A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers. The courts are so backed up that one lawyer has sued them. While we needed to clean up our medical bizness we also need to kick ass and quit chewing gum with the overpriced, time consuming ‘ill – legal’ system…

In Mike’s angry, white-knuckled fist was a crumpled $75 citation he had received from the City. It was for a ‘false police alarm’ at his telephone shop on Ninth Street in the heart of South Philadelphia’s celebrated Italian Market.

Only trouble was it hadn’t been a ‘false alarm.’ The cops finally came after the ‘second’ call because the response people at his security company screwed up. And only because of Mike’s security cameras were the police choked with evidence. With clear pictures in hand they finally rounded up the burglar who is now incarcerated in the Philly jail house awaiting trial.

The slim intruder had broken thru the security window and stolen $5,800 worth of cell phones. And for the past six months the only justice Mike has received is the incivility of the system including showing up for a court date the ADA simply neglected to tell Mike was postponed.

Since then three more court dates also have been deferred at the last moment. Every day is a new bite out of a shit sandwich – including his insurance premiums which will catapult thru the roof if Mike doesn’t swallow the loss out of his own pocket.

 To add more disgust to his witches’ brew he has to now spend another day or two in court to get his scurrilous and spurious charges for a false alarm removed. No one in the vast catacombs of bureaucracy will get off their cottage-cheese ass to simply assist to annihilate the pernicious paperwork. And furthermore, Mike has the hideous insult of having to overpay $22 to park at the court.

But let us pause to get our blood pressure revamped before getting into all this endless angst of the victim being endlessly victimized — by police who are too ‘busy’ to do police work and Assistant DA’s who demonstrate nothing is so unproductive as the law. That is, it is expensive whether you win or lose. And we’re not just talking about money.

The lunacy has gotten so exasperating that one — and the rare one at that — of Philadelphia’s and perhaps the country’s most venerable litigators finally couldn’t stand it . The indomitable former District Attorney has fired a shot heard throughout the country’s legal community of squealing sophistry.

In what legal experts are calling an extraordinary legal gambit, the Philadelphia lawyer is seeking that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court yank a case older than dog-years from the hands of the state Superior court judges for taking too damn long to rule.

Using language usually reserved for an opposing lawyer in a hotly contested trial, the ancient pugnacious mariner Richard Sprague has filed a motion claiming that this “inexcusable” delay by the three-judge Superior Court panel in a defamation case “reflects a deliberate indifference to their judicial duties.”

Oh, really. With a reputation for putting in work days shorter than the winter daylight in Siberia what took so long for the outrage to manifest beyond whining and complaining. Anyone who has had any dealings with the constipation of our courts well knows the primal scream of ‘shit or get off the pot!’

The Sprague libel case has lingered since 2005. It involves a defamation suit filed by some County commissioners against the manner a newspaper described their testimony before a state investigating grand jury.

The original suit has yet to reach trial and has been through several pretrial appeals to the Superior and Supreme Courts.

Now, more than a year since the Superior Court panel heard oral arguments in the appeal and almost three years after the Supreme Court ordered the Superior Court to take up the appeal, Sprague’s motion says, enough is enough:

“This court should remove the three [Superior Court] panel members from deciding this matter, assume plenary jurisdiction, and decide the merits of this appeal on the briefs submitted or with oral argument on the briefs submitted.”

Sprague wrote that by taking such an action, the Supreme Court, which oversees the state’s judiciary, “will send an unambiguous directive to all commonwealth appellate and trial court judges that delays of this magnitude are unacceptable, bring the entire judiciary into disrepute, and deprive litigants of due process and their constitutional right to have their cases decided without undue delay.”

Hmm…

Allow me a moment to get a few things off my hairless chest – beneath which thumps the heart of a man who discovers every day why… I… don’t… own… a… gun.

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice. If there is desire for respect for the law, we must first make the law and its courts respectable.

And I don’t care if our slaughterhouse lawyers overcharge $400 or $800 or even $1,000 an hour for doing what most anybody could do if he had the spare time. The power of the lawyer is merely in the uncertainty of the law. In other words, in law the only thing that is certain is the expense. So make the laws less vague.

Nonetheless, what I just want to see are these bloody venal, vapid legal vermin do more than pretend to expedite justice and cease acting like they are merely the consequences of an uncommitted abortion.

And meanwhile I’ll do more than pretend to allow them to inhale oxygen.

Hmm…

It took seven U.S. Presidents who tried and failed, before Obama finally dug a colonoscopy into the trench-mouth warfare against the unscrupulous medical business industry. Now it is time we had someone who kicks the ass of the overpriced, self-serving legal system in a country where our right to a speedy trial can – and often does — take years.

The grand illusion may be that all men are created equal, but the grand fact is that all should be treated equally under the law.

And before your chauvinist jingoism starts bellowing, let me toss your mouth on the couch: I don’t want to hear the old saw that it is better here than ‘over there.’

So what?

It’s supposed to be. This is America. We’re supposed to set the example. Be the beacon of law the world. But we’re not. We’re a country of legalese but not of justice. Our prisons-for-profit are chocked full of absurdities. Outlaw bankers run free of the joint while joint smokers are run into jail. Admittedly our descent into hell has been in tiny steps. But now, as the man in the moon said: We’ve taken a giant leap…

There is far too much law for those who can afford it and far too little for those who cannot. There are too many incompetent lawyers, and too many judges who don’t seem to know enough to simply put a stop to the incompetency in their courtrooms.

Too many sidebars. Too much contradictory and loop-holed laws and too little justice.

It’s obvious that ignorance of the law excuses no man from practicing it.

No one mandated that the law has to be complicated. It’s just gotten that way. No one stipulated it has to be vague. No one commanded it has to be so expensive and time consuming.

There is no competent reason for this. Despairingly the one great principle of American law seems to be to make business for itself. Well, like I said, I don’t care about that. But if it’s such a big business, than act like a bloody damn business. Make it work. Make it work so that we the consumer at least think it is working. Make it work efficiently. Make it work effectively.

Make it work for everybody.

And quit stealing our most precious commodity: Time!

What we have now is simply justice delayed. And justice delayed is justice denied.

The trouble with the law isn’t that 95% of attorneys give the other 5% a bad name. The trouble with the law is that there are too many damn laws…and procedures invoked not to provide justice, but ramp up time-consuming costs.

What I find most distressing about the Sprague motion is not only the abomination of such leisure with which the courts deign to offend us, it is that we find such supercilious abuse acceptable.

Experts commenting on the Sprague motion have merely shrugged and acquiesced. They nod their heads as if they are actually thinking about something other than a new Porche. They quietly agree that two years is definitely long time for an appeal to be pending. “But it’s not an extraordinary amount of time. It doesn’t strike me as outrageous.”

NOT OUTRAGEOUS! Is this someone with a pulse or just another self-serving obsequious dick in need of Viagra. This is what I mean. The sheep are baa-ing in the meadow while the wolves in sheep’s clothing are being allowed to set the table and determine who is coming to dinner.

Instead of lawyers of the self elevated institution of the American Bar Association kicking ass they sit around chewing gum. Oh, they may complain, but they still send us the bills.

The sad fact is so very few in the court system are speaking up. Even less are outraged! No one is roaring, especially for the men behind bars waiting for their day in court. Obviously the only people who notice time are those who are serving it.

Well, better late than never, it’s time for our ‘lawyers’ to snarl, growl and yell. It’s long past time to not only get ready to rumble but start earning their over-priced fees.

If the Pennsylvania Superior Court has too many appeals – reportedly as many as 8,000 cases a year – than speak up, put up or stand up to the task. You wanted the job, now do what you are getting well-paid to do. Either do your job in a certain amount of respectable time or your future becomes very uncertain.

Hmm… Truth may be the daughter of time, but for all of us, time is limited.

Meanwhile Mike at the telephone shop is thinking of just dropping his charges in his case. He’s had enough from his end. He is being treated like a culprit. He knows he’ll never get his money back. His time away from work is costing him even more money.

And Mike just feels like no one is working for him. The law’s not working for him. The insurance isn’t working for him. The security company didn’t work for him. And with a heart transplant time isn’t working for him.

“I’ve had enough of this bull. I call them, and they don’t call me back. The lawyers, the cops all get paid for their time. Who pays me for mine?”

In other words he is sick and tired of being sick and tired. To Mike a judge ain’t nothing but a law student who marks his own examination papers.

It’s time for the American Bar Association – the lawyers, the judges and all the rest — to kick ass and quick chewing gum.

And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…

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