The Maryland Litigation Blog

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The Judiciary is for Sale in My America??

By Byron Warnken

I’ve always been close to the legal profession.  My father is a lawyer and a full-time law professor.  My mother is also a lawyer.  So is my sister.  I do hate to admit it, but I have a naive sense of the role of justice in our society.

I believe that the courts stand above.  I wrote a paper in college entitled (something like) “The Judicial Branch: First Among Equals”  Basically, the judicial branch is the most important.  It trumps the others.  It does so because it rules.  It has final say.  Forgive my brief explanations of these important cases (they are my own adlibs and are not exactly correct).

  • Marbury v. Madison: The Supreme Court decides what’s constitutional – not you politician.
  • Brown v. Board: Stop pretending separate is equal you fucking hillbilly lawmakers.  Yes, you, lawmaker: We decide what is.
  • Gideon v. Wainwright: The judicial system is so important, and where all the action is, that defendants are entitled to counsel when dealing with the executive branch.
  • US v Nixon: Even the president answers to the judicial branch

When I was in law school, I realized that litigators campaigned on behalf of judges – the same judges they would later appear before.  Huh?  That offended my naive sensibilities.  I still haven’t quite gotten over it.  I don’t donate to judicial campaigns. (With rare exception, I don’t donate to any campaigns.  I try to be neither for, nor against any causes unless it’s the causes of my family or clients.)

Justice is Being Bought

Judicial elections are being bought by individuals and groups that need favor in later court cases.  The links between judicial decisions and the money that put the judge in the robe are getting more obvious all the time.  Everything above is really only intended to say…

Please read this article from PopTort about judges being bought.  This is America, man!  Really?  This happens here?

In other countries, Nixon could have just seized the Army and said, “No, thanks.  I think I’ll keep power.”  In other countries, when folks are injured at work, they are basically told, “Tough shit.”  In some countries, court’s don’t have the power to say, “No, you can’t just flog people.  That is cruel and unusual” or “No dictatorman, we are going to let women vote and wear what they want.”

We Are a Selfish Species

We don’t care about something until it impacts us.  We don’t care about global warming until we can’t go snowboarding or until the beach in front of our second home starts to erode.  We don’t care about medical malpractice caps until we have a baby born with cerebral palsy because some doctor didn’t pay attention to the strips.

By and large, it’s okay because we catch things in time to fix the problem.  But some problems might be too big too fix unless you start early.  Global warming might be one.  A crumbling integrity in the judicial system is definitely one.

I’m clearly just rambling on, but PopTort isn’t.





Med Mal Lawyers Shouldn’t Have to Do All the Heavy Lifting

By Byron Warnken

CMS Stops, then Starts Again Last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which offers health insurance to 100 million people, quietly announced it was going to stop tracking and publicly reporting 8 medicals errors detrimental to patient’s wellbeing. These 8 included when foreign objects are left in patient’s bodies after surgery and […]

Who Owns the Law?

By Byron Warnken

That’s the question put forth by the ABA Journal, a publication of the American Bar Association (see story here).  Author Victor Li asks this important question at the right time.  It’s always been a good and relevant question.  However, never before were there so many implications to the answer. For example, this site, was literally […]

Should Tort Reform Include Capping Insurance Company Profits?

By Byron Warnken

I’m not sure exactly why businesses suggest we need tort reform.  I think a large part of the thinking revolves around insurance premiums being so high.  Premiums are so high.  The cost of lawsuits is so substantial. I think that’s what they talk about. I am a person who likes to make sense out of […]

Ineffective Government, Ineffective Regulation

By Byron Warnken

Even in the best of times for the government, I generally view plaintiffs’ lawyers as the new regulators.  Government regulation is generally underfunded at best, corrupt at its worst.  And now, things have gone from bad to worse.  With a government shutdown, absurdly partisan fights, and whispers of default, you can only imagine that subtle […]