BETTER TO HAVE ADA ADVOCATE THAN LAWYER IN STATE COURTS.
The Webster-Merriam Dictionary defines the verb “corrupt” to mean: : to cause (someone or something) to become dishonest, immoral, etc.: to change (something) so that it is less pure or valuable: to change (a book, computer file, etc.) from the correct or original form.
Blacks Law dictionary defines the term “adversary system” to mean:
A procedural system, such as the Anglo-American system, involving active and unhindered parties competing with one another to each put forth a case before a case before an independent decision-maker.
Throughout most of America’s history we, as a people, have relied upon the adversary system, trial by jury, and the evolution of the common law, i.e. precedent, as the primary means by which justice can be achieved through our judicial system.
These three aspects of America’s legal adversary system worked well enough until mid-twentieth century to make it appear that obtaining justice with regard to fairly resolving the disputes of most people and businesses in the United States was possible.
But today the cat is out of the bag.
For all practical purposes trial by a jury of one’s peers almost never occurs in the United States any more. Thus, the most basic check on the powers of arbitrary judicial officials is now essentially gone. See syllabus below.
The assurance that United States judges will apply the law fairly and equally for all people in most cases has disappeared as judges have been relieved of their responsibility to follow and create precedent, which applies to all persons in the same or similar cases.
Finally, today the most basic aspect of America’s judicial system is gone. Generally only one party, the rich one, gets to present their side of the facts and law to a judge; generally a judge that I believe most of us would agree is not neutral or cannot be neutral because of the United States bizarre and byzantine corpse of a an “adversary” system.
Indeed, Washington’s Supreme Court outright admitted that people’s inability to obtain a lawyer to represent them in a system in which “Justice is absent for low-income Washingtonians who frequently experience serious civil legal problems.” Washington Supreme Court’s 2015 update to its 2003 Civil Legal Needs Study, at page 3. And while this observation seems dire, it really “sugar-coats” the nature of the problem of the lack of justice in the United States court system generally.
In over 70% of cases only one party has an attorney, who unfortunately routinely bullies the hapless “lawyerless” litigant on the other side to the point where they develop post traumatic stress, or a subspecies thereof known as legal abuse syndrome.
So what should you do if you find yourself forced into an American court? How can you protect yourself in such a perverse system?
One strategy I believe merits consideration is attempting to obtain an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act which allows you to have an advocate in state courts to insure that you are not exploited by a system which I believe is all too often just a rubber stamp for the wealthy. See scottstafne.com, “Scorched Earth Litigation Model” (September 15, 2015)
One of the biggest advantages I see to using an advocate (instead of a lawyer) is that if state judges and the state judicial system, through bullying and the like, overstep their bounds you can sue them as States and State judges have no constitutional immunity for violating those administrative accommodations afforded disabled litigants.
My reasoning in this regard is if you have been thrown into a state court where the rule of law is pretty much ignored, you don’t need a lawyer.
You need an advocate to document judicial abuse.
And this advocate can be one of your friends, or a professional, or a lawyer (acting as an advocate) who is there to make sure that notwithstanding your disabilities you get a fair shake in a court system which has evolved to do the bidding of the creditor class.
At Stafne Law Consulting and Advocacy (SLAC) we are attempting to design an alternative business model to help pro se litigants fight back against lawyers and legal cabals in ways which will put them at risk for abusive conduct. You can reach our website by clicking here. It is is sparse right now as we are still in the process of creating it. Our goal, however, is to create a web site that can help equip you to go into battle as prepared as possible against a justice system which is not working.
In the future we may be able to create our own dispute resolution system for people who are tired of playing the government’s game and want to do business and buy products from spiritually enlightened people and entities.
When pro se litigants need to know the basics, we have a lawyer available (most likely me) to help focus your legal research. You can make an appointment on our website or by calling 360-403-8700.
SLAC also has advocates available to help you understand the mechanics of frequently difficult and/or impossible to understand court rules.
We can also help you determine if you qualify for disability accommodation and, if so, help you obtain accommodation and access an advocate in various parts of the country.
And remember, an advocate, can be anyone – even a friend or relative – who can be with you and help you present your case in State court to the judicial or agency decision-maker.
Its time for us to protect one another because the courts won’t. For as Thomas Jefferson opined so aptly stated: “Our Judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. …” See Letter To the Editor of the New-York Times, dated June 23, 1861.
Trial by jury of one’s peers is almost non-existent in the United States today:
New York Times, Trial by Jury, a Hallowed American Right, Is Vanishing (August 7, 2016); National Center for State Courts, “The Landscape of Civil Litigation in State Courts”, Civil Justice Report (2015); Joseph F. Andersn Jr., “A Judge’s Lament Over the Demise of the Jury System of the Civil Jury System” (2010); Hon. William G. Young, “In Celebration of the American Jury Trial” (2014)1 , Hon. William G. Young, A Lament for What Was Once and Yet Can Be”, 32 Boston College International & Comparative Law Review 1 (2009)(you will need to download); Stephen B. Burbank & Stephen N. Subrin, “Litigation and Democracy: Restoring a Realistic Prospect of Trial”, 46 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 399 (2011); scottstafne.com, “Would the Middle Class have been Destroyed if Courts had Allowed Borrowers their Constitutional Right to a Jury Trial?”, (September 1, 2014); scottstafne.com “How the Republic of the United States has Been Corrupted – Part Two (Jury Trials)”, (May 22 2014)
Courts Utilize Unpublished Decisions to Escape Their Responsibility to Create and Follow Precedent and Thereby Make Law Unpredictable on the Basis of Facts, Rather than on the wealth of the Parties.
Richard S. Arnold, The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process, Vol. 1, Issue 2, Article 2, “Unpublished Opinions: A Comment” (1999); Fox, Lawrence J. “Those Unpublished Opinions: An Appropriate Expedience or an Abdication of Responsibility?,” Hofstra Law Review: Vol. 32: Iss. 4, Article 9 (2004); K.K. DuVivier, The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process,Vol. 3, Issue 1, Article 19, “Are Some Words Better Left Unpublished?: Precedent and the Role of Unpublished Decisions”; Sarah E. Ricks, Washington Law Review Association, “The Perils of Unpublished Non-Precedentail Federal Appellate Opinions: A Case Study of the Substantive Due Process State-Created Danger Doctrine in One Circuit” (2006); scottstafne.com “Unpublished Case Law On Jury Nullification Complicates Answer” (July 10, 2012); scottstafne.com “Ask Legislative Cak Candidates to Restore the Common Law” (August 14, 2012.)
There is little if any element of the “adversary system” left in American Courts in the 21st Century.
ABA Law Journal, “86 percent of low-income Americans’ civil legal issues get inadequate or no legal help, study says” (June 14, 2017); Legal Services Corporation, “The Justice Gap: Measuring the Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-income Americans” (June 2017); Lawyerist.com, “Measuring the Access-to-Justice Gap: Nearly 70% of All Civil Defendants Aren’t Represented” (2016) ; ABA Journal, “Can the access-to-justice gap be closed? These recommendations might make it possible” (2016); Washington State 2015 Civil Legal Needs Study Update; Center for American Progress, “The Justice Gap: Civil Legal Assistance Today and Tomorrow” (2011); “Legal services Corporation: Documenting the Justice Gap In America The Current Unmet Civil Legal Needs of Low-Income Americans” (2009); Gillian K. Hadfield, ”Higher Demand, Lower Supply? A Comparative Assessment of the Legal Resource Landscape for Ordinary Americans”, 37 Fordham Urb. L.J. 129 (2009) ; “Washington State 2003 Civil Legal Needs Study” (2003).
My Announcement Regarding my Certification as an ADA Advocate.
Stafne’s announcement of certification as an ADA advocate.