Legal Reform – Learning From the Mistakes of the Past

Typically, the first thing society addresses which sparks a revolution is the abuse of justice. Shakespeare’s famous quote about the first thing we do is kill all the lawyers is not actually about lawyers. You have to understand the context. Private individuals were notallowed to have lawyers in those days – only the king. It was not until the American Revolution that the Constitution gave you a right to counsel, which the Supreme Court has effectively taken away giving you court appointed counsel working for the court who have achieved a near perfect conviction rate of 99%. Court appointed lawyers are a joke to put it mildly. They are paid $90 and hour generally compared to $600-$1,000 for private lawyers. Shakespeare’s famous quote comes from a rebellion:
DICK: The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
Cade: Nay, that I mean to do.
Henry The Sixth, Part 2 Act 4, scene 2, 71 – 78
Therefore, Shakespeare’s phase had nothing to do with killing general lawyers, it was the king’s PROSECUTORS who were corrupt. Jake Cade led the second Tax Revolt in England after the Black Death and the king’s ‘lawyers’ (prosecutors) were the ones aggressively seizing homes and prosecuting people wrongly at that time. Hence, history repeats and all the Constitutional precautions have been eliminated by the Supreme Court.
The legal case which became the seminal beginning of the American Revolution was Entick v. Carrington and Three Other King’s Messengers, reported at length in 19 Howell’s State Trials 1029, was the start of the American Revolution also based upon abuse of the king’s agents. The action, dated November 1762, was for trespassing and interfering with the plaintiff’s dwelling by breaking open his desks and boxes and searching and examining his papers.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on January 31, 2016.


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