I was just wondering, when did the oath administered in the courts of law, no longer means what it says. Maybe it started with Bill Clinton and his perjury. Probably not. However, it seems that as I continue to practice law, there is a decreased respect for truth and the need to honor the system of law. The ease with which people lie, or at least manufacture the facts to fit their perceived needs, simply amazes me. Because of this fact, the legal system will simply collapse upon itself.
Think about this example. There are two brothers. The younger brother uses the older brother’s car and several hours later gets in an accident. The older brother knows that if the younger brother had permission, the older brother’s insurance policy is liable for the injuries up to the statutory limit. So instead of admitting he gave permission, the older brother, claims he never gave permission on the day of the accident, and in fact, just happened to call his brother to tell him not to take the car. The accident victim is left with a broken arm and damaged back, medical bills, a vehicle the was completely destroyed and her only form of transportation being a bike. The younger brother claims he believed he had permission. The defense holds up any settlement and the case goes to trial over three years after the accident.
So on the witness stand, the older brother freely tells whatever story he can in order to try and convince a jury the no permission was given. Time and time again he is shown to have lied to nearly every critical fact. Yet, what consequences was there for such disregard for the oath administered merely minutes prior to the rendering of the false testimony? So long as there are no consequences for perjury, perjury will prevail when truth should reign supreme.
If we do not insist on integrity, we can not insist on justice. If we do not enforce the law, there is no law. By extension, if there is no integrity in testifying, nor enforcement when perjury is committed, then there is no truth. Truth becomes subjective according to the one who states a “fact” under oath. Black is white and white is black. Day is night and night is day.
Without the backing of judicial enforcement, or a really good trial lawyer, we personally cannot “force” others to tell the truth. Truth can only start with ourself. One person at a time, one truth at a time until day is day, white is white and truth is right.
Am I naive in this thinking? Maybe. But I can sleep at night. I hope you can as well.
We have all seen the image of lawyers as ambulance chasers. Ambulance chasing is illegal, whether by the attorney or by someone on their behalf. The law prohibits “runners” and “cappers” (B & P C sec. 6151) which are persons seeking business for an attorney from hospitals, accident scenes, courthouses, any public or private property. The law does not prohibit the recommendation of an attorney so long as it does not violate the State Bar rules. Unfortunately, in Southern California there are attorneys and law firms that disregard the law and attempt to secure cases illegally. Any contract that was secured in this fashion is void. (B & P C sec. 6154).
The State Bar in every State of the Union prohibits this practice. Our office will never accept cases from runners and cappers. If you or someone you know has been approached improperly regarding an injury, do not sign an agreement with them. They have already proved they cannot be trusted. If you know someone that has signed an agreement with a lawyer that “capped” the case, have them call us to help get out of the contract and contact the State Bar.
Let me know of your experience with a bad lawyer or a ambulance chaser I can help clean up the profession. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need a personal injury lawyer that cares and tries to do everything right, contact me at 909-481-0100 or visit our website at www.davidrickslaw.com.
See more articles and information from David H. Ricks, of the Inland Empire Law Group in Rancho Cucamonga. You can also follow David H. Ricks on Twitter.