by James Jaeger

Almost everyone feels the same about lawyers. They generally hate them, just as they generaly hate congressmen these days. WE THE PEOPLE not only hate lawyers and congressmen, we are sometimes forced to use them and live under their unconsitutional "laws."

Lawyers as a group seem to be in collusion. Over the decades, I have seen very little evidence that their hourly rates are functions of the free market. I got a quote from a lawyer the other day at $300 per hour. I had just received two other quotes for the exact same sum. So I told the lawyer, "no thanks, I will only pay $150 and THAT sum is outrageous." I hung up and decided to write this article.

What I think has to happen is WE THE PEOPLE have to start saying NO to lawyers' outrageous fees. Are you going to tell me that an average community lawyer deserves $300, or even $150, per hour? At $150 per hour that's $1,200 per day or $432,000 per year. At $300 per hour, it's $864,000 per year. That's preposterous.

But lawyers "justify" these fees with the argument that they deserve them because they had to attend many years of college and graduate school. But is that argument valid? Did lawyers really have to spend any more hours learning their trade than many, or most other trades? I used to date a woman who was going for her legal degree. I thus know exactly how many hours of study and classes she put in. In short, she put in no more hours of study and classes than I did studying criminology for a sociology degree.

A carpenter can easily spend as many or more years learning his craft as a lawyer spends to learn his craft. And since lawyers actions seem to be supported by the American Bar Association more often than citizens' complaints, there seems to be little or no need for a lawyer to actually know what he's doing. Thus, lawyers fees are totally out of line with the time they spent in academia and the services they deliver, judging by the fact that so many people in the public disdain them.

Thus, maybe people need to start suing lawyers more often for malpractice, extortion and/or fiancial rape.(1)

I have several times written up lawyers to the disciplinary board of the American Bar Association, but as stated above, little happens. The club protects its own, and you will rarely find a lawyer willing to second guess another lawyer. One of the very first things a lawyer will ask you when you bring a case to him is, did you have a previous lawyer? If you say yes, he will want to know who it was so he can go check with that lawyer in order to maintain the continuity of the viewpoint on you and the case. In other words, it's more important for one lawyer to AVOID invalidating a colleague's "work" than it is to actually help you with your case. This is almost universally true when the lawyers are in the same town or county.

So, "discipline" within the Bar System (what amounts to their unionized monopoly on judicial force) does NOT seem to have much of an effect due to the "fox guarding the chicken coop syndrome."

But what DOES seem to work well is to go public with lawyers' performances and fees.

Create write-ups of what they did or did not do ("ethics chits"). These ethic chits can be published as web pages, comments on social networks (like Facebook) and/or on sites such as Angies List.

In actuality, what we need is an Angie's List totally dedicated to LAWYERS and JUDGES.

Everyone bitches and moans about Congress and the economy, but they ignore their local politics and government officials. Local politics starts with the DISTRICT COURT and POLICE STATION nearest your residence. WHO is YOUR DJ, the District Judge? Who is YOUR Chief of Police? Who is YOUR Township Supervisor? Who are the Lawyers that practice in YOUR area? These are the questions YOU should always be asking yourself. You should make an ongoing list and post it on your refrigerator.

Every citizen should know EXACTLY who these people are and all of their actions and fees should REGULARLY be fed to ANGIES LISTS, SOCIAL NETWORKS and into WEBPAGES. Especially YOUR interactions with them. And use a pseudonym if you are too scared to use your real name.

I already practice most of what I preach here.

I have several ethics chits posted on the Net about what lawyers did to my family in the past. One of the chits is over improper administration of a trust and the other is over improper government takings of my brother's private property. See http://www.JaegerResearchInstitute.org/articles/takings.htm In the first case, one of the lawyers that I mentioned in the ethics chit contacted me and asked me if I would remove his name from the webpage. This was a lawyer with a large "prestigious" firm in center city, Philadelphia. I did not respond to his email and I immediately placed his name and email into the "blocked senders list" of my OUTLOOK EXPRESS email client. You want to ignore these lawyers and cut off their communication. The fact is, if your ethics chit has been done brutally accurately, and does not MISREPRESENT the actions of the lawyer, you have the right to state your opinion on the quality of their service, the fees they charge the public and your dissatisfaction with their performance at that fee price-point -- and then refuse to communicate with the "enemy" further.

But given this, you do NOT want to subject yourself to any further threatening emails from the lawyer being disciplined. Their threats can be intimidating, and lawyers always count on getting their way through overt or subtle intimidation and packs of "official looking" word-processed paper with endless centered text in CAPITAL letters. All government crap. But, if you do not even RECEIVE their "government-crap" emails -- or accept ANY certified mail -- their "bullets of intimidation" reach no target. With your silence, the harassing lawyer is thus left with a decision: attempt to sue you for going public with your opinion of their services, or just forget the entire matter and hope that no attention is drawn to your website, Facebook alert or Angies List post. The lawyer knows that, if he or his "prestigious" firm sues you, it will probably be looked upon as a "David and Goliath fight" and usually the public sides with David. Thus, the lawyer and his firm may very well do more damage to their reputation than you have done by accurately informing the public about what they have done to you. AND, the lawyer, or his firm, may actually learn a lesson and change their behavior for the better.

But again, I emphasize, when you post write ups -- "ethics chits" -- on lawyers' malpractices and fees that are NOT justified by the quality of their performance -- you must make sure you are stating the honest facts AND you must write your ethics chit in such a way that the public and a jury will understand it and sympathize with your side or the argument.

Such a reasoned and persuasive ethics chit is the LAST thing a lawyer wants floating round the Internet, because it's, in essence, a permanent blotch on his professional record. And no firm wants to hire a lawyer that will bring to the partnership baggage and controversy in full public view.

Thus citizens -- WE THE PEOPLE . . . WE THE 99 PERCENT -- must become brutally active on chitting lawyers and all government officials, starting with the very government officials (lawyers) that most often interact with us. The same should go for corporations that rape and pilliage as lawyers do, for it is the bully lawyers in these corporations that 9 times out of 10 egg them onto harrassment of the public. Hey, nothing like attempting to "justify" your $864,000 salary to the company.

So forget CONGRESS: deal with your local LAWYERS and JUDGES first.(2) After all, WHERE do you think the idiots and morons that infest Congress COME from? They come from YOUR neighborhood, because YOU have failed to properly discipline them when they were screwing YOU and just starting out in their bully careers, practicing to become full-blown tyrants with YOUR local legal cases and YOUR money.

So wise up, stupid.

(1) As negative as this article about lawyers is, I do not wish to disparage ALL lawyers out there. I know a number of lawyers that are true saints and gifts to society. Several of these lawyers have become authors, writing books that use their mental skills to help as wide a cross section of the public as possible. Other lawyers, like lawyers that work for major corporations, DO deserve to be paid $300 per hour as they are often in very touchy, multi-million, or multi-billion dollar negotiations that will effect many, many people. In short, a multi-billion dollar corporation is in a position to justifiably pay $300 per hour, whereas for a normal citizen, it's nothing short of extortion and rape.

(2) Actually, don't totally forget Congress, keep voting them out per http://www.JaegerResearchInstitute.org/articles/overthrow.htm but keep in mind where these rogues come from.

01 January 2012

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