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NCJ Number: 47636 Find in a Library
Title: EPILOGUE - A CONGRESSIONAL ROLE IN LAWYER REFORM? (FROM VERDICTS ON LAWYERS, 1976, BY RALPH NADER AND MARK GREEN - SEE NCJ-47620)
Author(s): J V TUNNEY; J L FRANK
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 10
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: POSSIBLE FEDERAL ROLES IN ENCOURAGING REFORM WITHIN THE LEGAL PROFESSION, DESIGNED TO ENSURE THE DELIVERY OF SUFFICIENT LEGAL SERVICES TO ALL ARE EXAMINED.
Abstract: IN MAY 1973, THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON REPRESENTATION OF CITIZEN INTEREST WAS ESTABLISHED TO COMPREHENSIVELY STUDY THE ADEQUACY OF LEGAL CARE AND TO PROBE THOSE AREAS OF PRACTICE AND POLICY WHICH CONTRIBUTE TO HIGH LEGAL COSTS. ALTHOUGH THE SUBCOMMITTEE HAS BEEN ACCUSED OF ENCROACHING UPON THE PROFESSION, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS LONG RECOGNIZED ITS JURISDICTION TO REGULATE LAWYERS. THE COURTS HAVE ESTABLISHED RIGHTS TO COUNSEL AND THE RIGHTS OF GROUPS TO PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES AS AN INCIDENT OF MEMBERSHIP. THE COURTS ALSO HAVE POWER TO ADMIT LAWYERS TO PRACTICE AND TO DISCIPLINE THEM. THE GOVERNMENT HAS SUBSIDIZED PUBLIC DEFENDERS AND LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDERS. THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT LEGAL ECONOMIC PRACTICES ARE SUBJECT TO ANTITRUST REGULATIONS. FROM TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE TWO MAJOR ADDITIONAL REFORM NEEDS BECAME APPARENT: TO REDUCE THE NEED FOR LAWYERS IN ROUTINE TRANSACTIONS; AND TO LOWER THE COST OF ESSENTIAL LEGAL SERVICES. AVENUES AVAILABLE TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR MEETING THE FIRST NEED INCLUDE MORE INTENSIVE CITIZEN LEGAL EDUCATION, THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION BY THE STATES OF ACCESSIBLE AND EFFICIENT SYSTEMS OF REDRESS NOT REQUIRING THE AID OF LAWYERS, THE FACILITATED USE OF PARALEGAL AND NONLEGAL PERSONNEL TO PROVIDE COUNSEL IN ROUTINE TRANSACTIONS, THE STANDARDIZATION AND SIMPLIFICATION OF ORDINARY TRANSACTIONS (SALES, INSURANCE, FINANCING AND OTHER CONTRACTS), AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NO-FAULT CONCEPT IN AREAS SUCH AS AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS AND DIVORCE. A NUMBER OF THE ABOVE PROPOSALS CAN ALSO SERVE TO LOWER THE COST OF ESSENTIAL LEGAL COSTS. ADDITIONAL METHODS FOR LOWERING SUCH COSTS INCLUDE THE USE OF TIMESAVING DEVICES SUCH AS STANDARDIZED CLIENT INTERVIEW FORMS AND COMPUTERIZATION, INCREASED USE OF LAWYER-SPECIALISTS, THE DEVELOPMENT OF NEW FINANCING MECHANISMS SUCH AS PREPAID GROUP LEGAL PLANS, FEDERAL SUBSIDIES FOR LEGAL SERVICES FOR NEEDY CITIZENS, MANDATED PRO BONO ACTIVITIES, REVISION OF RESTRICTIONS ON ADVERTISING AND SOLICITATION WITHIN THE LEGAL PROFESSION, IMPLEMENTATION OF LEGISLATION REGULATING LEGAL FEES AND PROHIBITING CONFLICTS-OF-INTERESTS, AND THE FORMAL DIVISION OF THE PROFESSIONAL REGULATORY AND DISCIPLINARY FUNCTIONS AND THE PRIVATE TRADE ASSOCIATION FUNCTIONS OF THE ORGANIZED BAR. BEYOND REFORMS AFFECTING THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZEN, MECHANISMS WILL BE REQUIRED FOR FACILITATING THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (JAP)
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Citizen legal problems; Cost effectiveness analysis; Costs; Federal government; Legal aid services; Reform
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47636

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