First we must understand progressives are generally common sense deficient. This disability allows them to make destructive decisions, not worry about it and tell lies to “getter done” . Second, this destruction of the California’s Judicial System is not about the existence of courts , judges and attorneys. They still exist. We are talking about the substance and social value of the system.
Let’s take a look at the typical California Court System as it existed up to the 60s. The destructive work of progressives started then. At that time the trial courts were of three types. Justice courts, for very small places. Municipal courts and Superior Courts, co-existed in bigger places. Each court was allotted certain business based on the amount of the controversy, or the nature of the crime. The wages paid in the Justice courts and the Municipal courts were much less than those paid for the Superior Court. Each Trial court generally had one bailiff and one clerk. Court Reporters were on call. The bailiffs were generally older or disabled Marshalls or Sheriffs. The overhead was low. In those times Judges were appointed, as they are now, by Governors and the latter tended to pick buddies and people with the same philosophy. Back in those days there were Republican and Democrat Governors, but they did not live on different sides of the moon. Appointments were more or less even on both sides, and most of those appointed believed in the Constitution. They worshipped the Rule of law. It was sacred.
In the 60s the body of lawyers, called the Bar, consisted of men and women who went to a few very good law schools across the nation. There were no fly-by-night law schools. The Bar, unlike the Medical profession, did not have a system of internship. What it did have was a system of Pro-bono work that new Lawyers were encouraged to perform. This acted as a hands on training system. This meant a new attorney would spend time defending folks, and advising folks for free. This acted as an internship. A typical graduate of USC law school could spend time on the Federal and State indigent panels representing folks and donate time at Legal Aids giving free legal advice. It was great experience . Law students then received a good schooling on the rule of law, the duties they owed to Judges and the Courts, and what the Constitution and Republic was all about.
The first progressive torpedo was to destroy pro bono work, first in the Criminal field, by creating a Public Defender. None had existed for 100s of years. This was the end to the ad-hoc internship. The progressive’s whine was that the poor were not being treated fairly. Heard that before? The Public Defender office simply became bureaucrats, more interested in their vacations and retirement than the Bar. The poor suffered. Worst of all the progressives put no limits on who the Public Defender could defend. Anyone, rich or not, could and can get their advise at your expense. This means, of course, that the Bureaucrats, doing what they do best, increased their power, More clients, has meant they can demand more taxpayer’s dollars., and have a bigger empire. The progressives also created Legal aid organizations paid for by you which took over the pro bono civil work performed by the young lawyers.
The second bomb was to demand more law schools so the poor would be better represented. What was then created were law schools hell bend on getting good ratings based on how many of their students passed the bar exam. To hell with ethics, the Constitution and the rule of law. These test schools sprouted like wild grass after a spring rain.
As a result we had too many lawyers and not enough business. Pro bono was destroyed and the average lawyer sometimes made minimum wage. This made them hungry. Taxpayers also had pushed on them such things as the Federal Program of Legal aid for the poor. Like Acorn it became a hotbed of liberals destroying such things as land lord and tenant relationships. They even passed out hand books on how to screw a landlady. The cure, the progressives said, (who now dominated the Trial Lawyers clubs), was to allow advertizing. Up to this time the rule was, (had been for 100s of years), that a lawyer could not advertize, not even in the yellow pages. Why not? Advertizing creates fraud and bad ethics in what is supposed to be a profession guided by ethics. So progressives opened the doors and you have what you have today……Big Business in TV adds etc trying to find litigants. Never existed before the early 60s. A part of this was to allow class actions, to spread greed and bad conduct. Back then when a lawyer died, the firm could not use his or her name. It was a misrepresentation and was not allowed. Progressives have allowed the dead lawyers name to stay on the door. Being star crazy, they love false facades.
What happened was that all the self control of lawyers and judges was whipped away. Demanding ethics disappeared, only to exist in a few honorable members, who kept and keep their mouths shut. Professionalism died.
Now we have lottery litigation as well as lawsuits, designed to obtain millions of dollars from companies, to put in trust waiting for lawyers to find clients to share some of the ill gotten gain. It is Ill gotten, because it really is extortion. Tobacco and Asbestos come to mine as good examples.
If you want to find proof take a look at the Court rooms themselves. Shadows of their former glory. Progressives got rid of Justice Courts, mostly, and all of the Municipal courts, so now we just have one Superior Court staffed by much higher paid people, using much more of tax payers money to keep it going. With the break down of the rule of law and Ethics, the courts became dangerous places. In all significant California Superior courts, you now have to go through a Metal Detector manned by high paid peace officers. Worse you are suspect even in the court room where several law enforcement types will even stand close to any attorney who dares to challenge the Judge or system. Their conduct is threatening and closes many mouths. Progressives can not stand criticism. No longer can the attorney, no matter how well respected, just walk in the back rooms and chit chat with staff and the Judge. Now those areas are like bunkers and protected by the highest security. No longer do the clerks take court documents over the counter. Now, after the metal detector, and maybe a pat down to make certain you have no weapon, the clerks all hide behind bullet proof glass, afraid to be friendly.
The worst part is that with all the Recent leftist Governors the appointment of evenly balanced thinking judges has not happened in years. Now each appointee is a left political activists. There are a few exceptions but they keep quite and hide their true feelings.
Yes Progressives have really brought progress. They, as they always do, throw down 100s of years of trial and error, and adopt only error. They have destroyed our judicial system in California and other States. That is just one part of our Republic. They want to destroy it all.
Rooster Bradford, gives up all rights to this article and seeks no compensation for its use.
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Rooster Bradford is a former lawyer Constitutional expert , politician and radio show host of “The Rooster Crows” He is
the author of several books and articles. You can obtain his most recent book, “It is S.A.D.” from Amazon-Kindle.
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