Monday, May 03, 2010

Lawyers' Network Quote of the Quarter

April 23, 2010 - The new United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald C. Machen Jr., spoke recently at the American Bar Association. Addressing a laughing crowd of defense attorneys, prosecutors and other law school grads Machen said,

“The more indictments, the more business you get.”

They should be laughing, as taxpayers it is we who foot the bills for court costs and $billions of legal fees. Is concentration of authority by elected lawyers, appointed judges and the networked legal profession a threat to the U.S. Treasury?

You be the judge...
The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is a private, non-profit corporation established in 1974 by the United States Congress to seek to ensure equal access to justice for all by providing civil legal assistance to those who otherwise would be unable to afford it (and job security for lawyers).

On April 2o this year, the presidents of 61 state and territorial bar associations and their counterparts at five national bar associations sent Congress a request for increased LSC funding. The request urged lawmakers to add at least $15 million in new funds, giving the LSC a budget of $435 million.
In the midst of the nation's financial crisis (March 2009), a Senate lawyer introduced the Civil Access to Justice Act, a bill reauthorizing the LSC and increasing its funding level to $750 million. The Senate lawyer was Tom Harkin - J.D, Columbus School of Law, 1972.
The LSC has resisted reforms because it was designed by LAWYERS to avoid external controls. In affect, it takes public funds (your tax dollars) and transforms them into private funds (LAWYER INCOME), $335,282,000. in FY 2005. The Heritage Foundation has alleged that "Unfortunately, taxpayer-funded legal groups, under LSC, engage in political, lobbyist, and cause-advocacy activities, often at the expense of providing real legal services needed by poor people."
In the United States, scholars have analyzed the Legal Services Corporation in terms of the choice between pursuing appellate cases, which might change rules, such as trying to get the housing rules changed through litigation, and pursuing cases that will solve immediate problems of poor clients, such as stopping an eviction. Criticism of the choice to pursue appellate cases colored the opposition to the Legal Services Corporation and lead to its losses in the Reagan administration. (Budget had been $400,000,000) What can this mean? Check out these outrages, here.