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VodkaPundit

First Thing We Do, Collectivize the Lawyers

February 4th, 2014 - 4:19 pm

That’s Noam Schreiber’s big idea in today’s New Republic, and he’s not kidding:

The idea would be roughly as follows: in criminal cases, we decide what the accused should be able to spend to defend themselves against a given charge—securities fraud, grand theft, manslaughter, etc. No one can spend more, even if she has the money, and those who can’t afford the limit would receive a subsidy for the full amount beyond what they would have spent on their own (say, beyond a certain percentage of their annual salary or net worth). In civil cases, we decide what the plaintiff should be able to spend to pursue an award of a particular amount, or to pursue a particular kind of claim, and what the defendant should be able to spend in response. The same subsidies would apply.

Working out the particular amounts would mostly be an empirical question—Big Data can help us figure out what it costs to put together a competent legal team from case to case. But it would no doubt be a messy process that required constant refining and lots of humility.

I almost choked on that last word.

Honestly, after the morass of BS the lawyers have paralyzed this country with, the meta-level rent-seeking they’ve accomplished — I’m not going to fight against any scheme which might do them financial harm or erode their liberties.

Not today, maybe not ever.

All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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All the losers in the new information economy want to arrange for a bailout while they've still got the power to do so. I wonder how much the ABA paid Schreiber? Or did he do it just for a really nice meal at a legal conference?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't even read Schreiber's whole essay and I can tell it's a parody of Obamacare. As in, how would the legal profession like it if the tables were turned?
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
In civil cases, a modified 'loser pays' system where loser pays half, loser's lawyer pays half. Guaranteed to make lawyers extremely reluctant to get involved in weak cases.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's pretty good for civil cases.

For criminal cases see Prof. Instapundit's great "Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything Is a Crime" essay. Personally, I would love to see the immunity that prosecutors receive scrapped.

10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
In criminal cases, the state should pay all legal costs, period. It can keep costs down by having fewer 'crimes'.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I think of lawyers, for some bizarre reason "humility" is not a word that comes to mind.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Similarly limit what the prosecution can spend too, right? Same dollar amount?
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"any scheme which might do them financial harm or erode their liberties"

Lawyers do exactly that to medical doctors.
On the other hand, they will make NS's ideas their entitlement. They'll keep suing and receiving subsidies. Taxpayers will be shafted again.

Better idea: plaintiffs (defendants) can only spend as much as their opponents are able to spend, lawyers are required to take the cases as doctors are required to treat emergency room patients. No subsidies.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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