Posts Tagged ‘civil gideon’

New York chief judge rallies “Civil Gideon” campaign

But Ted Frank explains why creating a new entitlement to taxpayer-paid civil lawyers is a bad idea [New York Daily News, PoL]:

As any economist would tell you, if you lower the price of something, you get more demand for it. If it becomes completely costless to bring suit, we will see many more meritless suits.

That’s no small problem in New York, where courts are already overloaded.

If a dispute over shelter entitles a cantankerous tenant to a free attorney on the government’s dime, it will be much easier for people to fight evictions when they violate a lease in ways that threaten other tenants or intentionally refuse to pay rent. Landlords, in turn, will have to hire their own attorneys and raise rents and costs for their honest tenants.

Not unrelated: U.S. is granting asylum requests far more often than formerly. Why might that be? [Ted’s answer]

May 24 roundup

January 27 roundup

November 4 roundup

Jim Sokolove, Stanford, and the “Roadmap to Justice”

TV’s biggest lawyer-advertiser is Boston’s James Sokolove, whose ad budget of $20 million/year makes him a widely recognized figure (and much parodized on YouTube). He’s reportedly offered $1,500 apiece for mesothelioma leads, seen his name in an episode of “The Sopranos”, and even advertised for patent plaintiffs. Turns out he hasn’t seen the inside of a courtroom in nearly thirty years, instead farming out his callers to others. [Boston mag via Ambrogi] “The message behind his ads, he says, is simple: Injured? Free money.”

Now his Sokolove Charitable Fund is giving him a shot at new respectability with help from no less august an institution than Stanford Law School (thank you, Prof. Deborah Rhode), It’s bankrolling something called the Roadmap to Justice Project, which will push the much-criticized-in-this-space “Civil Gideon” idea (a newly invented Constitutional entitlement to taxpayer coverage of lawyers’ fees in civil lawsuits).

Drum Major Institute “Eye on the Right” and civil Gideon

Well, I have to be encouraged that, when confronted with my argument against civil Gideon, this was the best the Drum Major Institute could come up with to respond (it doesn’t quite rise to the level of a rebuttal).  Compare and contrast the arguments I actually made–and the reasoning given for my conclusions–with the characterizations in the DMI report, and then ask yourself why one of organizations leading the fight for civil Gideon doesn’t dare engage those arguments.

The trouble with civil Gideon

In the latest Liability Outlook, I rebut the ABA’s resolution for guaranteed taxpayer funding of civil lawyers for the poor, expanding on my earlier ACS talk:

[The poor] will trade higher rents and higher taxes for the right to legal services that often will not help them.. . . [P]arties with meritorious cases will find it harder to signal to overwhelmed judges that their cases are distinguishable from the vast majority of meritless cases with appointed counsel that the courts will see every day.

Larry Ribstein approves: “The ABA resolution should be seen as what it is: a justification for rent-seeking by the organized bar.”