Ideas to Save America – 8 Legal Systems

Richard Salbato,   5-3-2010


  When we think about the massive debt in America and what we need to get it paid off, the first thing anyone does to balance a bank account is cut costs.  What then are some of the massive costs of the Federal, State and local governments?  What then are some of the massive costs of businesses and individuals?

One of our completely unnecessary costs is the cost of justice – the legal system. The two largest special interest lobbyists in Federal and State governments are Lawyers and Unions.  The two largest special interest contributions to Federal and State politicians are Lawyers and Unions.  Why would lawyers spend so much money buying politicians year after year?

The reason is that lawyers have a license to steal and they know it can be taken away so very easily.  They can get a law degree without ever going to college and then make a minimum of $100 to $300 per hour for every second they can log in a book, even answering a phone.

A lawyer makes money if he does well or if he does badly.  He will be paid the same if he wins a case or looses a case.  In fact, he is paid in advance just for taking a case. In most cases lawyers make millions for not even going to court because most cases are settled out of court. 

To run a business today of any size you almost have to hire a full time lawyer and many of my friends do just that and pay by the year even when nothing happens.  When figuring business costs (as compared to other countries) a huge part of your budget has to be insurance and legal fees against law suits.

Why do lawyers spend so much money in lobbying and campaign financing?  It is not for what politicians can do for them but what politicians can easily do to destroy them. 

Government and Personal Costs

Lets look at the cost of the legal system for the government, for the business, and for the individual. 

Let us assume a man robs a store and shoots the vendor, and there are many witnesses.  He is arrested, sits in jail for months at $48,999 a year to tax payers.  He is given a lawyer for free (paid for by tax payers), goes through a three month court trial, with a judge, jury, lawyers, DA, etc, and all paid by tax payers.  He is found guilty and sentenced and spends 15 years in jail with a full time lawyer all paid by tax payers.  He gets out in 7 years for good behavior and goes home where he still has hundreds of thousands of dollars he made on all the times he was not caught robbing stores.

Let us assume you have a man that just does not like you for whatever reason.  He makes up a reason to sue you in civil court.  You know the law suit is stupid but you have to hire a lawyer. In the end you win the case but you are out hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

Let us assume a man slips on the floor of a coffee shop (being his own fault) and has a minor injury. He hires one of these per-bono lawyers to write up a massive law suit. The owner and his insurance both know the law suit is stupid, but because of the cost of defending it, they settle out of court. Even when not guilty, it is cheaper to settle than to pay the legal fees for defense.

Now let us assume you have a very legitimate law suit against a very wealthy man or company and you can afford the legal fees to bring it to court.  Because of his money he can bomb-barb the court with thousands of pages of documentation and hundreds of testimonials to stall off the case for 5 to 10 years until you just run out of money.

Disregarding all the above problems with the system, a clean civil case will take 2 to 5 years to get to court and a criminal court case can take 1 to 10 years to be tried. 

All these problems with the system tack on huge costs to business, personal life and the government and these costs are not necessary since they can easily be fixed. 

Fixing the system with three (3) simple laws

1. Pass law stating that “the looser of any judicial case (criminal or civil) pay all the costs”.

a. That means in a criminal case if the defendant is found not guilty, the state pays all the costs of the defendant’s lawyers and trial expanses (legal fees fixed at a national average)

b. If the state wins the case and the defendant is found guilty, he is charged with all the legal fees, court costs, judge, DA, witnesses, investigation, and police department.  These charges owed shall never go away in time. Damages shall be first taken from existing assets and later from income.  This is already the law in England and several other counties. 

2. Pass law stating that “no government can pass or enforce a law protection someone from himself”.

a. If you study the constitution carefully, governments have one job to protect you from me and me from you, but they do not have the power to protect me from me.  However, over the years starting with FDR and Social Security they have invaded the “me from me” area.  For example, under constitutional law the government cannot require me to use a seat belt.  An insurance company can require it, and maybe common sense also but not government.  The government uses all kinds of excuses for passing these laws, like they have to take care of you if you are hurt anyway, but that is not true, they do not have to take care of you and if they do, they can charge you for it. 

b. Why would this law help the cost of court systems?  Because they could not arrest someone for growing, making or using any drug for personal use on one’s own property.  Now I am very against drugs, even legal drugs and I think they are harmful and stupid but I have no right to demand my thinking on you.  I think anyone who sells a harmful drug to someone else is within the constitutional law and should be prosecuted to the extent of the law because this is the job of government – to protect you from me and me from you.  Again if someone drives a car under the influence he falls into the government’s business.  How many people could be let out of jail with just this one law?  It is based on the same logic as the right to keep and bear arms.

3. Pass law stating that “all precedent case law is outlawed”.

a. Precedent cases and binding precedent case law are the use of previous cases to influence the court by showing what some  judge ruled in a previous and similar  case.

Binding precedent as we know it today simply did not exist at the time the Constitution was framed. Prior to 1910 the only law a lawyer or judge needed were constitutional provisions, relevant statues and underlying public policies.  All this was married to the natural law.  The rule of law was the law and not present or past judges.

Judges saw themselves as merely declaring the law which had always theoretically existed, not making it. Therefore, a judge could reject another judge's opinion as simply an incorrect statement of the law, like how scientists regularly reject each other's conclusions as incorrect statements of the laws of science.

The contemporary rule of binding precedent became possible in the U.S. in the nineteenth century only after the creation of a clear court hierarchy and the beginning of regular verbatim publication of U.S. appellate decisions.

Somewhere around 1910 a lawyer used the decision of a judge in a similar case to influence the judge (this similar case was not even from America but from England, where there is not even a constitution).  From then on lawyers started doing this over and over until it has become common practice.  Now when you go into a lawyer’s office you find walls of books containing cases of every kind and a decision can be found on both sides of a case.

Where the court had its power in the constitution before, today’s decision does not even pretend that its opinion is demanded by the constitution, and yet imposes its Court-made code upon the States.  If this was part of the law before 1910, the Supreme Court could not have reversed the stupid law that had stated that Negros were not real humans.

This is not the system that was established by the Framers, or that would be established by any sane supporter of government by the people.

I can offer other changes that I am passionate about like the removal of Psychiatry from the system but this is enough for now.

Saving billions per year

If the above three laws were passed we could drop the cost of the court system to almost nothing and free the innocent from any expense.  This would also drop the cost of liability insurance for businesses, doctors, homeowners, and drivers by billions. It would take 30% of the people out of jail. There are also simple ideas to save the cost of prisons. But that is for another day.

Richard Salbato