I am frequently contacted by pro se (aka pro per) would-be litigants, asking for advice. Of course, I tell them I am not an attorney and cannot give advice. That market is cornered by licensed attorneys. However, there are numerous "self-help" sites, claiming that if you get the procedures right, you’ll be fighting your opponent in court on a level playing field. That promise is a cruel joke.
The pro se goes to court thinking that the judge will act as a sort of umpire, or referee. A session in chambers might even settle differences, but the pro se is never invited into the judge’s inner sanctuary, while an attorney is. Court rules only, and you’d better know what you’re doing. The pro se is put under oath, and the opposing attorney is not (in fact, the client may not even be there.) And if the smart attorney opposite you sneaks in a few hearsay comments on behalf of the non-appearing client, it’s assumed by new-comers that the judge will call a foul. But it doesn’t work that way, and if brought to the attention of the court of appeal by way of a writ, it will be ignored. And so the outraged pro se seeks to have the judge replaced, and the same judge looks at the motion and denies it.
The system as it is set up gives judges huge leeway, and one might be forgiven for thinking that there are 2 groups, one consisting of "good, fair-minded" judges, and the other of "bad, corrupt" judges. I have come to believe that they are all the same. If a visionary judge sets out on the path of true justice, it won’t be long before the temptations strewn about the office overcome any chance of their continuing on that path. Money is the goal and sole objective, quietly distributed among associated disciplines, and taking place under a cloak of immunity. And what kind of a deal is THAT?
It is my belief that the U.S. system, especially as it applies to Family Court and Probate Court, needs to be fundamentally reformed. As it now exists, it is open to charges of corruption, even to the point of bearing signs of a RICO ("if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck…" well, you know). And if you think that any D.A. in the country is going to investigate, think again.
I now bring you the following dissertation on the subject, and it should be read thoroughly from beginning to end, because it makes its points and provides authorities in a sound and reasonable manner. It deals with the real world as it is, not the virtual world of our Constitution, which is studiously ignored all the time. It’s headed "bad judges", but I think the word "bad" should be removed. And suggestions on improving the judicial appointments system are made.
My site stands for REFORM, and is intended to get people thinking. There’s a groundswell of unhappy self-represented near bankrupt litigants, and it is time for them to get out of their chairs, and as Howard Beale said in the movie Network: "I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANY MORE!"
This will link you to the article here. Read it and be stunned. And let me hear from you.