How can I be accountable to a law that I cant interpret without a lawyer?
A. Happens all the time. If it didn’t, I’d be unemployed.
B. Consider the alternative. We have all levels of literacy and intelligence here. If we could only have laws that everybody could understand, we’d have very few laws.
C. There are limits on how unintelligible a law can be. They are embodied in the “fair warning” doctrine.
With due respect, your personal employment status probably doesnt matter to the 400 million people who ARENT lawyers, yet are still accountable to the law
Fewer laws that are more concise and interprable…sounds like a plan!
Thats a step in the right direction.
For the sake of discussion…imagine lawyers (IE commercial lawyers with their $200 per hour fees etc) did not exist. Instead we would have more government agencies aimed at providing better materials to the public with respect to the law, and state employees who aid persons facing or instigating legal action. For suits directed against the government, the UN would become involved, dispatching said services from that source to the citizen…
Yeah, G, why do you hate America?!
… and then the black helicopters emerge from our National Parks, follow the directions hidden on the back of highways signs, take over our government, and since we have unilaterally disarmed of all lawyers, America will be powerless to stop the UN and its bureaucro-machinery!
No thanks! I’d rather put my faith in the Lionel Hutzes of the world than a One World Government.
What is it with you Liberals that think the cure for everything is more goverment? Isn’t there enough America already for you to hate?
Lawyers serve an important role in the legal process. Not just interpreting the letter of the law (which IMHO, any literate person or reasonible intelligence should be able to do with some research), but how the law is actually enforced in the courts. They are experts in the legal process and in formulating and delivering a compelling legal argument.
The problem is that people seem to think they “know” if a person is guilty or not, based on gut instict, hearsay or whatnot.
Besides, a person who’s job is “providing better materials to the public with respect to the law, [and aids] persons facing or instigating legal action” sounds an awful lot like a lawyer, doesn’t it? I think the only thing you are suggesting is to do away with all the law firms and create a giant public defenders office instead.
Don’t get me started . . .
Great we’ll let you draft them, and then bear all the criticism from every faction that wants a carveout, exception, safe harbor, or grandfather provision.
You can tell all of them, “Hey, I’m just going to write a simple rule. If you don’t like it, too bad.”
My prediction. Large corporations hire consultants at similar rates. Government cuts funding for agencies, or privatizes them and starts charging similar rates. I get stopped for drunk driving, and spend ten years in jail.
BTW, how would these agencies be administered without complex regulations?
Talk about hard to interpret. I have no idea what this means. Why would the UN get involved in private matters like this. Who would pay for these services? What if the government simply disregarded the UN’s directives? What if the suit sought money damages?
Note that in certain circumstances- “Ignorance of the Law” *is *an excuse. YMMV, IANAL.
G, Im proposing an extreme in the hope of learning about the value of Lawyers, and so far I think you have proposed some great reasons.
My experience has been that the Lawyers around here charge upwards of $200 - $300 per hour, regardless of thier ability to deliver results or even add value to the case. In every one of the 4-5 cases Ive been involved with, the Lawyers just parrotted what the defendant or plaintiff said, and was often coached by the client on angles or how to proceed. Seems like the actually clever lawyers are working for the Michael Jacksons of the world, and those on a budget of less than $1 million get the drones. Can anyone else out there identify with me?
Excellent argument. I’m convinced.
Well yeah. Many of the best lawyers go for fame and fortune. They get the cool cases, photo ops, and the big dollar cases. Given the choice between handling simple divorces or traffic tickets for people who can’t afford to pay or handling a high profile antitrust case for a well-heeled client, which would you select?
Of course, there are exceptions. I’ve met excellent lawyers in just about every type of practice.
BTW, how would we establish this regime? Probably with a very complicated statute. Wait . . . :rolleyes:
I hope Im not going to get a bill for this thread…
Laws seem weird and complicated. They do. As a non-lawyer, the wording makes my eyes glaze over sometimes. But, there is a reason for this weird language. It is an attempt to use language to describe situations that are sometimes very complicated, while not leaving lots of looholes, or penalizing someone unjustly. When you make a law, it has to apply somewhat evenly to everyone. It also has to (when necessary) include the right exemptions. Simply worded laws would not be “bulletproof” enough. Also, laws are written by people who are not perfect, and are read by people who are not perfect. So, there is “wiggle room” for interpretation sometimes.
As far as hiring lawyers, it’s a matter of paying for knowledge, getting a professional who knows what to do. Would you want the kid down the street re-wiring your house? No, you’d hire an electrician.
The law is complicated because we made it that way.
Start out with a nice simple law: Don’t kill other people. A week doesn’t go by before somebody’s saying “What happens if somebody’s trying to kill me? Can’t I defend myself?” A good point, so we change the law to Don’t kill other people except in self-defense. Then somebody says “Suppose somebody’s trying to rape me or beat me up instead of kill me? Can I still defend myself?” So we amend it to Don’t kill other people except in self-defense against serious bodily harm or sexual assault or death. Then somebody will say, “Do I have to just sit there and watch some guy burn down my house or steal my car?” So it becomes Don’t kill other people except in self-defense against serious bodily harm or sexual assault or death or serious property damage. Then somebody says, “What do I do if somebody is attacking some guy on the street? Can I defend him even if I’m not being threatened?” So we get Don’t kill other people except in defense of yourself or some other person against serious bodily harm or sexual assault or death or serious property damage. Then somebody says, “So it’s open season on any punks I see committing a crime? Oh boy, I’m hunting humans.” To prevent that we change it to Don’t kill other people except in defense of yourself or some other person against serious bodily harm or sexual assault or death or serious property damage but only in circumstances where no non-lethal means are available to prevent the crime. Then somebody will say, “Well, how do I know if somebody’s committing a crime? I might walk into the middle of something, think it was a crime and do something, and then find out I was wrong.” So now we have Don’t kill other people except in situations where an average person presented with the same set of observable facts would believe that it was necessary to kill that person in order to defend themselves or some other person against serious bodily harm or sexual assault or death or serious property damage but only in circumstances where no non-lethal means are available to prevent the crime. I could go on to talk about preventing crimes, attempted crimes, capturing a criminal after the crime is committed, accidental crimes, etc but you start to see why there’s no such thing as a simple law.
Nah, I do as much *pro bono * work as the next guy. How much free work do you do?
And the upside is, that when the Big Chill hits, we need lots of useless people to butcher, salt, and store away. Since civilization will be in shambles, who better to dispose of than lawyers?
Hmmmmm… Lawyer Jerky. Good eatin’.
We all do our part. This thread has been quite educational and provided interesting discussion. Im still not convinced that lawyers are worth the $200 per hour, but I suppose they’ll just keep getting as much as they can just like the rest of us greedy, short-sighted people…and society (“lawyer jerky…”) will continue to deride them for it.
Thus far this thread has seemed focused on criminal law. People want to chime in on opinions on other laws and legal codes? I don’t think lawyers litigating the fine points of contracts are merely parroting what their clients are saying.