1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



Alex McLaughlin  Dec 8, 2010

Shakespeare is reported to have said kill all the lawyers. That seems so uncivil and uncalled for. However I do have some suggestions. Any lawyers or judges reading this must take a deep breath and try to enjoy because the tongue in cheek suggestions will never be implemented even though they would most likely lead to a better society.

Law is not an end. It is a means to facilitate civil behavior. We need a means to make sure my actions do not harm you or your property. If I harm your person or your property there will be consequences. Society has determined that people should not be allowed to kill other people. This is where criminal law comes in. Society has also determined that there must be a set of rules that determines dispute in contracts. This is contract law. I believe most of society agrees with and supports the application of contract law and criminal law.

I would contend that on the other hand that there is not such a great out poring of demand and support for torts and what I would call ‘rights” law associated with freedom of speech and religion (e.g. prayer in school). I believe that this is where law overreaches beyond the desires of the public and imposes decisions that the generally publicly would not agree with. I think that in these areas of the law the general public needs to have more input and say about the applications of these laws (e.g. punitive damages in civil cases or legal rights of terrorists). This will allow the laws in these areas to best serve the most people for the greatest good.

Common sense would say if there are a billion people on earth that identify with say the Ten Commandments and one person does not, that we don’t rush out the next day and prohibit the publishing of the 10 commandments. Now I understand if 500,000 are offended that they have some rights. My contention is that the rights laws and the ACLU is more about social engineering and political views than ‘rights”. I fully understand that the rights of less than majority groups within society should be protected. I just am asking that these kinds of issues be debated by the entire society and not restricted to lawyers. The difficulty is that judges and lawyers use secret, almost, clandestine language to exclude non lawyers from these debates.

My first suggestion to make improvements to everything would be to make sure that no more than 30% of judges are lawyers. The howling from lawyers would reach a crescendo. They would say that the moral and social fiber of society would be destroyed. First, all lawyers want to be judges and secondly using the English language to understand the law would scare the hell out of lawyers because their voodoo language might be exposed. The cynic would say how can a non lawyer understand the law. The elected or appointed non lawyer as judge would always have a lawyer to read the mumbo jumbo language and put it into English. We do not need to kill all the lawyers we just need to rope them in. They are not the protectors of the Holy Grail. The law is a servant of the people. The people are not servants of the law. The next step to bring sense to this entire lawyer issue would be to pay all lawyers associated with torts and rights law fixed salaries where there would be some minimal cost of living adjustment and modest retirement plans.

Liberals like to talk about socialized medicine and putting doctors on a fixed salary basis. Generally Americans reject this. What I think we need to do is socialize legal services so that all lawyers get paid a fixed salary. Therefore there is no need to seek huge punitive damages settlements or worry about somebody’s rights being violated because there is a nativity scene at a shopping center. Someone has the freedom to not shop or go shopping somewhere else or go fish.

The fact that lawyers run for office as national, state and local political leaders is a conflict of interest because lawyers can, do, and will always expand the reach of the law through new legislation. This expands the market and earning capacity of lawyers and expands the power and reach of judges. So the next rules we will implement will that no more than 20% of those serving in political office in any jurisdiction can be lawyers.

Finally civil law is supply drive and not demand driven. Lawyers will contend that the public demands the expansion of the law into all nicks and crannies of human existence. I would also say that I believe in the tooth fairy unconditionally. While this certainly explains some of the growth of legal services it is not the main driver. What I am saying is that the more lawyers there are, the more law suits and the more expansion of the civil aspects of the law that we have talked about. The solution is to significantly restrict the number of lawyers coming out of law school.

These are my suggestions for a better society. Involve the general society much more on any debate about laws beyond criminal and contract laws. Restrict the number of lawyers that are judges or elected officials, pay the non criminal and contract lawyer salaries, no contingency fees, and finally restrict the number of lawyer coming out of law schools. Whew, it makes me tired trying to make the world a better place. Someone will say that it would be two faced of me to make these suggestions about lawyers and then go out and find the best lawyer I can when I need one. You are entitled to your opinion.

In closing, someone may surely bring up the fact that criminal defendants that can pay for better legal representation are more likely to have a better chance of being acquitted. I hear you. But I can’t solve all of the world’s problems in one sitting.

Please enter your name to comment.
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...