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Totally appalled at the current legal system!

Im sitting outside a set of four courtrooms at our local courthouse (Im on the second floor, and there ate four on every floor for several floors). Im waiting to testify against one of my residents who broke the law. Anyway, the hallway out here is full of public defenders calling out names. "Are you XYZ?" Ive been asked multiple times if Im someone else by many different lawyers. These public defenders have to go represent these people in court right now....have never met them...have no clue who they are...what their story is...what they even look like! Its pandemonium out here with lawyers yelling for multiple people at a time then trying to find a quick quiet spot to confer....

Have any of you ever had to deal with this? How is it possible to get fair and adequate representation? This is appalling!


Asked by Nimue930 at 11:50 AM on Jan. 4, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

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This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Poor people do not live in the same America as the Middle and Upper class.

    Answer by booklover545 at 10:22 PM on Jan. 5, 2013

  • Sounds like arraignment. The defendants the attys are looking for probably just need to enter a plea and then after will get to know the atty after a date for hearing is set.

    This. That or you were sharing the hallway with a civil court, in which case those were the attorneys of the people doing the suing calling the names of the people being sued - they don't go before a judge at all unless the defendant demands it.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 7:37 PM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • No, but I would rather have that than no representation at all. Our legal system is not perfect but better than most.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 11:58 AM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • Well, but if you think about it, we're only promised a lawyer. Not a good lawyer, just a lawyer. Personally, I tend to be of the opinion that if I were arrested for something, I'd really need to take charge of my own defense. It would be up to me to make sure that my lawyer has the information needed to defend me. I wouldn't rely on the lawyer, whether it was a public defender or one I'd personally hired.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 12:15 PM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • I have dealt with it in child support enforcement. I have a case manager who kinda knows my story, but the attorney for the state that day can be someone I've never even met. I hate that, because it makes it very hard for them to adequately represent my side - especially when my ex is paying his own private attorney who is getting paid to know every detail of his case.

    Answer by missanc at 12:23 PM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • Sounds like arraignment. The defendants the attys are looking for probably just need to enter a plea and then after will get to know the atty after a date for hearing is set.

    Answer by feralxat at 12:28 PM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • I have to say, the assistant to the Attorney general in my state helped me a lot,during my child support hearing, and I'd only met him once before when they were setting my trial date. He went in with facts, and all the paperwork needed. I guess some just aren't prepared, and it's a bit different, when they're not dealing with criminals trying to get off.....

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 12:28 PM on Jan. 4, 2013

  • In my experience, paying for a lawyer doesn't get you a better lawyer. In dealing with my ex, and child support issues, i have gone through 4 lawyers. None of them worth the $250.00 plus an hour they charged.

    Answer by musicmaker at 3:22 AM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • My son used a public defender once. He met with the attorney at the attorney's office. Conferred with him on the phone, and met with him in the courthouse prior to the hearing. It is the defendant's responsibility to meet with the lawyer and not the other way around. The public is paying the bill, but the defense is the person's to make sure is strong. It has nothing to do with money. It has everything to do with taking responsibility for your own actions and dealing with the consequences of them. Defendant's aren't victims. They are the criminal. At least they should reach out to the lawyer they don't have to pay for and make sure that person knows who you are.


    Answer by jesse123456 at 3:13 PM on Jan. 6, 2013

  • How do you know they are public defenders? I know that when we've went to court before someone would usually call out a name just to announce that they were needed at that time. Sometimes it's so crowded that it's the easiest way to find someone. That little meeting you witness may not be the first time they've meant but rather a quick reassuring update of what's going to happen. I'd be willing to say that the majority of the people there are just like you and waiting for their turn to testify and the person announcing their name is someone that is just trying to bring them into the court room.

    Answer by baconbits at 3:49 PM on Jan. 4, 2013