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A dire prediction of Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America may have come true: Americans have ceded their responsibility as citizens to resolve the problems of society themselves to a lawyer-controlled authority—an authority which has curtailed and taken their precious democratic freedoms as well. Catherine Crier, a former district attorney, private lawyer, and judge, argues that this prediction has come to a painful fruition and, in The Case Against Lawyers, she presents both an indictment and a plea for a return to common sense.
Addressing the pressing issues raised in both Philip K. Howard’s cautionary The Collapse of the Common Good and Richard Zitrin’s proscriptive The Moral Compass of the American Lawyer, Crier’s The Case Against Lawyers decries a system of laws so complex even the enforcers—such as the IRS—cannot understand them. Crier points to corrupt laws which erroneously target social and moral behaviors, permit the selective enforcement of rules, and fund legal giveaways of tax dollars as political favors. The litigation-crazed society that adheres to and supports these laws find themselves partner to billion-dollar judgments—judgments which mostly line the pockets of personal injury lawyers. Crier deplores the stupidity of a system of liability that necessitates a sign on strollers to read “Remove child before folding” and that puts minor drug offenders away for life yet allows celebrity murderers to walk free. She unabashedly excoriates the iron triangle of lawyers, bureaucrats, and politicians who profit from this inefficiency, injustice, and abuse.
An intriguing book for students of legal studies, criminal justice, and sociology.
"...Crier offers clear and forceful critiques of such issues as the war on drugs, the death penalty, and criminal sentencing and proposes thoughtful changes to current laws."—Library Journal
“Passionate and hard-hitting, The Case Against Lawyers makes an overwhelming case for broad legal overhaul. By applying her own strong moral code to America’s problems, Catherine Crier demonstrates the critical missing element in American law.”
– Philip Howard, author of The Collapse of the Common Good
Table of Contents
One: We Love Our Rules
Two: Liberty versus Equality
Three: The Perversion of Education
Four: Regulatory Agencies: Laws without Legislation
Five: A Nation of Victims
Six: Our Criminal Laws Are a Crime
Seven: Addicted to Insanity–The War on Drugs
Eight: The Toxic Politics of Money
Nine: Lobbyists: The Bandits of Gucci Gulch
Ten: The Trouble with Lawyers
Eleven: A Lesson in Terror
Twelve: Taking Back Our Country