Friday, March 12, 2010

Daily Light - Friday 3/12/2010

Stossel's program last evening was a good argument against licensing of certain occupations, and as he concentrated on the ineffectiveness of followup and the reduction of competition, licensing is also a money maker for the government, state or local.  One of the examples was the legal profession and the story of a man, who helped a person, who could not afford an attorney, write a letter response to a legal issue, was jailed for 6 months until he signed a letter stating he would no longer help people with legal issues. There was mention, by the guest supporting the licensing, of the complexity of the law and the chance that an untrained layman might cause harm.  What was not mentioned is that lawyers write most of the laws and make sure that it is almost impossible for both the trained and untrained person to understand, and are vague enough to create room for challenge and increased billings.

At one point in my life, going through a divorce and between jobs, I decided to defend myself against a bank suit that I believed to be groundless.  As a CPA, I had audited small and large banks and knew they make mistakes,  so I took the divorce response I received from  my wife's lawyer, changed the wording to answer the banks complaint, filed it and dove right in.  My meeting at the bank's headquarters with their 3 lawyers ended with me presenting documents proving 80%  of my claim, but no submission by the bank.

We went to court and I found that I had been sandbagged. Without telling me, the bank had accepted everything I had presented and all that was left was an $800 claim by the bank, They had a computer run saying the deposit, which my estranged wife had made, was not valid.  I had the bank stamped deposit ticket.

To this day I don't know what was in that deposit and the bank may have been right.  I most likely would have settled if they had informed me of the acceptance of my previous submission.

The judge was in a foul mood that day because he had been sent down to cover for a lower court judge and thought we (I) were wasting his time.  He didn't bother listening or looking at the evidence, he assumed the bank (lawyers) was right and was obviously annoyed that I was not represented by an attorney,  I felt lucky to get out of there with the $800 judgment against me since the judge threatened me with 6 months jail time. I have no doubt this threat would not have been made if I had been represented by an attorney.

I tell you this story to show you that, even though you are entitled to defend yourself, the cards are stacked against you if you do not hire the judges buddy, a licensed attorney.  The gentleman on Stossel's program was jailed for helping a poor person answer a legal document, I was threatened with the same jail time because I did not hire an expensive lawyer.

We are represented in Congress and our State Houses by too many lawyers who are there to perpetuate lucrative jobs for themselves and their colleagues ,  What we need is more balance with businessmen, bankers, laborers, craftsmen, teachers, farmers, and housewives and house husbands, so that the laws are made in common language and are representative of all of society.

No comments:

Post a Comment