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Lawyers, Courts, and Professionalism -- The Agenda for Reform

NCJ Number
R J Gerber
Date Published
149 pages
Our legal system all too often fails to live up to expected standards and is prey to litigation tactics whose ends are often financial victory rather than truth or justice.
Too many courts are inefficient and overwhelmed with cases that benefit only lawyers, and justice is rendered inaccessible to the poor and middle classes. Written by a judge on the Court of Appeals in Arizona, this treatice offers an agenda for reform with practical and visionary measures. He offers factual testimony to the general decline of the social conscience, which is reflected in the quality of justice rendered by the courts in a troubled legal system. Legal education, bar exams, and employment selection process all have questionable integrity, encourage combat over negotiation, and fail to measure ethics or competency. The judge suggests specialty licensing to ensure competence and to check ethics, periodic examinations, and peer review. He offers specific guidelines for streamlining court procedures, and concludes that lawyers and judges need to return to "natural law" ideals and regard financial motivations as secondary. 21 references.