ACTIVISTS LOBBYING CONGRESS
FOR INVESTIGATION OF U.S. LEGAL
The Citizens Justice Institute,
a legal reform outreach initiated
by Boston lawyer and human
rights activist David Grossack,
has begun lobbying the House Judiciary
Committee for the purpose of holding
hearings on the existence of widespread
dysfunction of the state and federal
THE SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM
The problems faced by litigants
include the excessive cost of legal
counsel. When the average
cost of a lawyer approaches $200.00
an hour and the average worker earns
about $19.00 an hour, it is not
very hard to see why most people
cannot afford a lawyer.
Naturally, if the courts were user
friendly, if the laws were simple
and the process scrupulously fair,
the lack of a lawyer would not be
so critical. Unfortunately,
the laws are needlessly complex,
the courts are not user friendly,
and the System is badly broken.
Corruption, cronyism and dirty pool
are also fairly widespread.
Judges have been arrested in Brooklyn,
New York for widespread fixing of
divorce cases for lawyers who were
‘ in the loop."
Allegations of judicial misconduct
and reprisals have also surfaced
in Massachusetts divorce courts.
Similar complaints are heard from
coast to coast.
Public confidence has been long
shattered in the legal profession
and the courts.
Heavy handed abuse of litigants
is common. Cases brought by
pro-se litigants are often
dismissed even when they are meritorious.
One federal judge in New Jersey
dismissed a case brought by a pro-se
litigant who had been wrongfully
imprisoned for nearly two years.
He appealed to the Court of Appeals,
which said the lower court had "abused
its discretion", which is quite
strong language. The judge
permitted the case reinstated, then
dismissed it again on rather spurious
grounds. The case is back
in the Court of Appeals.
Lawyers who blow the whistle are
rare. Reprisals are taken
out on lawyers who fight the System
or who criticize the judiciary or
the bar. In Indiana, there
are rules which call for the discipline
of lawyers who criticize the judiciary.
WHY A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION ?
Congress can do things to make the
Courts a more level playing field.
By bringing attention to the problem,
and by their control of the purse
strings over both the state
and the federal courts, they can
force changes, like making the courts
user friendly by forcing laws to
be rewritten in to plain English.
Amazingly, Congress supported SEC
legislation to make prospectuses
for investors written in "plain
English" but never the laws
of the land. Try reading the
Internal Revenue Code or SEC regulations
or some federal court decisions.
Congress can enact relief mechanisms
for people who have been victims
of legal abuse. By making
lawyers subject to the federal civil
rights act as officers of the court,
by eliminating judicial immunity,
and by requiring federal judges
to be elected rather than appointed,
Congress can improve the quality
of justice. Moreover, the
doctrines of qualified immunity,
abstention and collateral estoppel
have made many wrongdoers at the
state and local level immune from
their actions and have shielded
corrupt or unfair state court proceedings
from a monitoring system over state
courts would also be helpful.
Lack of accountability breeds corruption,
inefficiency and incompetence.
Cases are dragged out, files are
lost, needed documents are never
issued. Tapes of cases disappear.
Lawyers now have saying " Judges
can hurt you but clerks can kill
The effects of this on litigants
has been noted and documented.
The book "Legal Abuse Syndrome"
chronicles the post traumatic stress
disorders experienced by many parties
to a lawsuit.
YOU CAN HELP!
All you need to do is to contact
members of House Judiciary Committee
and ask them to hold hearings on
legal abuse as suggested by the
Citizens Justice Institute.
Contact Committee Chairman Sensenbrenner
through his contact website at
Tell him that you support a Congressional
investigation of legal abuse in
the United States. And please
write to Citizens Justice Institute
and let us know about your support.
Our address is Post Office Box 90,
Hull, Massachusetts 02045
and Business Consultant
to List of Judicial Abuse Stories