By Quinton Lister, legal assistant
My boss, Eric Johnson, a divorce attorney, thought it might be a good blog post to write about what I would do if I were to design a new legal system. I think this is an interesting topic and I thought I would take a crack at it. This is a work in progress that will surely change as I develop my thinking and philosophy on the subject, but I thought you might find it interesting to know my thoughts on the subject at the outset. So, in a nutshell, here are my first thoughts:
- Keep the same basic structure as found in the United States, meaning the judiciary function of the government should be a separate entity from the legislative and executive functions. The ideal should be to have an impartial third party (a judge, a jury of one’s peers, etc.) have knowledge of the law and decide the verdict in any given case based on evidence that is presented by the two sides of a conflict.
- Make the office of judges and perhaps other judiciary personnel elected offices.
- Make all court proceedings and files public, so that the elected officials are accountable to the public (who funds the courts and the judges’ salaries, after all) for the work they do. Any sort of “sensitive” information that can be used to steal someone’s identity, or something like that, would be redacted, but the rest is open to public view.
- Put limits on the length of time it takes a case to work its way through the court system and generate some form of consequence to those administering in the court system if those deadlines are not met. Simplify processes and put simple but effective safeguards in place to facilitate the expeditious resolution of law suits. Provide for severe penalties for lawyers and litigants who delay a case for illegitimate reasons.
There are several more points I am mulling over, but these are the first few that I think if applied effectively would have an immediate impact on the state of the legal system here in the United States.
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