflicting, confusing, and vast over complex language in our laws. That would mean a vast reduction in the need for and therefor the numbers of lawyers, but it would also make us much freer, and secure in our possessions. That would mean the smaller businesses could compete with those giant corporations. WalMart can afford a million dollar loss or two, but Grandpa’s small engine shop cannot, thus WalMart wins by losing and looks like the victim while Grandpa never made the local news but lost everything. Another winner made and a lot of losers chosen.

2. On the big issue, capital punishment, the net effect is another interference into due consequence and the price is paid by society. It takes an average of 20 years to carry out a death sentence in the states which still use it. Several years ago, the most comprehensive study on the effective deterrence against violent crime was published and the least they could determine the death penalty provides is the prevention of 8 people dying through violent crime and as many as 20 with an average of 14. Add in all the reduction of violent crime without death resulting and you have a significantly more safe and secure environment in which to dwell and do business. Now, I am not suggesting we do away with trials and defense lawyers, I’m saying we set a policy of sanity. Lawyers argued us into protection of the guilty, and lawyers argued ANY doubt no matter how insignificant is justification to delay or remove capital punishment. With the advent of DNA evidence, we have increased certainty in convictions astronomically.

On the smaller issues, the most common crimes are against illegitimate laws. For example, until prohibition, the sale and use of mind altering drugs were unregulated and their use was very uncommon. With the exception of alcohol which is now legal, they were reserved to the very sick and/or self destructive and the retailer commonly refused to sell them to customers based on their age and mental maturity. They didn’t have to be regulated and required to use their common sense. There were exceptions of course, but the alternative is a criminal on a street corner defending his turf and collecting his due by wielding a gun. The criminal enjoys enormous profit for his high risk business and uses those profits to fund everything from terrorism to popular approval of his socially destructive product. If we did away with the unnecessary laws, how much business does that eliminate from the lawyers’ trade? Now we’re down to the legitimate need for a lawyer to defend me against lawsuits, to initiate and carry out the adjudication of my lawsuits, and to advise me on avoiding lawsuits.

1. First, I don’t expect government to be my protector against pollutants in products or to force companies to sticker every product with a mass of warning labels. This is a function of market requirements and common sense. Businesses are not interested in harming their customers because any business will not be a business long if it’s products and services are harmful. Misuse is on the purchaser, not the manufacturer or seller.

Second, self policing is far more effective for the protections of the public. Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.” All the regulation you can dream up will not be sufficient if the man regulated is ignorantly or willfully set against it. Legally moral action by courts, suitors, and legislatures in a desire to effect reparations can only be reactionary. The problem with regulation is it is an attempt to be proactive against liberty. Since we consider it no right of liberty to induce harm to another, exhaustive regulation can only reduce righteous liberty.

I’m down to 3% battery but I have much more to say.

Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual. Thomas Jefferson

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