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The Courts

Journal tomhudson's Journal: Sorry I've been busy - "first we kill all the lawyers" 21

Hi everyone. As you may recall, I've been having LOTS of problems with Seagate drives. 6 out of 8 so far are DOA, but at least one seems to be OK, so I'm back.

In other news, its time to do some pest control. I'm setting up 2 sites - one for discussing the best way to create software / services / whatever that can eliminate the need for as many lawyers as possible, and another one that will, at first, contain legal forms, discussions about how people can cut their legal bills, control their lawyers, or represent themselves.

There are too many lawyers, and a lot of what they do is just paperwork that anyone who has a high-school education and a bit of guidance can do. As someone who has represented themselves in court many times (and continue to do so - last time was on the 10th of January in a civil case - next time is April 1st and 2nd in the same case), I think its ridiculous that the "legal profession" is so afraid of people actually helping each other.

The internet should be used as a tool to disintermediate lawyers from people's access to justice. Too often, people settle bogus law suits by "paying to make them go away" because the cost of challenging is higher. As Robert Heinlein pointed out in "The Man Who Sold The Moon", this only encourages more cockroaches to nest.

Anyone with ideas is welcome to hop over there and contribute them. Read the FAQ, then log in and post how you think this should be started.

Lawyers might have been needed for mundane tasks like filling in paperwork a century ago, but most people can read, know how to research things on the net, and don't need to pay $300 an hour for something they can and should be doing themselves in half an hour.


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Sorry I've been busy - "first we kill all the lawyers"

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  • But make sure you have a good lawyer.
    Seriously: threats to another's revenue stream are perilous, irrespective of profession.
    You're going to end up needing to go to law school, if these sites expand beyond really simple, boring, bureaucratic stuff.
    • Lots of sites post legal terms, etc. What's really needed is to post analysis of how such stuff is relevant in individual cases, as well as giving people the opportunity to compare notes, etc. Eventually, it would be nice to have a site that you can do a "virtual interview" on, and it will give you your options. The idea of such a system scares the crap out of lawyers.

      • As I'm sure the printing press did the scribes.
        • Until they came up with the idea of buying all the presses.
          • Ah, but this series of tubes called the Internet...those tubes are really the necks on the hydra, see?
            Information demands anthropomorphization, followed by freedom.
            • ...those tubes are really the necks on the hydra, see?

              I'm sure that's how the modern day scribes see them. Chopping them off one by one as they have been attempting will get them nowhere. They'll have to go after the heart, and buy the wire itself and consolidate ownership of the infrastructure. Oh, wait...
              • Here the lure of money forces multiple interests to compete for ownership of the heart.
                Thus, freedom will be a by-product of greed. I hope.
                • Those multiple interests will merge into one, as is usually the case. Note the history of cable and telephone and cellular and plain old broadcasting. And besides, there's enough cross ownership amongst them now to insure that there is no competition. Communication is a highly protected market. Until desktop manufacturing becomes a reality, it will remain tightly controlled by powerful interests with a common agenda. It must be, or all the world's governments will fall like the USSR. A real domino theory at
                  • Those multiple interests will merge into one, as is usually the case.
                    Or try. We're supposed to have some gubmint oversight and anti-trust laws that should keep us in a reasonable state.
                    Hmm. 'Supposed' and 'should' in the same sentences is a ++ungood sign.
                  • " either receive a cease and desist order or a buyout offer. "Either his brains or his signature will be on the contract"

                    1. A cease and desist will just cause the "Streisand Effect" to come into play ... this is a "Good Thing" :-) All a C & D will do is make me set up a second site in another jurisdiction. Files that they allege infringe on American laws hosted in Canada, files that they allege infringe on Canadian laws hosted in the US.
                    2. The content will always be available for all to copy, mirror, etc.
  • Lawyers are like guns, that is, they're tools (hehe), not the hands that wield them nor the system that spawned them.

    You want to eliminate lawyers? Work on changing the laws to make small claims and other minor legal matters more open, transparent and available to the masses. Sure, they shouldn't be spending $300 just for some paperwork filing, but they should probably learn a whole bunch of things that they happily pay for already.

    Getting rid of the lawyers won't work, you're starting from the wron
  • You know, there are good lawyers that work for peanuts doing public service. I know, because I am one of them. ;-)
    • I know :-)

      However, its like the old adage - "not all lawyers are bad - its the 95% who ruin it for the rest."

      Lawyers that really care about people's best interests should welcome the idea that people can be better informed and collaborate, rather than feel threatened. The more people know about their rights, and the balance involved between their rights and other people's rights, the less likely we are to see stupid scenarios where one side extracts (do I dare say "extorts") a settlement from the other

      • I agree with you. I think that people do need more information. Before I went to law school, I went through a divorce. I was not the bread winner of the family and my ex cleaned out the bank accounts. I did not have the money to hire an attorney. Needless to say, I later decided to go to law school.

        I also agree that there are many lawyers out there that are unethical and hacks. I've dealt with them.

        • The problem with the hacks is that the bar association is S-L-O-W to act, and pretty toothless to the immediate "victim".

          Sure, they'll do something if *enough* people complain, but most people just write it off because they're fed up with the whole thing. What are they going to do - spend more $$$ trying to recover $$$? Even if they win, the best-case scenario is break-even.

          Before I went to law school, I went through a divorce. I was not the bread winner of the family and my ex cleaned out the bank acco

          • I can't deny your reasoning. I see it all of the time. I don't mean just lawyers. When an agency or a group regulates itself, it should always be suspect. Bar Associations in the various states regulate themselves. It is a good ol' boy network that doesn't always do justice.

            It's not just lawyers. I see this with the Dept. of Used Motor Vehicles or New Vehicles in my state. They are regulated by their own. We have some of the worst used car salesmen in the country. Need I say more? But then the

            • The subprime crisis is something everyone is going to pay for over the next decade. When I was saying houses would go down at least 20%, everyone was saying it was impossible - "housing never goes down." When I said we could see even larger declines, maybe even 50%, again it was "no way!"

              Of course, now we're seeing that some houses are already down by 30% or more from the peak, and not getting offers, and the Main Stream Media are now talking about a slump that could very well be worse than the Great Dep

              • I think that a bit of "economic hardship" is important. I did not grow up privileged. I grew up very poor. And, let me say, that "very" poor is an understatement. I could write a book about it. I struggled to find economic success and myself. I worked my way through college (after dropping out of highschool) and still struggled. There were times when I wondered why? Why did I work those two jobs and take 12 hours of classes while raising my sons? I had no time to myself. None.

                I did it for my two

                • think that a bit of "economic hardship" is important. I did not grow up privileged. I grew up very poor. And, let me say, that "very" poor is an understatement.

                  I grew up in the 6-block area that is known as the absolute poorest part of the province - a pocket of poverty that outranks communities that are known for being "on the wrong side of the tracks." Funny thing - we knew we were poor, but we were still for the most part happy. Kids are pretty resilient, provided they know someone loves them. Its su

                  • by eno2001 ( 527078 )
                    I can't say I came from poverty, but my mom is from south America and basically went from: primitive life in the Andes (circa 1940s), to hair stylist in the city (Lima 1960s), to house keeper in America (60s/70s), then various jobs in nursing homes and finally as an nurse's assistant until she retired. My dad came from a small Ohio town: Poor family with five kids and a dad who skipped town when the youngest was born in the 60s. With that background, I had an amazingly privileged upbringing in a fairly mi
                    • Its interesting how life changes as time goes on. My daughters are both well on their way in their own lives, with their jobs, boyfriends, etc., and I'm thinking its time to consider looking at all the options when it comes to a career move - including moving anywhere in North America. I figure tidy up the loose ends over the next few months, start looking around, and see what comes up.

                      I'm getting r-e-a-l-l-y tired of the weather, the stupidity, and all the other annoyances. Time to get tired of the weat

Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.