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Sun., July 14, 2013

Justice and legal system

Some time ago, my daughter and her husband retained an attorney to represent them in a land dispute. In the course of my daughter’s conversation with the attorney, he said, “Mrs. O, do not confuse justice with the legal system. The legal system is only concerned about the letter of the law. It’s just nice when justice goes hand in hand.”

Does that mean that if one attorney knows the law better than another, the one with the most legal knowledge is more likely to be the winner, regardless of the merits of the case? If my daughter’s attorney was right in saying the legal system is only concerned about the letter of the law, why are there so many five-to-four decisions coming down from the highest court in the land that have such a profound effect on the rest of us? They are presumably using the same data to reach their decisions.

At the end of a trial, a judge issues instructions to the jury. If I am ever on another jury, I will disregard one judge’s instructions and let my heart and mind tell me how to reach my decision.

Gene Sivertson


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