Legal Ethics and Reform


About the Author, Related Links, E-Mail & Suggested Reading

These web pages have been prepared by Hugh Murray of St. Louis, Missouri. Hugh is married, aged 63, and the President of a small business that employs 25 people. He has been active in politics. He once served his party as a member of its State Committee and at another time as a Presidential Elector. Hugh is not a lawyer but has many lawyers in his family. Hugh has been both a plaintiff and defendant in civil actions, and has served as an arbitrator on several occasions.

Comments, suggestions, and criticisms should be e-mailed to hvm@aol.com.

Hugh Murray prepared this Web Site using ideas drawn primarily from his personal experience and from: Law Professor David Luban's book Lawyers and Justice: An Ethical Study and The New Catholic Catechism commissioned by Pope John Paul II.

A book that contrasts that which is moral with what happens in legal processes is The Myth of Moral Justice: Why our Legal System Fails to do What's Right by Thane Rosenbaum.

An excellent, well written, short book (60 pages) which contains most of the ideas contained in this web-site is The Case Against the Common Law by Prof. Gordon Tullock of the University of Arizonia and George Washington Univ. This book may be obtained over the internet from the   Locke Institute   for $15. Anyone who is serious about Legal Ethics or Legal Reform should read this book.


Additional books and articles worth reading on this and related subjects are:

(1) The Trouble with Lawyers by Murray Bloom,
(2) A Nation Under Lawyers: How the Crisis in the Legal Profession is Transforming American Society by Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon,
(3) Chapter 5 of Arrogant Capital by Kevin Phillips,
(4) Book Two (which is entitled The Legal Mentality) of the The Life of the Mind in America from the Revolution to the Civil War by History Prof. Perry Miller,
(5) Legal Malpractice (both the third edition - two volumes and the fourth edition - four volumes) by Law Professors Ronald Mallen and Jeffery Smith.
(6) The High Priests of American Politics: The Role of Lawyers in American Political Institutions by Prof. Mark C. Miller.
(7) No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America by Ralph Nader and Wesley J. Smith
(8) The Colossal Fraud of 'Involuntary Perjury' by Pitman Buck, Jr.
(9) Major Legal Systems in the World Today: An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Law by Prof. Rene' David and Prof. John E. C. Brierley
(10) Missouri and Federal Court Rules published by the West Publishing Company
(11) The Lawyer's Calling: The Christian Faith and Legal Practice by Joseph G. Allegretti
(12) How Lawyer Screw their Clients and What You Can Do about It by Donald E. deKieffer, Esq.
(13) The Lost Art of Cross Examination by J. W. Ehrlich
(14) Can a Good Christian be a Good Lawyer by Thomas Baker & Timothy Floyd
(15) The Lost Lawyer: Failing Ideals of the Legal Profession by Anthony Kronman
(16) The Death of Common Sense by Philip Howard
(17) Volume One, Part II, Chapter 8 of  Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
(18)  The Case Against the Common Law by Prof. Gordon Tullock
(19) The Myth of Moral Justice: Why Our Legal System Fails to Do What's Right by Thane Rosenbaum, Esq.
(20) Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America by Mark Levine, Esq.



There are several interesting web sites devoted to this and related topics. A list follows:

+ To learn more about intellectual property law in Europe visit the European Federation of Intellectual Property's Website.
+ You must visit the CALL Website and read the great quotes and the well reasoned essay. CALL stands for Citizens Against Lying Lawyers.
+ For a better understanding of the government our Founding Fathers intended for us, the Federalist Papers are universally recomended. These writings can be studed "on line" at   The Constitutional Guardian website.
+ A major organization dedicated to ending the monopoly which lawyers have on many governmental processes is  HALT which stands for Help Abolish Legal Tyranny.
+ The Manhattan Institute is to be congratulated for fine work exposing the unfairness of our legal system, particularly the huge legal fees involved in class action lawsuits. They have produced a great work called Trial Lawyers, Inc.
+ Power-of-Attorneys is a site that has cartoons, discussions of class action suits, interesting links, and even tee shirts and coffee mugs for sale that express anti-lawyer sentiments. This site also has a speaker's bureau service where a local civic group can get a speaker to educate the group about this nation's lawyer problem.
+ A site with good statistics and up to date information on the state of litigation in America today is Overlawyered.com and this site has a good links page called Legal Ethics WebRing
+ A site with no advertising which is almost a law library "on line" is Lex Mundi
+ Mark Willey has several inovative legal reform ideas in his site the Legal and Judical Reform Home Page. In addition, Mark has dug up a very interesting proposal which Presidential Candidate Theodore Roosevelt included in his 1912 platform. Really worth checking out!!!
+ Legal Justice Reform Network and United Citizens for Legal Reform at http://www.atps.com/uclr/
+ Robert Palmer, PhD has written a book about his challenge to a fraudulant bankruptcy filing, entitled Courts Without Justice. Dr. Palmer's website is a good place to learn more about his decade long odyssey from a bankrutcy court in California to the US Supreme Court. This book promises to be particularly insightful because Dr. Palmer is also a lawyer and handled much of the legal work on the case himself.(not always available)
+ Pitman Buck is publicizing an interesting aspect of the law regulating the preparation of IRS Form 1040 which actually requires people to commit The Colossal Fraud of 'Involuntry Perjury'.
+ Very good legal reform site focused particularly on Texas is located at http://www.legalreform-now.org ,
+ Alliance to Revitalize California at http://www.legalreform.org/,
+ Rand Institute for Civil Justice Reform at http:www.rand.org/centers/icj/
+ The AntiShyster Web Site at http://www.antishyster.com/ is very interesting but is not always operating.
+ MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago http://ccme-mac4.bsd.uchicago.edu/CCME.html(not always available)
+ C-SPAN Networks Web Site at http://www.c-span.org,
+ Interesting Political and Media related links at http://member.gnn.com/email/link.htm,
+ British Columbia University has a comprehensive ethics site at http://www.ethics.bcu.ca/,
+ Those interested in doing some self-help legal research on-line should check out the Nolo Law Center Website.
+ Laura Pincus runs an excellent ethics WebSite for DePaul University's Institute for Business and Professional Ethics at http://www.depaul. edu/ethics/,
+ Interesting ethical information and case studies involving the engineering profession has been gathered at http://ethics.tamu.edu/,
+ A very extensive ethics website is available at http://www5.fullerton.edu/les/ethics_list.html(not always available),
+ Marc Perkel has had a particularly "painful" experience with our legal system. He has several ideas for using the Web to make people more aware of the problems being caused by our lawyers and judges. Perkel's site is called People Before Lawyers.,
+ The Markkula Center of Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University has a web site under construction called The Ethics Connection. Santa Clara is a Jesuit institution, and the Jesuits have been on cutting edge of ethical thought since before the time of Pascal (1623 - 1662). This site will soon become a must visit for all thoughtful "web surfers".

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