August 14, 2009

The Legal system is our system to sort out rights and responsibilities. I as a primarily civil practitioner the whole system revolves around money. Criminal law surprisingly revolves around keeping people out of jail and the proper punishment of those found guilty of some misdeed or other and almost completely ignores our inherent need for justice for a victim.

Most people come to a lawyer with a problem or project and sometimes even a desired outcome. If that is case great, we can work on it. Sometimes people just want somebody to listen to them and get some feedback and that is OK as well. Occasionally a client will say that something just isn’t fair, right, or is plain wrong and it is hard to disagree with them because those are truly subjective measures developed by society to guide us in day-to day dealing with each other. However just because something is just plain wrong doesn’t necessarily mean the legal system is equipped to deal with the client’s issue. I frequently use the old adage “it is a legal system not a justice system.” By this, I mean the guy who cut down your trees or smashed your car isn’t going to personally fix them next weekend. Now this seems logical but when a major invasion of your daily life has screwed up your plans it is easy to see why justice should be reasonable.
Sorry, as reasonable is firmly defined by the legal system and your neighbors’ kid fixing your window isn’t it. Get over yourself and take the settlement to put you back where you belong, and if you were throwing rocks get ready to pay for a window maybe some curtains and the clean up. The world is very complicated and the law tends to put things in categories to sort them out, if you have a big problem and you think or know it will impact you and you care , get out the yellow pages and find a lawyer that offers a free half an hour consultation on the subject of your concern and make an appointment. If it is with me I will frequently say, yes you are right, and it is not fair ‘shut up and take your lumps life is tough” or “Yes you are right and just how much of that can you take to the bank”

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