"Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering."
.Why Attorneys are not lawyers?
In the U.S as well as worldwide, they're collectively called everything from 'jurist''' to "attorney" to "lawyer" to "counselor (even Doctor)". Are these terms truly equivalent, or has the identity of one been mistaken for another? What exactly is a "Licensed BAR Attorney?"
This credential accompanies every legal paper produced by attorneys - along with a State Bar License number. As we are about to show you, an "attorney" is not a "lawyer", yet, the average person improperly interchanges these words as if they represent the same occupation, and the average attorney unduly accepts the honor to be called "lawyer" when not.
WHAT ABOUT PRACTICING LAW WITHOUT A LICENSE?
"The practice of Law CAN NOT be licensed by any state", State Schware v. Board of Examiners, 353 U.S. 238, 239.
"The practice of Law is AN OCCUPATION OF COMMON RIGHT", Sims v. Aherns, 271 S.W. 720 (1925).
Wanna try suing me or anyone else for practicing law without a license? 🙂
In order to discern the difference, and where we stand within the current court system, it ïs necessary to examine the British origins of our U.S. courts and the terminology that has been established from the beginning. It's important to understand the proper lawful definitions for the various titles we now give these court related occupations.
See Corpus Juris Secundum (CJS), Volume 7, Section 4, Attorney & client: The attorney’s first duty is to the courts and the public, not to the client, and wherever the duties to his client conflict with those he owes as an officer of the court in the administration of justice, the former must yield to the latter.
Clients are also called “wards” of the court in regard to their relationship with their attorneys and a ward of the court is defined as an infant or a person of unsound mind.
JUST LOOK AT THE TYRANNICAL SHIT THESE JERKS COOK INTO LAW:
THIS IS THE SAD REALITY OF U.S.A. TODAY THANKS TO ATTORNEYS 🙁
Good job dumbasses... thanx for fucking it up... duh?
1.) Prosecutor may violate civil rights in initiating prosecution and presenting case. - United States Supreme Court in Imbler v. Pachtmanz 424 U.S. 409 (1976)
2.) Immunity extends to all activities closely associated with litigation or potential litigation. - Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Davis v. Grusemever, 996 F.2d 617 (1993)
3.) Prosecutor may knowingly use false testimony and suppress evidence. - United States Supreme Court in Imbler v. Pachtman, 424 U.S. 409 (1976)
4.) Prosecutor may file charges without any investigation. - Eighth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Myers v. Morris, 810 F.2d 1337 (1986)
5.) Prosecutor may file charges outside of his jurisdiction. - Eighth Circuit Federal Court of appeal in Myers v. Morris, 840 F.2d 1337 (1986)
6.) Prosecutor may knowingly offer perjured testimony. - Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Jones v. Shankland, 800 F.2d 1310 (1987)
7.) Prosecutor can suppress exculpatory evidence. (Exculpatory defined: Evidence showing one innocent) - Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Henzel v. Gertstein, 608 F.2d 654 (1979)
8.) Prosecutors are immune from lawsuit for conspiring with judges to determine outcome of judicial proceedings. - Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Ashelman v. Pope, 793 E.2d 1072 (1986)
9.) Prosecutor may knowingly file charges against innocent persons for a crime that never occurred. - Tenth Circuit Federal Court of Appeal in Norton v. Liddell, 620 F.2d 1375 (1980)
10.) “But indeed, no person has a right to complain, by suit in Court, on the ground of the Constitution. The Constitution, it is true, is a compact (contract), but he is not a party to it, The States are a party to it…” (emphasis added). Per: Padelford, Fay & Co. vs. The Mayor and Alderman of the City of Savannah, 14 Ga. 438 (1854).
11.) “The ultimate ownership of all property is in the State; individual so-called “ownership” is only by virtue of Government, i.e., law, amounting to mere user; and use must be in accordance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State.” Per: Senate Document #43; SENATE RESOLUTION NO. 62 (Pg 9, Para 2) April 17, 1933.
12.) Article 1 section 8 of the US constitution gives congress the power “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;“
13.) Law of Nations BOOK 4 SECTION § 12: How the sovereign may in a treaty dispose of what concerns individuals.The necessity of making peace authorizes the sovereign to dispose of the property of individuals; and the eminent domain gives him a right to do it (Book I. § 244). He may even, to a certain degree, dispose of their persons, by virtue of the power which he has over all his subjects. But as it is for the public advantage that he thus disposes of them, the state is bound to indemnify the citizens who are sufferers by the transaction. (Ibid.)
14.) Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18 gives congress the power ``To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof`` which means there is no such thing as an unconstitutional law because they can do whatever they want as long as they ¨deem it necessary¨.
15.) No constitutional right exists under the Ninth Amendment, or to any other provision of the Constitution of the United States, “…to trust the Federal Government and to rely on the integrity of its pronouncements.” MAPCO, Inc. v Carter (1978, Em Ct App) 573 F2d 1268, cert den 437 US 904, 57 L Ed 2d 1134, 98 S Ct 3090.
The legal profession is directly derived from the British system?
LET`S GO TO THE BAR AND GET DRUNK... lol 🙂
Even the word "BAR" is of British origin?
BAR. A particular portion of a court room. Named from the space enclosed by two bars or rails: one of which separated the judge's bench from the rest of the room; the other shut off both the bench and the area for lawyers engaged in trials from the space allotted to suitors, witnesses, and others. Such persons as appeared as speakers (advocates, or counsel) before the court, were said to be "called to the bar", that is, privileged so to appear, speak and otherwise serve in the presence of the judges as "barristers." The corresponding phrase in the United States is "admitted to the bar". - A Dictionary of Law (1893). Does BAR stand for British Accredited Registry? Well, maybe or maybe not but let`s go to the bar and get drunk, lol 🙂
From the definition of bar the title and occupation of a "barrister" is derived:
BARRISTER, English law. A counselor admitted to plead at the bar. 2. Ouster barrister, is one who pleads ouster or without the bar. 3. Inner barrister, a sergeant or king's counsel whopleads within the bar. 4. Vacation barrister, a counselor newly called to the bar, who is to attend for several long vacations the exercise of the house. 5. Barristers are called apprentices,apprentitii ad legem, being looked upon as learners, and not qualified until they obtain the degree of sergeant. Edmund Plowden, the author of the Commentaries, a volume of elaborate reports in the reigns of Edward VI., Mary, Philip and Mary, and Elizabeth, describes himself as an apprentice of the common law. - A Law Dictionary by John Bouvier (Revised Sixth Edition, 1856).
BARRISTER, n. [from bar.] A counselor, learned in the laws, qualified and admitted to please at the bar, and to take upon him the defense of clients; answering to the advocate or licentiate ofother countries. Anciently, barristers were called, in England, apprentices of the law. Outer barristers are pleaders without the bar, to distinguish them from inner barristers, benchers orreaders, who have been sometime admitted to please within the bar, as the king's counsel are. - Webster's 1828 Dictionary.
Overall, a barrister is one who has the privilege to plead at the courtroom bar separating the judicial from the non-judicial spectators. Currently, in U.S. courts, the inner bar between the bench (judge) and the outer bar no longer exists, and the outer bar separates the attorneys (not lawyers) from the spectator's gallery. This will be explained more as you read further. As with the word bar, each commonly used word describing the various court officers is derived directly from root words:
From the word "solicit" is derived the name and occupation of asolicitor; one who solicits or petitions an action in a court.
SOLICIT, v.t. [Latin solicito] 1. To ask with some degree of earnestness; to make petition to; to apply to for obtaining something. This word implies earnestness in seeking ... 2. To ask for with some degree of earnestness; to seek by petition; as, to solicit an office; to solicit a favor. - Webster's 1828 Dictionary.
From the word "attorn" is derived the name and occupation of an attorney; one who transfers or assigns property, rights, title and allegiance to the owner of the land.
ATTORN / v. Me. [Origin French. atorner, aturner assign, appoint, f. a-torner turn v.] 1. v.t. Turn; change, transform; deck out. 2. v.t Turn over (goods, service, allegiance, etc.) to another; transfer, assign.
v.i. Transfer one's tenancy, or (arch.) homage or allegiance, to another; formally acknowledge such transfer. attorn tenant (to) Law formally transfer one's tenancy (to), make legal acknowledgement of tenancy ( to a new landlord). - Oxford English Dictionary 1999.
ATTORN, v.i. [Latin ad and torno.] In the feudal law, to turn, or transfer homage and service from one lord to another. This is the act of feudatories, vassels or tenants, upon the alienation of the estate.
- Webster's 1828 Dictionary.
ATTORNMENT, n. The act of a feudatory, vassal or tenant, by which he consents, upon the alienation of an estate, to receive a new lord or superior, and transfers to him his homage and service.- Webster's 1828 Dictionary.
ATTORNMENT n. the transference of bailor status, tenancy, or (arch.) allegiance, service, etc., to another;
formal acknowledgement of such transfer: lme. - Oxford English Dictionary 1999.
From the word advocate comes the meaning of the occupation by the same name; one who pleads or defends by argument in a court.
ADVOCATE, v.t. [Latin advocatus, from advoco, to call for, to plead for; of ad and voco, to call. See Vocal.] To plead in favor of; to defend by argument, before a tribunal; to support or vindicate.- Webster's 1828 Dictionary.
From the word "counsel" is derived the name and occupation of a counselor or lawyer; one who is learned in the law to give advice in a court of law;
COUNSEL, v.t. [Latin. to consult; to ask, to assail.] 1. To give advice or deliberate opinion to another for the government of his conduct; to advise. - Webster's 1828 Dictionary.
LAWYER. A counselor; one learned in the law. - A Law Dictionary by John Bouvier (Revised Sixth Edition, 1856).
Although modern usage tends to group all these descriptive occupational words as the same, the fact is that they have different and distinctive meanings when used within the context of court activities:
Solicitor - one who petitions (initiates) for another in a court
Counselor - one who advises another concerning a court matter
Lawyer - [see counselor] learned in the law to advise in a court
Barrister - one who is privileged to plead at the bar
Advocate - one who pleads within the bar for a defendant
Attorney - one who transfers or assigns, within the bar, another's rights & property acting on behalf of the ruling crown (government)
It's very clear that an attorney is not a lawyer. The lawyer is a learned counselor who advises. The ruling government appoints an attorney as one who transfers a tenant's rights, allegiance, and title to the land owner (government).
If you think you are a landowner in America, take a close look at the warranty deed or fee title to your land. You will almost always find the words "tenant" or "tenancy."The title or deed document establishing your right as a tenant, not that of a landowner, has been prepared for transfer by a licensed BAR Attorney, just as it was carried out within the original English feudal system we presumed we had escaped from in 1776.
A human being is the tenant to a feudal superior. A feudal tenant is a legal person who pays rent or services of some sort for the use and occupation of another's land. The land has been conveyed to the tenant's use, but the actual ownership remains with the superior. If a common person does not own what he thought was his land (he's legally defined as a "feudal tenant," not the superior owner), then a superior person owns the land and the feudal tenant - person pays him to occupy the land.
This is the hidden Feudal Law in America. When a person (a.k.a. human being, corporation, natural person,
partnership, association, organization, etc.) pays taxes to the tax assessor of the civil county or city government (also a person), it is a payment to the superior land owner for the right to be a tenant and to occupy the land belonging to the superior. If this were not so, then how could a local government sell the house and land of a person for not rendering his services (taxes)?
We used to think that there was no possible way feudal law could be exercised in America, but the facts have proven otherwise. It's no wonder they hid the definition of ahuman being behind the definition of a man. The next time you enter into an agreement or contract with another person (legal entity), look for the keywords person,individual, and natural person describing who you are.
Are you the entity the other person claims you are? When you "appear" before their jurisdiction and courts, you have agreed that you are a legal person unless you show them otherwise. You will have to deny that you are the person and state who you really are. Is the flesh and blood standing there in that courtroom a person by their legal definition?
British Accredited Registry (BAR)?
During the middle 1600's, the Crown of England established a formal registry in London where barristers were ordered by the Crown to be accredited. The establishment of this first International Bar Association allowed barrister-lawyers from all nations to be formally recognized and accredited by the only recognized accreditation society. From this, the acronym BAR was established denoting (informally) the British Accredited Registry, whose members became a powerful and integral force within the International Bar Association (IBA). Although this has been denied repeatedly as to its existence, the acronym BAR stood for the British barrister-lawyers who were members of the larger IBA.
When America was still a chartered group of British colonies under patent - established in what was formally named the British Crown territory of New England - the first British Accredited Registry (BAR) was established in Boston during 1761 to attempt to allow only accredited barrister-lawyers access to the British courts of New England. This was the first attempt to control who could represent defendants in the court at or within the bar in America.
Today, each corporate STATE in America has it's own BAR Association, i.e. The Florida Bar or the California Bar, that licenses government officer attorneys, NOTlawyers. In reality, the U.S. courts only allow their officer attorneys to freely enter within the bar while prohibiting those learned of the law - lawyers - to do so. They prevent advocates, lawyers, counselors, barristers and solicitors from entering through the outer bar. Only licensed BAR Attorneys are permitted to freely enter within the bar separating the people from the bench because all BAR Attorneys are officers of the court itself. Does that tell you anything?
Here's where the whole word game gets really tricky. In each State, every licensed BAR Attorney calls himself an Attorney at Law. Look at the definitions above and see for yourself that an Attorney at Law is nothing more than an attorney - one who transfers allegiance and property to the ruling land owner.
Another name game they use is "of counsel," which means absolutely nothing more than an offer of advice. Surely, the mechanic down the street can do that! Advice is one thing; lawful representation is another.
A BAR licensed Attorney is not an advocate, so how can he do anything other than what his real purpose is? He can't plead on your behalf because that would be a conflict of interest. He can't represent the crown (ruling government) as an official officer at the same time he is allegedly representing a defendant. His sworn duty as a BAR Attorney is to transfer your ownership, rights, titles, and allegiance to the land owner. When you hire a BAR Attorney to represent you in their courts, you have hired an officer of that court whose sole purpose and occupation is to transfer what you have to the creator and authority of that court. A more appropriate phrase would be legal plunder.
The official duties of an Esquire
Let's not forget that all U.S. BAR Attorneys have entitled themselves, as a direct result of their official BAR license and oaths, with the British title of "esquire." This word is a derivative of the British word "squire."
SQUIRE, n. [a popular contraction of esquire] 1. In Great Britain, the title of a gentleman next in rank to a knight. 2. In Great Britain, an attendant on a noble warrior. 3. An attendant at court. 4. In the United States, the title of magistrates and lawyers. In New-England, it is particularly given to justices of the peace and judges. - Webster's 1828 Dictionary.
ESQUIRE n. Earlier as squire n.1 lme. [Origin French. esquier (mod. écuyer) f. Latin scutarius shield - bearer, f. scutum shield: see - ary 1.] 1. Orig. (now Hist.), a young nobleman who, in training for knighthood, acted as shield-bearer and attendant to a knight. Later, a man belonging to the higher order of English gentry, ranking next below a knight. lme. b Hist. Any of various officers in the service of a king or nobleman. c A landed proprietor, a country squire. arch. - Oxford English Dictionary 1999.
During the English feudal laws of land ownership and tenancy, a squire - esquire - was established as the land proprietor charged with the duty of carrying out, among various other duties, the act of attornment [see definition above] for the land owner and nobleman he served. Could this be any simpler for the average American to understand? If our current U.S. BAR Attorneys were just lawyers, solicitors, barristers, advocates or counselors, then they would call themselves the same. They have named themselves just exactly what they are, yet we blindly cannot see the writing on the wall.
The BAR Attorneys have not hidden this from anyone.
That's why they deliberately call themselves "Esquires" and "Attorneys at law." It is the American people who have hidden their own heads in the sand. Knowing these simple truths, why would anyone consider the services of BAR Attorney-Esquire as his representative within the ruling courts of America? Their purposes, position, occupation, job, and duty is to transfer your allegiance, property, and rights to the landowner, a.k.a. STATE. They are sworn oath officers of the State whose sole authority is to transfer your property to their landowner-employer. Think about this the next time you enter their courtrooms. From now on, all Americans should refuse to enter past the outer bar when they are called. Who would voluntarily want to relinquish all he has by passing into their legal trap that exists inside that outer bar?
We must all refuse to recognize their royal position as Squires and refuse to hire them as our representatives and agents. They can't plead or argue for you anyway; all they can do is oversee the act of attornment on behalf of the ruling government whom they serve as official officers. Nothing stops your neighbor from being a barrister or lawyer. No real law prohibits any of us from being lawyers! Even Abraham Lincoln was a well-recognized lawyer, yet he had no formal law degree. Let the BAR Attorneys continue in their jobs as property transfer agent-officers for the State, but if no defendant hires them, they'll have to get new jobs or they'll starve. Fire your BAR Attorney and represent yourself as your own lawyer, or hire any non-BAR-licensed lawyer to assist you from outside the courtroom bar.
Refuse to acknowledge all judges who are also licensed BAR Attorneys? Every judge in Florida State is a member of the Florida BAR. This is unlawful and unconstitutional as a judge cannot be an Esquire nor can he represent any issue in commerce, such as that of the State. Every Florida State judge has compromised his purported neutral and impartial judicial position by being a State Officer through his BAR licensure. This is an unlawful monopoly of power and commerce.
The Practice of Law?
A BAR Attorney is not a lawyer by lawful definition. An Esquire is an officer of the State with the duty to carry out State activities, including "attornment." State officers have no constitutional authority to practice law as lawyers, barristers, advocates, or solicitors (their BAR licenses only give them the privilege to be Attorneys and Squires over land transfers).?
And if I stood alone on this, it would be wisest to ignore me, but, I don`t stand alone, here`s just one example,, Yale`s law professor, duh? capisce? 😛
Professor of Law, Yale University
Written in 1939
“Woe unto you, lawyers! For ye have taken away
the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves,
and them that were entering in ye hindered.” — Luke. XI, 52
A lusty, gusty attack on “The Law” as a curious, antiquated institution which, through outworn procedures, technical jargon and queer mummery, enables a group of medicine-men to dominate our social and political lives and our business, to their own gain.
The Law of the Lawyers
The Way it Works
The Law at its Supremest
No Tax on Max
The Law and the Lady
Fairy-Tales and Facts
More about Legal Language
Incubators of the Law
A Touch of Social Significance
Let’s Lay Down the Law
No lawyer will like this book. It isn’t written for lawyers. It is written for the average man and its purpose is to try to plant in his head, at the least, a seed of skepticism about the whole legal profession, its works and its ways.
In case anyone should be interested, I got my own skepticism early. Before I ever studied law I used to argue occasionally with lawyers – a foolish thing to do at any time. When, as frequently happened, they couldn’t explain their legal points so that they made any sense to me I brashly began to suspect that maybe they didn’t make any sense at all. But I couldn’t know. One of the reasons I went to law school was to try to find out.
At law school I was lucky. Ten of the men under whom I took courses were sufficiently skeptical and common-sensible about the branches of law they were teaching so that, unwittingly of course, they served together to fortify my hunch about the phoniness of the whole legal process. In a sense, they are the intellectual godfathers of this book. And though all of them would doubtless strenuously disown their godchild, I think I owe it to them to name them. Listed alphabetically, they are:
Thurman Arnold, now Assistant Attorney-General of the United States; Charles E. Clark, now Judge of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; William O. Douglas, now Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Felix Frankfurter, now Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court; Leon Green, now Dean of the Northwestern University Law School; Walton Hamilton, Professor of Law at Yale University; Harold Laski, Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics; Richard Joyce Smith, now a practicing attorney in New York City; Wesley Sturges, now Director of the Distilled Spirits Institute; and the late Lee Tulin.
By the time I got through law school, I had decided that I never wanted to practice law. I never have. I am not a member of any bar. If anyone should want, not unreasonably, to know what on earth I am doing – or trying to do – teaching law, he may find a hint of the answer toward the end of Chapter IX.
When I was mulling over the notion of writing this book, I outlined my ideas about the book, and about the law, to a lawyer who is not only able but also extraordinarily frank and perceptive about his profession. “Sure,” he said, “but why give the show away?” That clinched it.
“The law is a sort of hocus-pocus science.” Charles Macklin
In TRIBAL TIMES, there were the medicine-men. In the Middle Ages, there were the priests. Today there are the lawyers. For every age, a group of bright boys, learned in their trade and jealous of their learning, who blend technical competence with plain and fancy hocus-pocus to make themselves masters of their fellow men. For every age, a pseudo-intellectual autocracy, guarding the tricks of its trade from the uninitiated, and running, after its own pattern, the civilization of its day.
It is the lawyers who run our civilization for us – our governments, our business, our private lives. Most legislators are lawyers; they make our laws. Most presidents, governors, commissioners, along with their advisers and brain-trusters are lawyers; they administer our laws. All the judges are lawyers; they interpret and enforce our laws. There is no separation of powers where the lawyers are concerned. There is only a concentration of all government power – in the lawyers. As the schoolboy put it, ours is “a government of lawyers, not of men.”
It is not the businessmen, no matter how big, who run our economic world. Again it is the lawyers, the lawyers who “advise” and direct every time a company is formed, every time a bond or a share of stock is issued, almost every time material is to be bought or goods to be sold, every time a deal is made. The whole elaborate structure of industry and finance is a lawyer-made house. We all live in it, but the lawyers run it.
And in our private lives, we cannot buy a home or rent an apartment, we cannot get married or try to get divorced, we cannot die and leave our property to our children without calling on the lawyers to guide us. To guide us, incidentally, through a maze of confusing gestures and formalities that lawyers have created.
Objection may be raised immediately that there is nothing strange or wrong about this. If we did not carry on our government and business and private activities in accordance with reasoned rules of some sort we would have chaos, or else a reversion to brute force as the arbiter of men’s affairs. True – but beside the point. The point is that it is the lawyers who make our rules and a whole civilization that follows them, or disregards them at its peril. Yet the tremendous majority of the men who make up that civilization, are not lawyers, pay little heed to how and why the rules are made. They do not ask, they scarcely seem to care, which rules are good and which are bad, which are a help and which a nuisance, which are useful to society and which are useful only to the lawyers. They shut their eyes and leave to the lawyers the running of a large part of their lives.
Of all the specialized skills abroad in the world today, the average man knows least about the one that affects him most – about the thing that lawyers call The Law. A man who will discourse at length about the latest cure for streptococci infection or describe in detail his allergic symptoms cannot begin to tell you what happened to him legally – and plenty did – when he got married. A man who would not dream of buying a car without an intricate and illustrated description of its mechanical workings will sign a lease without knowing what more than four of its forty-four clauses mean or why they are there. A man who will not hesitate to criticize or disagree with a trained economist or an expert in any one of a dozen fields of learning will follow, unquestioning and meek, whatever advice his lawyer gives him. Normal human skepticism and curiosity seem to vanish entirely whenever the layman encounters The Law.
There are several reasons for this mass submission, One is the average man’s fear of the unknown – and of policemen. The law combines the threat of both. A non-lawyer confronted by The Law is like a child faced by a pitch-dark room. Merciless judges lurk there, ready to jump out at him. (“Ignorance of the law is no defense.”) Cowed and, perforce, trusting, he takes his lawyer’s hand, not knowing what false step he might make unguided, nor what punishment might then lie in wait for him. He does not dare display either skepticism or disrespect when he feels that the solemn voice of the lawyer, telling him what he must or may not do, is backed by all the mighty and mysterious forces of law-and-order from the Supreme Court on down on the cop on the corner.
Then, too, every lawyer is just about the same as every other lawyer. At least he has the same thing to sell, even though it comes in slightly different models and at varying prices. The thing he has to sell is The Law. And it is as useless to run from one lawyer to another in the hope of finding something better or something different or something that makes more common sense as it would be useless to run from one Ford dealer to another if there were no Chevrolets or Plymouths or even bicycles on the market. There is no brand competition or product competition in the lawyers’ trade. The customer has to take The Law or nothing. And if the customer should want to know a little more about what he’s buying – buying in direct fees or indirect fees or taxes – the lawyers need have no fear of losing business or someone else if they just plain refuse to tell.
Yet lawyers can and often do talk about their product without telling anything about it at all. And that fact involves one of the chief reasons for the non-lawyer’s persistent ignorance about The Law. Briefly, The Law is carried on in a foreign language. Not that it deals, as do medicine and mechanical engineering, with physical phenomena and instruments which need special words to describe them simply because there are no other words. On the contrary, law deals almost exclusively with the ordinary facts and occurrences of everyday business and government and living. But it deals with them in a jargon which completely baffles and befoozles the ordinary literate man, who has no legal training to serve him as a trot.
Some of the language of the law is built out of Latin or French words, or out of old English words which, but for the law, would long ago have fallen into disuse. A common street brawl means nothing to a lawyer until it has been translated into a “felony,” a “misdemeanor,” or a “tort”; and any of those words, when used by a lawyer, may mean nothing more than a common street brawl. Much of the language of the law is built out of perfectly respectable English words which have been given a queer and different and exclusively legal meaning. When a lawyer speaks, for instance, of “consideration” he is definitely not referring to kindness. All of the language of the law is such, as Mr. Dooley once put it, that a statute which reads like a stone wall to the lawman becomes, for the corporation lawyer, a triumphal arch. It is, in short, a language that nobody but a lawyer understands. Or could understand -–if we are to take the lawyers’ word for it.
For one of the most revealing things about the lawyers’ trade is the unanimous inability or unwillingness, or both, on the part of the lawyers to explain their brand of professional pig Latin to men who are not lawyers. A doctor can and will tell you what a metatarsus is and where it is and why it is there and, if necessary, what is wrong with it. A patient electrician can explain, to the satisfaction of a medium-grade mentality, how a dynamo works. But try to pin down a lawyer, any lawyer, on “jurisdiction” or “proximate cause” or “equitable title” – words which he tosses off with authority and apparent familiarity and which are part of his regular stock in trade. If he does not dismiss your question summarily with “You’re not a lawyer’ you wouldn’t understand,” he will disappear into a cloud of legal jargon, perhaps descending occasionally to the level of a non-legal abstraction or to the scarcely more satisfactory explanation that something is so because The Law says that it is so. That is where you are supposed to say, “I see.”
It is this fact more than any other – the fact that lawyers can’t or won’t tell what they are about in ordinary English – that is responsible for the hopelessness of the non-lawyer in trying to cope with or understand the so-called science of law. For the lawyers’ trade is a trade built entirely on words. And so long as the lawyers carefully keep to themselves the key to what those words mean, the only way the average man can find out what is going on is to become a lawyer, or at least to study law, himself. All of which makes it very nice – and very secure – for the lawyers.
Of course any lawyer will bristle, or snort with derision, at the idea that what he deals in is words. He deals, he will tell you, in propositions, concepts, fundamental principles – in short, in ideas. The reason a non-lawyer gets lost in The Law is that his mind has not been trained to think logically about abstractions, whereas the lawyer’s mind has been so trained. Hence the lawyer can leap lightly and logically from one abstraction to another, or narrow down a general proposition to apply to a particular case, with an agility that leaves the non-lawyer bewildered and behind. It is a pretty little picture.
Yet it is not necessary to go into semantics to show that it is a very silly little picture. No matter what lawyers deal in, the thing they deal with is exclusively the stuff of living. When a government wants to collect money and a rich man does not want to pay it, when a company wants to fire a worker and the worker wants to keep his job, when an automobile driver runs down a pedestrian and the pedestrian says it was the driver’s fault and the driver says it wasn’t – these things are living facts, not airy abstractions. And the only thing that matters about the law is the way it handles these facts and a million others. The point is that legal abstractions mean nothing at all until they are brought down to earth. Once brought down to earth, once applied to physical facts, the abstractions become nothing but words – words by which lawyers describe, and justify, the things that lawyers do. Lawyers would always like to believe that the principles they say they work with are something more than a complicated way of talking about simple, tangible, non-legal matters; but they are not. Thus the late Justice Holmes was practically a traitor to his trade when he said, as he did say, “General propositions do not decide concrete cases.”
To dismiss the abstract principles of The Law as being no more, in reality, than hig-sounding combinations of words may, in one sense, be a trifle confusing. Law in action does, after all, amount to the application of rules to human conduct; and rules may be said to be, inevitably, abstractions themselves. But there is a difference and a big one. “Anyone who pits on this platform will be fined five dollars” is a rule and, in a sense, an abstraction; yet it is easily understood, it needs no lawyer to interpret it, and it applies simply and directly to a specific factual thing. But “Anyone who willfully and maliciously spits on this platform will be fined five dollars” is an abstraction of an entirely different color. The Law has sneaked into the rule in the words “willfully and maliciously.” Those words have no real meaning outside of lawyers’ minds until someone who spits on the platform is or is not fined five dollars – and they have none afterward until someone else spits on the platform and does or does not get fined.
The whole of The Law – its concepts, its principles, its propositions – is made up of “willfullys” and “maliciouslys,” of words that cannot possibly be pinned down to a precise meaning and that are, in the last analysis, no more than words. As a matter of fact, the bulk of The Law is made up of words with far less apparent relation to reality than “willfully” or “maliciously.” And you can look through every bit of The Law – criminal law, business law, government law, family law – without finding a single rule that makes as much simple sense as “Anyone who spits on this platform will be fined five dollars.”
That, of course, is why a non-lawyer can never make rhyme or reason out of a lawyer’s attempted explanation of the way The Law works. The non-lawyer wants the whole business brought down to earth. The lawyer cannot bring it down to earth without, in so doing, leaving The Law entirely out of it. To say that Wagner Labor Act was held valid because five out of the nine judges on the Supreme Court approved of it personally, or because they thought it wiser policy to uphold it than to risk further presidential agitation for a change in the membership of the Court – to say this is certainly not to explain The Law of the case. Yet to say this makes a great deal more sense to the layman and comes a great deal closer to the truth than does the legal explanation that the Act was held valid because it constituted a proper exercise of Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce. You can probe the words of that legal explanation to their depths and bolster them with other legal propositions dating back one hundred and fifty years and they will still mean, for all practical purposes, exactly nothing.
There is no more pointed demonstration of the chasm between ordinary human thinking and the mental processes of the lawyer than in the almost universal reaction of law students when they first encounter The Law. They come to law school a normally intelligent, normally curious, normally receptive group. Day in and day out they are subjected to the legal lingo of judges, textbook writers, professors – those learned in The Law. But for months none of it clicks; there seems to be nothing to take hold of. These students cannot find anywhere in their past knowledge or experience a hook on which to hang all this strange talk of “mens rea” and “fee simple” and “due process” and other unearthly things. Long and involved explanations in lectures and lawbooks only make it all more confusing. The students know that law eventually deals with extremely practical matters like buying land and selling stock and putting thieves in jail. But all that they read and hear seems to stem not only from a foreign language but from a strange and foreign way of thinking.
Eventually their confusion founded though it is in stubborn and healthy skepticism is worn down. Eventually they succumb to the barrage of principles and concepts and all the metaphysical refinements that go with them. And once they have learned to talk the jargon, once they have forgotten their recent insistence on matters-of-factness, once they have begun to glory in their own agility at that mental hocus-pocus that had them befuddled a short while ago, then they have become, in the most important sense, lawyers. Now they, too, have joined the select circle of those who can weave a complicated intellectual riddle out of something so mundane as a strike or an automobile accident. Now it will be hard if not impossible ever to bring them back tot hat disarmingly direct way of thinking about the problems of people and society which they used to share with the average man before they fell in with the lawyers and swallowed The Law.
Learning the lawyers’ talk and the lawyers’ way of thinking – learning to discuss the pros and cons of, say, pure food laws in terms of “affectation with a public contract” – is very much like learning to work cryptograms or play bridge. It requires concentration and memory and some analytic ability, and for those who become proficient it can be a stimulating intellectual game. Yet those who work cryptograms or play bridge never pretend that their mental efforts, however difficult and involved, have any significance beyond the game they are playing. Whereas those who play the legal game not only pretend but insist that their intricate ratiocination’s in the realm of pure thought have a necessary relation to the solution of practical problems. It is through the medium of their weird and wordy mental gymnastics that the lawyers lay down the rules under which we live. And it is only because the average man cannot play their game, and so cannot see for himself how intrinsically empty-of-meaning their playthings are, that the lawyers continue to get away with it.
The legal trade, in short, is nothing but a high-class racket. It is a racket far more lucrative and more powerful and hence more dangerous than any of those minor and much-publicized rackets, such as ambulance-chasing or the regular defense of known criminals, which make up only a tiny part of the law business and against which the respectable members of the bar are always making speeches and taking action. A John W. Davis, when he exhorts a court in the name of God and Justice and the Constitution – and, incidentally, for a fee – not to let the federal government regulate holding companies, is playing the racket for all it is worth. So is a Justice Sutherland when he solemnly forbids a state to impose an inheritance tax on the ground that the transfer – an abstraction – of the right to get dividends – another abstraction – did not take place geographically inside the taxing state. And so, for that matter, are all the Corcorans and Cohens and Thurman Arnolds and the rest, whose chief value to the New Deal lies not in their political views nor even in their administrative ability but rather in their adeptness at manipulating the words of The Law so as to make things sound perfectly proper which other lawyers, by manipulating different words in a different way, maintain are terribly improper. The legal racket knows no political or social limitations.
Furthermore, the lawyers – or at least 99 44/100 per cent of them – are not even aware that they are indulging in a racket, and would be shocked at the very mention of the idea. Once bitten by the legal bug, they lose all sense of perspective about what they are doing and how they are doing it. Like the medicine men of tribal times and the priests of the Middle Ages they actually believe in their own nonsense. This fact, of course, makes their racket all the more insidious. Consecrated fanatics are always more dangerous than conscious villains. And lawyers are fanatics indeed about the sacredness of the word-magic they call The Law.
Yet the saddest and most insidious fact about the legal racket is that the general public doesn’t realize it’s a racket either. Scared, befuddled, impressed and ignorant, they take what is fed them, or rather what is sold them. Only once an age do the non-lawyers get, not wise, but disgusted, and rebel. As Harold Laski is fond of putting it, in every revolution the lawyers lead the way to the guillotine or the firing squad.
It should not, however, require a revolution to rid society of lawyer-control. Nor is riddance by revolution ever likely to be a permanent solution. The American colonists had scarcely freed themselves from the nuisances of The Law by practically ostracizing the pre-Revolutionary lawyers out of their communities – a fact which is little appreciated – when a new and home-made crop of lawyers sprang up to take over the affairs of the baby nation. That crop, 150 years later, is still growing in numbers and in power.
What is really needed to put the lawyers in their places and out of the seats of the mighty is no more than a slashing of the veil of dignified mystery that now surrounds and protects The Law. If people could be made to realize how much of the vaunted majesty of The Law is a hoax and how many of the mighty processes of The Law are merely logical legerdemain, they would not long let the lawyers lead them around by the nose. And people have recently begun, bit by bit, to catch on. The great illusion of The Law has been leaking a little at the edges.
There was President Roosevelt’s plan to add to the membership of the Supreme Court, in order to get different decisions. Even those who opposed the plan – and they of course included almost all the lawyers – recognized, by the very passion of their arguments, that the plan would have been effective: in other words, that by merely changing judges you could change the Highest Law of the Land. And when the Highest Law of the Land was changed without even changing judges, when the same nine men said that something was constitutional this year which had been unconstitutional only last year, then even the most credulous of laymen began to wonder a little about the immutability of The Law. It did not add to public awe of The Law either when Thomas Dewey’s grand-stand prosecution of a Tammany hack was suddenly thrown out of court on a technicality so piddling that every newspaper in New York City raised an editorial howl – against a more or less routine application of The Law. And such minor incidents as the recent discovery that one of Staten Island’s leading law practitioners had never passed a bar examination, and so was not, officially, a lawyer, do not lend themselves to The Law’s prestige.
Yet it will take a great deal more than a collection of happenings like these to break down, effectively, the superstition of the grandeur of The Law and the hold which that superstition has on the minds of most men. It will take some understanding of the wordy emptiness and irrelevance of the legal process itself. It will take some cold realization that the inconsistencies and absurdities of The Law that occasionally come into the open are not just accidents but commonplaces. It will take some awakening to the fact that training in The Law does not make lawyers wiser than other men, but only smarter.
Perhaps an examination of the lawyers and their Law, set down in ordinary English, might help achieve these ends. For, despite what the lawyers say, it is possible to talk about legal principles and legal reasoning in everyday non-legal language. The point is that, so discussed, the principles and the reasoning and the whole solemn business of The Law come to look downright silly. And perhaps if the ordinary man could see in black and white how silly and irrelevant and unnecessary it all is, he might be persuaded, in a peaceful way, to take the control of his civilization out of the hands of those modern purveyors of streamlined voodoo and chromium-plated theology, the lawyers.