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Civil vs Criminal violations

 
 
gollum
 
Reply Sat 21 Feb, 2004 01:11 pm
Is there any bright line distinction to what a law-breaker has to do to be held criminally liable for an act or omission versus civilly liable?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 7,837 • Replies: 21
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Charli
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Feb, 2004 09:02 pm
WELCOME, GOLLUM!!!
Welcome to A2K, gollum!

I was hoping that a legal eagle would come along to answer your question. I'll give it a try. My understanding is the difference between criminal law and civil law (tort?) is that the first is against "the State." The latter is an infraction again a person or persons. Individuals cannot bring a case of murder against someone and see that the perpetrator receives a prison sentence. However, they can sue for wrongful death, civil rights violations, etc., and be awarded damages.

Now, this post will work as a bookmark and we'll see if additional info is forthcoming.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2004 09:51 am
Charli, you're pretty much on-target here: criminal law deals with offenses against the state, while civil law deals with injuries to individual interests. The penalty for violating a criminal law is prison or a fine or the like; the penalty for the violation of a civil interest (known as a "tort") is monetary compensation for the person injured (the "plaintiff").
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2004 10:06 am
Re: Civil vs Criminal violations
gollum wrote:
Is there any bright line distinction to what a law-breaker has to do to be held criminally liable for an act or omission versus civilly liable?

No there isn't. For a prominent example, consider the case of OJ Simpson. First, Simpson was tried in a criminal court and found
'not guilty' of the crime of killing his wife. Later, a civil court tried him and found him 'guilty' of the tort of killing his wife. As a consequence, he had to pay several million dollars in compensation to his wife's family, but didn't have to go to jail. This suggests that the line is indeed rather blurry.

One thing I have never understood about the tort/crime distinction is how you decide which kind of offense is against individuals and which kind of offense is against the state. Why not abolish criminal law and make every offense a tort? There must be a reason for this, but I don't know what it is.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Feb, 2004 11:06 pm
Re: Civil vs Criminal violations
Thomas wrote:
One thing I have never understood about the tort/crime distinction is how you decide which kind of offense is against individuals and which kind of offense is against the state. Why not abolish criminal law and make every offense a tort? There must be a reason for this, but I don't know what it is.

Well, I suppose we could eliminate both criminal and civil law and just go back to blood feuds.

A criminal offense typically represents an offense against public order, whereas a civil wrong represents an injury to a private interest. Of course, there's a good deal of overlap: the remedies, however, are very different. In criminal law, the punishment is imprisonment or fines; in civil law, the punishment is typically a money judgment.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2004 01:42 am
Re: Civil vs Criminal violations
joefromchicago wrote:
Thomas wrote:
Why not abolish criminal law and make every offense a tort? There must be a reason for this, but I don't know what it is.

Well, I suppose we could eliminate both criminal and civil law and just go back to blood feuds.

Actually, it was a serious question.

joefromchicago wrote:
In criminal law, the punishment is imprisonment or fines; in civil law, the punishment is typically a money judgment.

Sure. But why not punish murder with a money transfer of, say, 5 million dollars to the heirs? If the murderer can't pay, he is convicted to indentured servitude for as long as it takes to make 5 million dollars. In almost all cases, this works out as a lifetime of indentured servitude. I agree this would be a fundamentally different system than what we now have, but how would it be worse?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Feb, 2004 09:57 am
Re: Civil vs Criminal violations
Thomas wrote:
Actually, it was a serious question.

It was a serious answer.

Well, semi-serious.

Thomas wrote:
Sure. But why not punish murder with a money transfer of, say, 5 million dollars to the heirs? If the murderer can't pay, he is convicted to indentured servitude for as long as it takes to make 5 million dollars. In almost all cases, this works out as a lifetime of indentured servitude. I agree this would be a fundamentally different system than what we now have, but how would it be worse?

You're describing something that was fairly typical in ancient and medieval societies. The payment of wergeld was the only punishment for crimes and civil wrongs (delicts). I believe that certain societies still work this way (e.g. in some Arab countries a payment to a murder victim's family can save the murderer from execution). And (to connect this with my previous remark) this sort of system of payments was designed to prevent people from taking vengeance on the perpetrator: in other words, it was designed, in large part, to prevent blood feuds.

We don't have wergeld any more because of a variety of reasons: e.g., criminals often are too poor to pay any kind of restitution; society views them as too dangerous to be let back into the general population; the state is now powerful enough to effect long-term punishments.

Would changing back to wergeld payments be "worse" than the current system of state-instituted punishments? I think the answer depends on one's notion of "justice" and one's estimation of the societal costs of such a system and its likelihood of success.
0 Replies
 
Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Mar, 2004 03:23 am
From my understanding, there is a vast difference between Civil Court and Criminal. Criminal Court is about justice. Civil Court is about money.

In Civil Court, anything goes. It is financial, The End. Civil Court does not require the same standard of proof as Criminal Court does. You have to only prove reasonable doubt in Civil Court and it is about financial compensation. Absolutely anything can hit this court.

This difference in standard of burden of proof is not nearly as high, as in criminal conviction. The family of Nicole Simpson could prove reasonable doubt, if I am using the correct term, in Civil Court. This is why they were awarded a cash settlement. That is all this court is about, cash.

Criminal Court is a completely different animal, so to speak. The burden of proof is so high in criminal cases that unless you can offer something extremely substantial, they will not take your case at all. Civil Court will hear any complaint and offers money settlement, not criminal justice.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Mar, 2004 10:53 am
Not exactly.

The standard of proof in criminal court is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Not any doubt, just reasonable doubt. The standard of proof for civil court is the preponderance of the evidence.

Furthermore, while civil court is generally about money, that's not necessarily the case. In most states, equitable relief is mixed into civil cases, so you can get injunctive or specific performance-type relief. It doesn't need to be cash. Criminal matters are generally a matter of jail time, but that's not necessarily the case either, as more minor criminal matters can result in a fine being levied or restitution being awarded, and nothing more. But the difference is, in civil court, the money (if that's the remedy) goes to one of the participants, either the plaintiff or the defendant. In criminal court, if there is money involved, it generally goes to the state although if restitution is ordered then it goes to the victim and/or his/her family.

In civil court, there are plenty of rules of procedure. Everything absolutely does not go. The rules can be different from those in criminal court, but it doesn't mean it's a free for all by any means. The civil court will hear many things but it doesn't mean that the plaintiff will win every time or even half of the time. In the criminal arena, either an indictment or a prosecutor's information (this depends upon which state you're in) must be handed down before the matter can come to trial. There are other hurdles; the idea is to make it harder to bring criminal matters but the fact is that indictments and prosecutor's informations can often be used like rubber stamps. So, lots of stuff goes through, even if it shouldn't have. There are a lot of safeguards for defendants, but some of them are for after trial.

The Simpson case was a criminal matter wherein the state could not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Hence OJ did not go to jail. However, a civil wrongful death suit was brought by the victims' families. Since the burden of proof is lower in civil court than in criminal court, it was easier to prove responsibility. Hence, OJ was found civilly liable and required to pay monetary damages.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 05:07 pm
Wildflower63 wrote:
From my understanding, there is a vast difference between Civil Court and Criminal. Criminal Court is about justice. Civil Court is about money.

That may be so in practice, but if I understand correctly, the point is not money. The point is that the typical result of a civil trial is a transfer -- one party gets richer, the other party gets poorer. The typical result of a criminal court is that someone goes to jail, which by itself is a net loss to society.

It makes sense that the burden of proof should be lower when it justifies a transfer within society than when it justifies a net loss to society. At least that's how David Friedman of Santa Clara University explains it in his book Law's Order. What I don't understand is, why bother with punishment at all. What undesirable things would happen if everything was a tort?

Oh, and just in case that wasn't clear: I didn't mean to insinuate that the system of justice made a mistake in letting OJ Simpson win the criminal trial and lose the civil trial. As best I can judge from the news coverage, it does make sense to say that the preponderance of the evidence was against him, but that the mishandling by the LAPD prevented a proof beyound any reasonable doubt.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 09:25 pm
An interesting facet of Anglo-Saxon society, and of many others throughout history, has been the concept of "blood money," or wehrgelt. If you killed someone, you (more to the point, your family or clan) could obviate the necessity for retribution by paying the blood money. In that system, a kerl or churl, which is to say, a peasant on the land, was compensated for by a price of one bullock or steer (milch cows were much more valuable--and rare--and were out of the reckoning). An aetheling, or "prince," had a price of 1000 head of cattle. Failure to pay up meant that either the party adjudged to be guilty was forfeit to the aggreived family or clan, or the clan of the said murderer faced mass ostracizism, and the resultant consequences of being declared "outlaw." An assembly, the common name of which in modern English would be a "law-speaking," was informally, but regularly convened in each shire, at which claims of greivance would be aired, and the death price of any murdered individuals assessed, and demand for payment tendered. In that any free adult was franchised to speak at such a meeting, the judgments functioned much like the verdict of a jury, but absent anything more than rudimentary rules of evidence from oral tradition. A clever advocate (literally, one who speaks for another) might sufficiently muddy the evidentiary and "culpability" waters to prevent a judgment against an individual, but the long-term consequence for the two families or clans involved would likely be a feud.

The "modern" jury system was instituted by Edward I at about the same time as he established Parliament. The latter was simply a means of getting the commoners to ratify his levies against the kingdom in general for funds, which by-passed the baronage and the peerage, against whom the Plantagents had struggled since their foundation as a dynasty by Edward's great-grandfather, Henry II. Creating a House of Lords was rather clever, as well, since any veto of an act by the Commons transferred the onus of opposition from monarch v. peerage to one of commons v. peerage.

The jury system was equally in its origin a means to more firmly found the royal authority, by involving the commons, and even the peasants on the land, in the processes of royal courts. Each manor house, with its complement of serfs, and its concommitant population of commons involved in craft and trade, convened, at least annually, a manor court. Were the the manor owned by a member of the peerage, it was a baronial court. Were the manor owned by a member of the clergy, it would be, effectively if not in name, an canon court. Henry had established the system of royal courts to offer the commons an opportunity to get out from under baronial and canon authority. It lead eventually to many confrontations between King and peerage, and most famously, to the quarrel between Henry and Thomas à Beckett, when a priest was killed by a Baron, who then appealed to the King's justice to avoid the almost certain condemnation of a canon court.

Edward's original concept was that a dozen (thinking in "twelves" is a Danish legacy) of a peasant's or commoner's community would stand surety for the accused, as well as offer evidence in mitigation, for or against the accused. There was not originally any idea of the jury deciding guilt or innocence. But, just as in times of political crisis, the Commons enhanced its Parliamentary authority through a quid pro quo with the monarch, so the role of the jury evolved through the necessity of the royal courts to enlist popular support for the King's authority in such troubled times.

Edward's father was Henry III, son of King John of Runnymeade fame (Runnymeade is roughly half-way between Windsor castle and London--that hotbed of revolutionary sentiment in otherwise staid Merry Old). After the baronage had extracted Magna Carta from King John, each party retired to a neutral corner, and the civil war resumed. John, who never really meant it when he signed Magna Carta, used the rights embodied therein to appeal for support among the baronage, a policy expanded upon by the first Lord Protector, Guillaume le Marechal--William Marshall. The rebels actually ended up suspending that charter of rights within the territory which they controlled, in order to assure their control (stupid, stupid, stupid), and imported a Franco-Norman army to back their play. When John died shortly thereafter, and William Marshall took up the office of Lord Protector during the minority of Henry, popular support waxed rapidly for the royal party, both because of the image of an even handed grant of rights, as well as resentment against the French mercenaries. Walter Scott did not make up the Robin Hood story in Ivanhoe from whole cloth, but the legends in fact had their origin in partisan raids against French convoys during that civil war in Kent and Surry, which were then still heavily forested. The whole long-bow thing, though, is fiction--neither Norman nor Anglo-Saxon used missle weapons commonly, and the long-bow as an import by Edward I after his conquest of Wales (1272?).

After Marshall retired, Henry had an enormous residue of good will amond both commons and the baronage, although it appears that he little understood it. He had wanted to make his son Prince of Wales, but seemed not to have understood that the Welsh might take exception to this. Llewellan the Great not only effectively opposed him, but when the powerful de Monfort clan rose in rebellion against the King, the Welsh assured constant defeat for Henry. The de Monforts eventually made prisoners of both the King and his son, Edward. Edward managed to escape, and enlisted the support of members of the baronage opposed to the de Monfort faction, and then cut a deal with the City of London for the use of their "free companies," a sort of militia. Catching the de Monforts in the open field, without the Welsh, he soundly defeated them, and freed his father. With Henry's authority, and his own canny wit, Edward made deals with municipal corporations and powerful baronial clans throughout England, and finally defeated the de Monforts definitively. Henry came to an agreement with Llewellyn the Great, which saw his son Griffith and his grandsons Llewellyn and David, sent to London as hostages for Llewellyn's good faith. David and Edward were close companions and good friends thereafter. Griffith, however, died attempting to escape the Tower, where he and his family had been moved in a time of tension with the Welsh. Eventually, his son Llewellyn ap Griffith, took up the standard of Llewellyn the Great, and defended Welsh independence. When Henry died, and Edward came to the throne, his first policy was the conquest of Wales.

Edward has inherited all of his great-grandfather's (Henry II, remember?) canny intellect, and more than his fair share of cruelty and a retributive nature. Llewellyn was losing the war in the hills, but was holding on in the mountains, when he was killed on a striken field in a freak accident--he rode out of the fog and onto the lance which a panicked foot soldier had couched against the ground when he heard a horseman approaching. That's the common story, at any event. David had neither Llewellyn's charisma nor authority; Edward made allies of the barons of Powys in South Wales (from whence the long-bowmen), cutting yet another deal for rights and privileges, and made short work of the rest of Wales thereafter. David was horribly tortured and executed at Chester, in one of the starkest examples of Edward cruel and vengeful nature--he considered David's patriotism to be personal betrayal. Mel Gibson could have had much more sadistic fun with David ap Griffith's life than that of William Wallace.

By the time Edward's authority was consolidated, and all of the Kingdom under his thumb as it never had been before in history, he began to refine his great-grandfather's institutions, and create new ones, to butress his authority, and assume new monarchical rights. The jury and Parliament are the two most striking examples, and they show how much Edward had learned about weaving webs of alliance and suspicion to assure his control. That's my story, and i'm stickin' to it.
0 Replies
 
Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2004 11:06 pm
Is that not exactly as I stated previously? We can all nit pick with terminology. What is the point? Civil Court is all about fiancial settlement, not justice, right? I thought justice was reserved for Criminal Court.
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2004 08:51 am
I'm not nitpicking about terminology at all. In Civil Court, you don't necessarily get $$ - it can be equitable relief, injunctions or specific performance.
0 Replies
 
Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2004 04:07 pm
Hmmm, please explain the terms before I start spouting out medical terms lawyers wont have a clue what I'm talking about! lol!! I didn't realize Civil Court did much more than make a monetary settlement. Now, what else is it they do, layman terms please before I start hitting you guys with medical terms, which you will not understand at all!

I was forced to take a guy to Civil Court, who committed a criminal act against me. I tried pressing criminal charges. I had proof, but not a for sure conviction that the DA would take. I was infuriated. This was a matter of felony theft.

I did seek legal advice before pressing criminal charges. This is a respectable law firm, as well as very expensive. Yeah Jes, I do know there are ethical lawyers out there! This firm will not participate in ambulance chasing. I was advised to use the evidence I had as adequate for criminal charges.

I was dealing with an educated, professional business man who knew more about law than I did. He knew he could get away with this theft because my evidence was disputable, not rock solid. He had several thousand dollars to gain by refusing return of my owned property.

This man is a criminal and will never be stopped if I didn't take action. He manipulates to gain trust. He is criminal minded or would never have done the many criminal acts against me. I only whished the big one, a felony, be pursued. I wished for him to have a criminal conviction, with record of felony theft to stop him from doing this ever again to anyone in the future. I didn't get that at all.

I didn't know that I needed everything in writing, as anyone outside of the legal profession does not know. I seriously doubt I could depend on a lawyer to save an individual life either, but I can because of my education and experience.

No profession is better than another. All have ills, including my own, medicine. I believe we should work together, not criticizing and opposing each other, which is the reality of today. This is clearly wrong making such an assumption. We all can contribute to society, no matter what profession. I try to do this and help others. Do lawyers? Do nurses? No, most don't want to be bothered. I wish to be above this.

Is it reasonable for me to expect a lawyer to know medical protocol and act accordingly without adequate medical education? No, it is not. It is also not acceptable for people who do not practice law to hold the same standards towards others in differing professions and calling us ignorant or stupid because of ignorance of the many inconsistencies of law and follow it, as an attorney would.

Thankfully, I do have a friend in law school who gave me that net site and how to use it, case law and how to interpret it. I guess that I'm lucky enough to have made the right friends. Most of us don't have such access.

A lawyer would kill people because of their inadequacies of medicine unknowingly because they lack my skill and education in the medical field, just as people outside the profession of law will make the mistake of trusting a friend. End the fight between profession and work together to give something good to all.

I learned that when it comes to large sums of money, people your trust will betray you for self gain with clearly illegal acts of felony theft. I learned that verbal agreements mean absolutely nothing. I learned, the hard way, never to trust anyone. What a grand disappointment in humanity, which I feel to this day. I also learned what a disappointment our legal system can be, turning you away, with a clear felony act, because of politics and furthering career alone.

I couldn't use the ethical law firm that I originally sought advice from. I had to fight for my rights. Ethical lawyers never go for the throat. They wish for things to be simple and peaceful. When dealing with the unethical, I chose an Pitt Bull for representation. He was only after his own self interest and furthering his own career. The ethical attorneys name their price. This guy, I named mine, which he accepted.

Cash is cash, right? I promised him that I would spread his name to everyone I know if he would pull this off for me in Civil Court. Unfortunately, I had to drastically lower my standards on clearly criminal behavior after being turned away by Criminal Court, where the DA was only after his own self gain of conviction rate.

This cockroach of the legal profession, who I reluctantly hired, liked my proof and promise to spread his name and agreed to a negotiated flat fee for his services. This did cost me quite a lot of cash, due to theft was at stake. If I could only get half of the value of what I owned, which is an unreasonable expectation after legal fees, which was stolen, it is worth legal fees of an unethical yet cheap lawyer. You never will get complete justice when all is said and done.

I don't like paying anyone such as this, but had to. When you are dealing with felony theft, you are dealing with a seriously ethically challenged and criminal minded individual. I also had to use an unethical attorney with sharp teeth only wishing to further his career. I stick to my word with him. I will absolutely give him my full recommend when turned away by Criminal Court.

Ethical attorneys wont touch this stuff and if they will, the charge you a fortune. I imagine Jess is one of those high priced and ethical who is not worth to cash spent for some sort of justice when turned away by the DA. No disrespect intended, but I do know ethical attorneys are extremely expensive, which I could not financially afford. I went for a dog with sharp teeth instead.

Until I see the day society changes, I will continue to give this guy, who I see as an unethical and embarrassment to the legal profession, my full recommend to anyone I feel needs help that Criminal Court denies.

Any ethical lawyer will cost about as much as stolen and owned property. After paying them you end up with a lot of stress and no compensation at all. The ambulance chasers, with no feelings of ethics, will take your case and eat someone alive, right or wrong. Most lawyers don't care about much besides cash in their pocket and furthering their career. Believe me, I did a lot of lawyer shopping for this problem.

I refused ethical attorneys for my case and opted for an unethical one with teeth of a Doberman and no ethics, just a win in court and my word to spread his name. This is the sorry truth about the legal profession or why, with ethics, was I turned away from a clear felony case and unable to even break even with ethical attorneys? It is true and people should know it.

I can't use ethics. I will do as I promised this guy, which is upholding my word given to him. It is ethical, keep your word. I'm not too sure about people and their word today. I will spread his name, as promised. This is most unfortunate because this is a guy with little ethics and a lot of ambition, that I paid to represent me against a criminal in Civil Court. That is how things really work. Thank our legal profession for this because of their own self gain and stronghold on politics.

I have no doubt that the exact same unethical lawyer I paid to serve me some sort of justice will be elected to political office. He will. I know what he stands for and it isn't in the best interest of society. I couldn't use ethical attorneys that clearly saw a clear case of felony crime who sent me directly to Criminal Court, where my case was denied. Ethical attorneys cost too much and would not represent me as an unethical lawyer did, to the point that I might as well drop the case of a criminal because I would never get any type of justice after paying them. I would either break even or win my case and still be in debt to an attorney. It really is that bad.

You better have a complete written and signed agreement or someone can legally steal thousands of dollars from you. I am talking about a very trusted friends that used my trust to get away with a felony crime. Never trust anyone, which greatly saddens me about society. Never trust a long time friend if they have anything to gain from you. Never trust that justice will be served if they act in a criminal way against you. What a horrible lesson to learn, the hard way, about trusted friends and our criminal justice system!!

I was forced to use Civil Court to obtain any sort of justice at all. I believe to my dying day that this man deserves a criminal record and criminal punishment to follow him the rest of his life to ensure that he does not commit the same crime again and again, which I strongly believe he will.

I won my case in Civil Court. With this, I could have gone to criminal court with more convincing evidence. I greatly regret that I didn't do just that to prevent crime to another. I am ashamed of my own weakness by not pursuing this further. It was destroying my life. The court process is so lengthy that the victim of a crime will not pursue a criminal only because you can't take this high stress and desire to move on with your life.

Justice was not served in Civil Court, only a financial settlement. Again, I went weak again and settled for less than what I should have. I feel guilt about this. I feel that I allowed a criminal to go with no punishment or record of a felony so others would know and a judge could push for a tougher punishment knowing that this wasn't the first felony act of theft.

I wish there was a way that I could take my weakness back. Maybe I can. I don't know. All that I do know is the fact that this guy will continue felony acts of theft and should be stopped through Criminal Court. This case is about two years old. Is there a way of giving justice after this amount of time? I can't stand the guilt I live with because I was too weak. It caused too much stress in my life to continue with this issue.

Today I seriously regret my own weakness, but had so many other demands upon me that I didn't feel I could take the stress of a lengthy court process. I only wish that I could do it all over again. Maybe time has not run out. This case is two years old at max time. I should do what is right by society, stop this thief. Can I, after this time? I'm not sure, but I do regret not taking the settlement to criminal court, which is an admission of guilt. I am afraid of this man, which also stops me, but know fear is not the right answer and live with regret..

I seriously doubt that I am alone going to Civil Court for the slightest bit of justice to be served to me after being turned away from the DA of Criminal Court. Many of us feel so much stress in our lives that we are not able to continue a lengthy court battle lasing at least a year of our lives. That was me and I strongly regret my own weakness not bringing a criminal to justice after Civil Court.

I got a financial settlement. I did not get justice, as I see it. A criminal should stand for the crimes against another. They should be punished and made to understand the wrong they do. This man walked, only because I didn't have the strength to purse this matter further. I know him. He will do this again to someone. How do you stop this?
0 Replies
 
Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2004 04:07 pm
Hmmm, please explain the terms before I start spouting out medical terms lawyers wont have a clue what I'm talking about! lol!! I didn't realize Civil Court did much more than make a monetary settlement. Now, what else is it they do, layman terms please before I start hitting you guys with medical terms, which you will not understand at all!

I was forced to take a guy to Civil Court, who committed a criminal act against me. I tried pressing criminal charges. I had proof, but not a for sure conviction that the DA would take. I was infuriated. This was a matter of felony theft.

I did seek legal advice before pressing criminal charges. This is a respectable law firm, as well as very expensive. Yeah Jes, I do know there are ethical lawyers out there! This firm will not participate in ambulance chasing. I was advised to use the evidence I had as adequate for criminal charges.

I was dealing with an educated, professional business man who knew more about law than I did. He knew he could get away with this theft because my evidence was disputable, not rock solid. He had several thousand dollars to gain by refusing return of my owned property.

This man is a criminal and will never be stopped if I didn't take action. He manipulates to gain trust. He is criminal minded or would never have done the many criminal acts against me. I only whished the big one, a felony, be pursued. I wished for him to have a criminal conviction, with record of felony theft to stop him from doing this ever again to anyone in the future. I didn't get that at all.

I didn't know that I needed everything in writing, as anyone outside of the legal profession does not know. I seriously doubt I could depend on a lawyer to save an individual life either, but I can because of my education and experience.

No profession is better than another. All have ills, including my own, medicine. I believe we should work together, not criticizing and opposing each other, which is the reality of today. This is clearly wrong making such an assumption. We all can contribute to society, no matter what profession. I try to do this and help others. Do lawyers? Do nurses? No, most don't want to be bothered. I wish to be above this.

Is it reasonable for me to expect a lawyer to know medical protocol and act accordingly without adequate medical education? No, it is not. It is also not acceptable for people who do not practice law to hold the same standards towards others in differing professions and calling us ignorant or stupid because of ignorance of the many inconsistencies of law and follow it, as an attorney would.

Thankfully, I do have a friend in law school who gave me that net site and how to use it, case law and how to interpret it. I guess that I'm lucky enough to have made the right friends. Most of us don't have such access.

A lawyer would kill people because of their inadequacies of medicine unknowingly because they lack my skill and education in the medical field, just as people outside the profession of law will make the mistake of trusting a friend. End the fight between profession and work together to give something good to all.

I learned that when it comes to large sums of money, people your trust will betray you for self gain with clearly illegal acts of felony theft. I learned that verbal agreements mean absolutely nothing. I learned, the hard way, never to trust anyone. What a grand disappointment in humanity, which I feel to this day. I also learned what a disappointment our legal system can be, turning you away, with a clear felony act, because of politics and furthering career alone.

I couldn't use the ethical law firm that I originally sought advice from. I had to fight for my rights. Ethical lawyers never go for the throat. They wish for things to be simple and peaceful. When dealing with the unethical, I chose an Pitt Bull for representation. He was only after his own self interest and furthering his own career. The ethical attorneys name their price. This guy, I named mine, which he accepted.

Cash is cash, right? I promised him that I would spread his name to everyone I know if he would pull this off for me in Civil Court. Unfortunately, I had to drastically lower my standards on clearly criminal behavior after being turned away by Criminal Court, where the DA was only after his own self gain of conviction rate.

This cockroach of the legal profession, who I reluctantly hired, liked my proof and promise to spread his name and agreed to a negotiated flat fee for his services. This did cost me quite a lot of cash, due to theft was at stake. If I could only get half of the value of what I owned, which is an unreasonable expectation after legal fees, which was stolen, it is worth legal fees of an unethical yet cheap lawyer. You never will get complete justice when all is said and done.

I don't like paying anyone such as this, but had to. When you are dealing with felony theft, you are dealing with a seriously ethically challenged and criminal minded individual. I also had to use an unethical attorney with sharp teeth only wishing to further his career. I stick to my word with him. I will absolutely give him my full recommend when turned away by Criminal Court.

Ethical attorneys wont touch this stuff and if they will, the charge you a fortune. I imagine Jess is one of those high priced and ethical who is not worth to cash spent for some sort of justice when turned away by the DA. No disrespect intended, but I do know ethical attorneys are extremely expensive, which I could not financially afford. I went for a dog with sharp teeth instead.

Until I see the day society changes, I will continue to give this guy, who I see as an unethical and embarrassment to the legal profession, my full recommend to anyone I feel needs help that Criminal Court denies.

Any ethical lawyer will cost about as much as stolen and owned property. After paying them you end up with a lot of stress and no compensation at all. The ambulance chasers, with no feelings of ethics, will take your case and eat someone alive, right or wrong. Most lawyers don't care about much besides cash in their pocket and furthering their career. Believe me, I did a lot of lawyer shopping for this problem.

I refused ethical attorneys for my case and opted for an unethical one with teeth of a Doberman and no ethics, just a win in court and my word to spread his name. This is the sorry truth about the legal profession or why, with ethics, was I turned away from a clear felony case and unable to even break even with ethical attorneys? It is true and people should know it.

I can't use ethics. I will do as I promised this guy, which is upholding my word given to him. It is ethical, keep your word. I'm not too sure about people and their word today. I will spread his name, as promised. This is most unfortunate because this is a guy with little ethics and a lot of ambition, that I paid to represent me against a criminal in Civil Court. That is how things really work. Thank our legal profession for this because of their own self gain and stronghold on politics.

I have no doubt that the exact same unethical lawyer I paid to serve me some sort of justice will be elected to political office. He will. I know what he stands for and it isn't in the best interest of society. I couldn't use ethical attorneys that clearly saw a clear case of felony crime who sent me directly to Criminal Court, where my case was denied. Ethical attorneys cost too much and would not represent me as an unethical lawyer did, to the point that I might as well drop the case of a criminal because I would never get any type of justice after paying them. I would either break even or win my case and still be in debt to an attorney. It really is that bad.

You better have a complete written and signed agreement or someone can legally steal thousands of dollars from you. I am talking about a very trusted friends that used my trust to get away with a felony crime. Never trust anyone, which greatly saddens me about society. Never trust a long time friend if they have anything to gain from you. Never trust that justice will be served if they act in a criminal way against you. What a horrible lesson to learn, the hard way, about trusted friends and our criminal justice system!!

I was forced to use Civil Court to obtain any sort of justice at all. I believe to my dying day that this man deserves a criminal record and criminal punishment to follow him the rest of his life to ensure that he does not commit the same crime again and again, which I strongly believe he will.

I won my case in Civil Court. With this, I could have gone to criminal court with more convincing evidence. I greatly regret that I didn't do just that to prevent crime to another. I am ashamed of my own weakness by not pursuing this further. It was destroying my life. The court process is so lengthy that the victim of a crime will not pursue a criminal only because you can't take this high stress and desire to move on with your life.

Justice was not served in Civil Court, only a financial settlement. Again, I went weak again and settled for less than what I should have. I feel guilt about this. I feel that I allowed a criminal to go with no punishment or record of a felony so others would know and a judge could push for a tougher punishment knowing that this wasn't the first felony act of theft.

I wish there was a way that I could take my weakness back. Maybe I can. I don't know. All that I do know is the fact that this guy will continue felony acts of theft and should be stopped through Criminal Court. This case is about two years old. Is there a way of giving justice after this amount of time? I can't stand the guilt I live with because I was too weak. It caused too much stress in my life to continue with this issue.

Today I seriously regret my own weakness, but had so many other demands upon me that I didn't feel I could take the stress of a lengthy court process. I only wish that I could do it all over again. Maybe time has not run out. This case is two years old at max time. I should do what is right by society, stop this thief. Can I, after this time? I'm not sure, but I do regret not taking the settlement to criminal court, which is an admission of guilt. I am afraid of this man, which also stops me, but know fear is not the right answer and live with regret..

I seriously doubt that I am alone going to Civil Court for the slightest bit of justice to be served to me after being turned away from the DA of Criminal Court. Many of us feel so much stress in our lives that we are not able to continue a lengthy court battle lasing at least a year of our lives. That was me and I strongly regret my own weakness not bringing a criminal to justice after Civil Court.

I got a financial settlement. I did not get justice, as I see it. A criminal should stand for the crimes against another. They should be punished and made to understand the wrong they do. This man walked, only because I didn't have the strength to purse this matter further. I know him. He will do this again to someone. How do you stop this?
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2004 05:02 pm
I'm not going to comment on your experiences. I'm sorry they were bad ones. That's all anyone can say, right?

Here is the Cornell law article on equitable relief: http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/equity.html The Cornell web site is very good but of course it's no substitute for going to Law School. Still, if you have questions, I suggest you check it out, the information is very good and of course Cornell is reputable.

I don't know where you're seeing a conflict with professions or anyone here attempting to act like a nurse. Are you seeing that? If so, tell me; that's against the Terms of Service. We don't offer medical advice here, nothing beyond very general layman's stuff (e. g. rest and drink fluids). I would never presume to diagnose anyone. I also don't presume to give people legal advice online. No one here should be doing that. It's not just an ethical consideration, it's a consideration for this website, which I help administer. And it's a matter of conscience - what if one of us is wrong? We all know that generally we aren't told everything online. Often, there are missing pieces of every story. Presuming to be able to adequately help someone in the medical or legal field, based solely upon Internet postings and not on personal observations, is folly.

And no, I'm not some high-priced lawyer. It's all in my profile, what I do and all that. Yes, I have a JD. Yes, I've practiced. But I don't practice now. I hope that's not surprising; I just have a different life now, and different skills and a different idea of what to do for a living that will make me happy.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2004 06:49 pm
Setanta wrote:
An interesting facet of Anglo-Saxon society, and of many others throughout history, has been the concept of "blood money," or wehrgelt. If you killed someone, you (more to the point, your family or clan) could obviate the necessity for retribution by paying the blood money.

Interesting indeed. Thank you for a truly fascinating history lesson! I think German law had 'Wehrgelt' too. In fact, the word 'Wehrgelt' still parses in the modern German language, and conveys approximately the original meaning. (Wehr=armed defense, Geld = Money in modern German.)

Setanta wrote:
The "modern" jury system was instituted by Edward I at about the same time as he established Parliament. The latter was simply a means of getting the commoners to ratify his levies against the kingdom in general for funds, which by-passed the baronage and the peerage, against whom the Plantagents had struggled since their foundation as a dynasty by Edward's great-grandfather, Henry II.

Are you saying it was politics, and nothing but politics? Could we do away with the modern system and go back to Wehrgelt again without a net disadvantage to society?

On a slightly different note, I am beginning to wonder if this might not be the time for me to do some homework and read up on the history and philosophy of the tort-crime-distinction. Can you recommend a good textbook?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2004 11:03 pm
Yes, Thomas, the notion of wehrgelt was not unique to the Saxons, and, given that they occupied an area stretching from the Moravian Highlands to the North Sea at the time of the migration to England, that should not be surprising. I wrote that at a single stroke, off the top of my head, and as i was developing a theme, i was a little sloppy with the historical side of it. A major blunder i made, and which i realized later, but decided not to edit, is the impression which is conveyed that Llewellyn the Great was the ally of the de Monforts. It doesn't make sense, even in context. Llewellyn ap Griffith allied himself with the de Monforts, and Edward was a grown man, whose childhood friendship with David ap Griffith was behind him, at the time of Henry III's capture.

There may well be a textbook which would develop the rise of a tort-crime distinction, but i am not the person to recommend it. It is taken as a matter of course in university level survey histories that Henry II (1154-89) created the system of royal courts as a part of his life-long effort to more solidly establish the royal authority at the expense of "overmighty lords" (that term is used here anachronistically--it derives from the period of the Wars of the Roses, 1452-87). However, it is less well-known that his great-grandson Edward I (1272-1307) established a formal jury system. This was significant for two reasons.

Henry II was succeeded by Richard Coeur de Lion (1189-99), who, as a homosexual, produced no heir. He was succeeded by John Lackland, his brother (1199-1216). Richard has, of course, as King, title to all of the personal inheritance of his father which had not been parcelled out elsewhere; his brother Goeffrey had been given Brittany, and made responsible for the defense of of Anjou, Poitou, Acquitaine and the other continental possessions. John was, or believed himself to have been, ill-treated. He was not highly regarded within the society of his day, and was tagged as "Lackland," because he had been given no estates or titles while his father and brother lived and ruled. After he came to the throne, he decided to push his father's goal of reigning in the powers and pretensions of the peerage and baronage, but did so in a very ham-handed manner. Thus, he found himself with a civil war on his hands, and, at Runnymeade in 1215, was coerced into granting Magna Carta, in which many of the freedoms which are embodied in the United States constitution, and theoretically available in the unwritten constitution of Britain were first elucidated. These were freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from attainder (which did not survive in Britain, but was only formally outlawed, once again, many centuries later), the right to trial by a jury of one's peers. The document concerns itself with a great deal more, but this is about the sum of what passes for a contemporary general knowledge of the document. The first eleven articles are concerned entirely with inheritance, and the point was that the baronage and peerage wanted to protect their property from seizure by the crown while a female heir or a minor heir was in possession. Many of the following articles concern themselves with the sitting of courts, in one case stating that no suit shall follow a royal court around, but be held in a single location. It also holds that no scutage or aid can be levied on the kingdom without "our" general consent. The use of the pronoun "our" refers, of course, to the baronage and peerage, and not to the commons. In more than sixty articles, one can see a list of the greivances which the peerage had against a monarchy which they felt had exceeded, largely through the innovation of the royal court as an institution of jurisprudence, the rightful bounds of feudal structure and custom.

As noted above, the civil war continued after John escaped from the influence of his enemies. The city of London had backed their move agains the King, as attested to in one of the articles (13?) which states that the City of London and all other cities and boroughs shall enjoy their ancient liberties and rights (now tell me if a statement so vague as "ancient liberties" is not fertile ground for legal action). When John died, he was succeeded by his minor son, Henry III (1216-72). I've discussed Henry's unfortunate peregrinations in the royal mantle.

When Edward established the Parliament, it is a direct response to the injunction in Magna Carta that no scutage or aid may be levied on the Kingdom without "our" consent. But Edward was canny, and not only demonstrated that he fully understood what his great-grandfather had intended, but carried it further. Including the Commons in the Parliament meant that he transferred the most of the animus in such fiscal matters from a conflict between monarch and peerage to a political struggle between Commons and Lords. It was also brilliant in the context of his time, as the Commons were very much flattered at the official notice taken of them by the King, and were nothing loathe to grant him his scutage and aid--very necessary, as he replaced the fuedal levy with a professional army, albeit a mercenary one, which allowed him to conquer Wales and Scotland, something no other monarch in that kingdom had ever been capable of doing.

Please note that i stated that the "modern" jury system was created by Edward. The first official reference to trial by a jury of one's peers is in Magna Carta. In establishing a system by which the Commons were included in the deliberations of the royal courts and assizes, Edward once again used the general population to modify or nullify the power of the peerage and baronage. In his reign, the jury functioned much as i've described above, standing surety for the appearance of the accused, and offering testimony in mitigation based upon the community's judgment of the character of the accused. It is interesting to wonder whether or not Edward was aware of the future ramifications of his new interpretations of his great-grandfather's royal courts and assizes, and his grandfather's grant of Magna Carta. I suspect he was sufficiently intelligent to have foreseen the development of those institutions, and given the character (or rather the lack thereof) of his son, Edward II (1307-27), he likely had no illusions that they would soon function of their own right, during the reign of a weak and stupid man.

So in way, yes, i'm saying it was politics. From Henry II through William IV (1830-37), when the first Reform Bill was passed, the history of the courts and assizes, and the Parliament, is a history of the struggle for power between, at first, monarch and "overmighty lords," and, later, between Commons and "the King in Parliament." I would be at pains to point out that it is my personal contention that Edward I is responsible for the formal establishment of these crucial institutions. I neither know, nor care, whether or not historians would agree with me. My historical opinions are formed by reading extensively in the history of a given period or people, and the biographies of the principle "players." A professor of history here at this site once remarked to me, rather snippishly, that history is more than just the recital of Kings and battles. I am quite well aware of this, but one cannot ignore that in the late 13th and early 14th centuries in England, no other single individual had more power, nor the use of it, than did Edward Longshanks. A study of the manor courts and their records, and the few documents in which someone actually decided to describe the lives of the serfs and the Commons is quite revealing about how their lives were lived. It will tell us nothing, however, about the establishment and evolution of the institutions which survive to this day, and are so much at the heart of jursiprudence and governance in the English-speaking world. For that, one needs to learn a great deal about the roller-coaster ride which was monarchy in the middle ages, and the personalities taking the ride. Of those men and women, in that period in England, i find Henry II, Eleanor of Acquitaine and Edward I to be the most interesting, and their lives to be the most instructive.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2004 10:27 am
Thomas wrote:
In fact, the word 'Wehrgelt' still parses in the modern German language, and conveys approximately the original meaning. (Wehr=armed defense, Geld = Money in modern German.)

The Anglo-Saxon "wer" in "wergeld" (alt. "weregeld," "wergild," "wergyld") is, as far as I can tell, not etymologically related to the German "Wehr." Rather, the Anglo-Saxon term "wer" means "man," not "defense." As such, the term "wergeld" refers to the value of a man's life. The only other English word in use today that is derived from the Anglo-Saxon "wer" is "werwolf" (lit. "wolf man"). "Wehrgeld" appears to have been an alternate spelling, but it is not clear if the Old German "Wehr" is related to the modern German "wehren" or whether its meaning is closer to "man." Some sources use "Manngeld" as an alternate to "Wehrgeld,", which suggests that the Germans/Franks had the same meaning for the term as the Anglo-Saxons. By the mid-nineteenth century, the term "Wehrgeld" was being used in relation to military taxes, which certainly is tied to the Wehr/defense meaning of the term, but which is unrelated to the medieval notion of "wergeld."
0 Replies
 
Wildflower63
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Mar, 2004 11:09 pm
I am not seeking legal advice at all. I only intended to share a personal experience with the justice system that forced me to hire an attorney in order to get any sort of justice at all. This topic hits a probable small spectrum of individuals. I would expect that many people, such as myself, are turned away when pressing criminal charges to a DA who is only interested in conviction rate to further personal career, not what criminal justice is about.

I was not asking for legal advice. I also cannot give medical advice for many questions people may ask. Many situations are beyond net posts. They require individual evaluation. I never stated exactly what the legal problem I had was. I only gave very general information. I already sought legal advice, as I posted. I also interviewed attorneys and made a choice who would be best to take my case.

Why on earth would anyone jump to the conclusion that I had no legal representation, when stated otherwise, and sought advise on an old issue in which I already made a decision about? I might not like myself too much for allowing a criminal to run with no punishment or record, but could not emotionally handle the extreme stress by pursuing justice.

This was intended as an expression of my personal experience. I did not give any specific information for anyone to adequately evaluate or ask for legal advice. As stated before, I already did that with two separate privately paid attorneys. I did not ask for professional legal advice or give adequate information in my post.

I only expressed the hardship I experienced and my own disappointment in myself and justice system. I was too weak, not taking the information I had, after Civil Court, with obvious admission of guilt signed by the person who committed a felony crime against me. Today, I regret not being strong enough to withstand the enormous stress of further court action.

I also feel that politics and person career gain is a problem with clearly criminal cases. I wished to express to anyone who has ever been a victim of crime, it is not an easy road bringing any individual to justice and I admire those who are strong enough to keep fighting. I had too many family problems, with teen kids and lousy marriage, to keep on. I regret my weakness is all. I did not request legal advice at any point.

I asked for laymen terms, for all professions to understand, what that post stated that Civil Court is able to do, besides financial compensation. The answer provided was only to be understood by those familiar with the legal system, which most of us are not.

We all contribute in differing ways to society was my singular point. I used humor to by threatening medical terms that lawyers would not understand. Were we talking medicine? No, we were not. How could anyone take seriously that I would start spouting medical terms lawyers wouldn't understand.

Don't be so arrogant. Do lawyers have a sense of humor? I feel the humor in my statement was obvious. It is also insulting to speak in terms that are knowingly not understood by all using terms of a singular profession. The people of this country are not necessarily stupid, but worked hard in a different field to be educated.

I feel science has more to offer than law ever did. Now I'm being arrogant. How does that make a lawyer feel? Angry, just as no answer to a simple question makes taxpayers feel when a profession whishes to 'talk over your head' to make you feel stupid, when many are far from it. We just skipped on law school is all and decided on a different profession. A lawyer is allowed to lose. A medical professional isn't or the lawyers eat you alive. What a huge difference in standards!

Law was never written for citizens, who are obligated to abide by it, to understand. It was exclusively written by and for the legal profession. A lawyer would never be able to go through any patient's chart and make sense out of much without medical training. This does leave the legal profession just as ignorant about health care, which is also very important. Money can't buy health!! Money can buy a lawyer though.

There was a post made stating several things beyond financial compensation by Civil Court. Please, don't double talk me with this. If a lawyer has a question about a particular diagnosis, I will explain. I don't have to. I can tell you to ask the doctor. I will not give medical advice over the net, as I do not expect any attorney to do the same. There is no breach of rules here at all.

I asked for laymen terms of what, besides financial compensation, Civil Court can offer and got legal terminology. Clearly, I am not asking for legal advice. I am asking for terms that anyone, no matter what profession, can understand of what it is that Civil Court has to offer citizens of this country. Last I checked, taxes paying for this came right out of my paycheck.

Don't we, that do not work in the legal profession, deserve a simple answer? Don't patients in a hospital deserve a simple answer they can understand in order to make an informed choice without using medical terms that they will obviously not understand?

Would someone please answer my question in a form that all can understand. What, besides financial compensation, does Civil Court offer our citizens? I think every single taxpayer deserves a simple answer in laymen terms. We pay for government services with every paycheck. The law applies to all. Is the legal system exploiting citizens by not sharing knowledge that all pay for?

If I cannot get a simple answer, not some lengthy and unnecessary website, why should I have confidence in this field when required lengthy research must be required to know what it is we pay for.

I know there are attorneys here. Please answer a simple question in terms everyone of any profession can understand. A few basic answers are all that I am asking for, not a novel length web site, which I am quite sure can be easily answered.
0 Replies
 
 

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