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Legal Aid

Scotsman.com News - Job fear for hundreds as legal aid system heads for meltdown

The Scotsman can reveal the country's leading court solicitors believe radical proposals to overhaul legal-aid fees will drive the profession to breaking point....

John Scott, whose Edinburgh-based firm faces losing £63,000 a year as a result of the changes, said: "These proposals, if they are followed through, will put thousands of lawyers and legal staff out of work....

Pass me the Kleenex...I can see it now, star studded charity telethons, collecting boxes being passed round, the rubber wrist bands, emotional appeals by starving lawyers.... I'm just afraid I won't be able to reach for my wallet to help as I will need both hands to wipe away the tears of mirth.


Brings to mind the joke that asks: what do you call one thousand lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A good start.

Why didn't the shark eat the lawyer?

"Professional courtesy". Or "A horror of cannibalism".

The serious point being that it is dangerous to rely on the system to protect you, if you have no legal representation, if you come near never mind, fall foul, of the criminal law. And with the huge number of repressive new laws enacted by the current bunch of egregious charlatans, the chances of upright and moral citizens becoming targeted is higher every day.

Never mind the activities of the police and media where "suspected of" or even "witness to" is now seen as and treated as "guilty and convicted".

Whereas Legal Aid should not be the gravy train it has been for some lawyers (the Maxwell case, for example), it should provide competent and appropriately remunerated support for those who need it. Or we should employ US style Public Defenders - but those have their own, serious issues.

I'm reminded of Oscar Wilde's saying about the death of Little Nell: "One would have to have a heart of stone to read [it] without laughing."

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