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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66293 Find in a Library
Title: ENVIRONMENT FOR JUSTICE - THE LAW, THE COURTS, THE BAR, AND THE PUBLIC
Journal: PENNSYLVANIA BAR ASSOCIATION QUARTERLY  Volume:50  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1979)  Pages:63-70
Author(s): S J ROBERTS
Corporate Author: Pennsylvania Bar Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Pennsylvania Bar Assoc
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: OBSERVATIONS REGARDING PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE LAW AND THE COURTS AND THE EFFICIENCY OF PENNSYLVANIA'S JUDICIAL SYSTEM ARE PRESENTED; RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT ARE HIGHLIGHTED.
Abstract: PENNSYLVANIA SHOULD BE COMMENDED FOR ITS EXEMPLARY DISCIPLINARY PROGRAM WHICH FURTHERS MAINTENANCE OF THE OBJECTIVES OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION'S CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. SIMILARLY, THE JUDICIAL INQUIRY AND REVIEW BOARD SUCCESSFULLY MONITORS THE PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF APPROXIMATELY 875 JUDGES IN THE COMMONWEALTH. PENNSYLVANIA'S EFFORTS INCLUDING HIGH STANDARDS FOR BAR ADMISSION, CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS, AND EFFECTIVE STATEWIDE DISCIPLINARY PROGRAMS ENSURE COMPETENCE AND ETHICAL CONDUCT. THUS, RECENT CRITICISM OF LAWYERS, FUELED BY A LACK OF PUBLIC UNDERSTANDING, IS UNFOUNDED. FOR EXAMPLE, IN A RECENT NATIONWIDE SURVEY, 37 PERCENT OF THE PUBLIC INDICATED THAT A DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH A CRIMINAL OFFENSE MUST PROVE HIS INNOCENCE; 62 PERCENT INDICATED THAT THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S TASK IS TO DEFEND THE ACCUSED. SUCH INACCURATE NOTIONS COME FROM TELEVISION, EXPERIENCE WITH TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS, AND THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM WHICH FAILS TO FAMILIARIZE CITIZENS WITH THE FUNCTION OF THE COURTS. THUS, ALL PROPOSED COURT REFORM EFFORTS SHOULD ADVANCE THE QUALITY OF JUSTICE OR IMPROVE THE JUDICIAL PRODUCT AS WELL AS INCREASE THE EFFICIENCY OF THE SYSTEM OR ACCESS TO THE COURTS. IN ADDITION, THE PENNSYLVANIA COURT SYSTEM NEEDS AN EXPANDED SUPERIOR COURT, SITTING IN PANELS, TO REDUCE THE EXCESSIVE STATE SUPREME COURT CASELOAD. THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA CONSISTENTLY FILES THREE TO FOUR TIMES THE NUMBER OF OPINIONS OF MANY OTHER JURISDICTIONS. EFFORTS AND TECHNIQUES FOR MAKING THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN PENNSYLVANIA MORE EFFICIENT MUST BE EVALUATED. TWO FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Attorney competence; Attorney disbarment; Code of ethics; Court reform; Court reorganization; Judge censure and removal; Judicial conduct and ethics; Pennsylvania; Professional conduct and ethics; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Public education; State courts; State supreme courts
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66293

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