An article appeared in the 3/15/95 Florida Bar News, that, quoting a Temple University study, said over half of the population of Florida has no access to the courts when they have legal problems; in large part because they can't afford lawyers.
This was the subject of part of a paper that I delivered to University of Florida College of Law Dean Richard Matasar at a sit-in demonstration.
The term of each Florida Bar president runs from July 1, of the year and the article about the Temple study appeared while William F. Blews was president. Following the publication of the Temple study, President Blews wrote an article in the May, 1995, issue of the Florida Bar Journal describing Florida lawyers as Florida's moral aristocracy.
However, President Blews doesn't even mention anything about the deplorable lack of access to the courts referred to in the Temple study in either that article or another lengthy article in the following May 15, 1995, Florida Bar News summarizing both the successes and failures of his tenure as president.
However while the latter article completely ignores the plight of the masses of Floridians identified by the Temple study who can't afford lawyers, it does go extensively into the Bar's stepped up (UPL) measures and expenditures to harass paralegals and others offering lower cost legal services that the public can afford. It also states that the lawyers who are interested in harassing the paralegals are the small firm and solo practitioners, suggesting to me that their interest is in suppressing competition, rather than protecting the public as they claim.
The article also goes into the Bar's increased expenditures for public relations; hiring a communications director and starting a study as to why the public doesn't like lawyers. This incidentally is a favorite theme of the Bar, employing public relations to jawbone up their image rather than doing anything substantive to address the public's concerns.
There is also an article in the February 15, 1997, edition of the Florida Bar News about a Bar meeting to address the problems identified by the Temple study, and as the article states, only 90 minutes was allotted for the meeting and nothing was accomplished even though it was almost two years after publication of the Temple study.
Under these conditions, President Blews' article suggesting Florida lawyers are the moral aristocracy is in the least hypocritical, pretentious and self aggrandizing; and his references to the French Revolution seems particularly ill conceived. For his indifference to the plight of floridians clearly begs a comparison between him as well as members of the Bar, to the thoughtless "let them have cake" attitude that the French aristocracy of 1789 became so famous for and whose abuses were of course highly instrumental in bringing on their own demise.
This problem of access is unquestionably creating sociological havoc across our state. If of course the lawyers of Florida are intent on destroying themselves that is their affair, however I don't see that they have the right, moral aristocracy or not, to drag everyone else with them; which is of course what would happen in the event of a revolution. I have discussed matters relating to revolutionas I see them, elsewhere.