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View Diary: 70-year-old great-grandmother fired for helping free an innocent man (142 comments)

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  •  This is extremely common. (16+ / 0-)

    People who don't have a lawyer constantly ask the court staff for help.  It's understandable, but it creates a huge problem for the staff.  

    In most cases the court staff don't really know the answers anyway, because the people asking the questions don't understand the legal issues, and the issues are unclear which is why the case is being litigated.  If the court staff gives bad advice, they get in even more trouble than if they give good advice.  

    The real question to ask is why our system needs to be more complicated than other systems around the world, and who benefits from it being that way?

    In the civil context it's pretty clear that the person who can afford the most legal help benefits the most from a complex system.  

    Trying to figure out who benefits from an impenetrably complex mass-incarceration system requires a little more of a paradigm shift, but it seems pretty clear to me that the system is set up to benefit the people who make money from fear-mongering on both security issues and economics.  

    The Panopticon-Industrial Complex.

    •  And that is too common. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marykk, Ice Blue, RoCali, VClib

      I have known more than one court clerk who thought they were an expert on the law, but were not.  It is part of basic training that you never give legal advice, partly because if you're wrong, it could cost a person their liberty or even their life.  Even clerks with a JD* are forbidden to give legal advice.

      (Usually clerks who have finished law school, but not passed the bar yet).

      I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

      by trumpeter on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:09:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But in this case ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, anna shane, Kevskos

        Not giving the advice would certainly cost him his liberty.

        So what's the answer to this conundrum?  Do you sit silently and watch him be punished for not knowing the magic words, or do you tell him those magic words, even though doing so is theoretically wrong?

        "That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything ... There would be no place to hide." - Senator Frank Church

        by jrooth on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:22:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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