Commentary on the Social Costs of Corrupt Law

  1. Five years ago I was arrested for the first time in my life, jailed and smeared in the press as a criminally insane person, losing over a million dollars and rendered penniless in the process; the purpose being to discredit a complaint I had that the Lee County Attorney's Office was lying to me. It took three years and numerous acts of civil disobedience including hunger strikes to get these charges dropped.

  2. When I began to build my Web site on legal reform, I was advised by many friends not to place the matter on the site; the reason being they feared it would cause me trouble in personal relationships, functioning in society in general, and employment. Indeed, I knew well the legal profession's propensity for smearing and discrediting by this time. However I did so because it was a story about the legal profession that needed to be told. At the same time, their prediction in various ways has turned out to be true.

  3. One of the problems, having lost everything and having no income, has been in finding employment. At the same time, although I have qualified for public housing as well as $120/mo. in food stamps for the past five years, and have the legal right to them, I have never obtained either of them (or welfare of any other kind otherwise during my lifetime) not wishing to be a burden on others. This has not always been easy and has meant I've gone hungry, had poor food, and had no place to live at various times since then.

  4. On the other hand, I have developed much of my web site at the County Library, spending hundreds of days there, where I have never felt discriminated against in any way and have only the highest regard for the librarians there. And I think they share this same perception toward me.

  5. A year and a half ago, I became a volunteer with the recreation therapy program at the Gainesville VA Hospital; a few months ago attending an awards banquet for 300 hours of volunteer service. Here, I have felt no discrimination of any kind either and enjoy a very rewarding relationship with many patients and the recreational therapists. I did a little Web site for our event schedules. Anyone interested in spending some rewarding time volunteering will find this well worth looking into.

  6. A short time after volunteering with the VA, I become a volunteer with the Arts in Medicine program at Shands, the UF teaching hospital; a program which is in many ways similar to the recreation therapy program at the VA. This was very rewarding although the founders of the program made it uncomfortable for me. About a year after joining, in April, 1999, I came out with the Web's most extensive site on the nature of arts in medicine, supporting the idea that the program was substandard as to academic, research and scientific standards.

  7. Subsequently, I was made uncomfortable with personal complaints about me at the Hospital and when I was in the process of exposing one of them as false, I found myself barred from the hospital, with an apparent refusal to investigate the matter. These circumstances are difficult to explain in the context of enlightened organizational management and its likely my affairs in Lee County put forth on the Web were employed to discredit me to the point of blocking any investigation; although of course there is no way to know.

  8. I have also had medical problems which I have had no way to pay for, and have had the good fortune to receive the kind donated services of a number of doctors. Recently I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and have had the good fortune of having the offer of doctors to treat it also. The problem here, is of course, a common one; other people in our society, in this case doctors, having to donate their time to help those who are victims of the corrupt dysfunctional nature of the legal profession.

  9. And of course I am just one example out of many Floridians, many of whom read this Web site, that have never been on welfare but have been forced into it, or dire circumstances otherwise, due directly or indirectly to the corrupt and dysfunctional nature of the legal system.

  10. However, not milking the system is an attitude not shared by many lawyers, such as the tobacco litigation lawyers, who, already millionaires, mercilessly manipulated the political/corporate/legal system for every last million they could get out of it-- including two Florida lawyers, the state's most successful welfare freeloaders, that made off with 950 million each. And of course if they had not obtained their demanded additional millions, they still had their Rolls Royces, palatial estates, and to be sure weren't going hungry; on money they had demanded from previous clients. And of course most of these previous clients, such as paraplegics, needed this money far more than they did also.

  11. And as a result of this tobacco money going to these lawyers, as in my case, either other people will have to donate medical treatment for those smokers for whom there is a funding shortfall or they won't get any treatment. And in this case, we are talking about a great deal of medical treatment; far more than could possibly be donated. In the case of the two lawyers getting 950 million alone, two hundred thousand people could have received $10,000 worth of treatment each. (I should add, I have never smoked so this doesn't apply to me personally). And if only one in ten of them die because they don't get treatment, then twenty thousand people will die and the remaining 180,000 who don't die won't have had their conditions improved by treatment; all so that two very rich lawyers can get very much richer.

  12. One might argue that once this money might have been received by the government, it might have been diverted to other uses or there might have been substantial government waste or corruption in distributing it. However, such an argument doesn't wash; for its not up to these lawyers to make any such judgments. If it didn't go to help smokers it would, for instance, have contributed $10,000 each, to send 200,000 students to college for a year or 40,000 students to college to get five year degrees-- enough students indeed to completely fill up the University of Florida for five whole years. That's a lot of teachers, nurses, etc. Or gone to help disabled children, etc. This is money that these lawyers have diverted away from the use of the people of the state into their own pockets through their power, greed, and abilities to manipulate a degenerate legal system, pure and simple.

  13. In contrast, a decent morally based legal system would see that the lawyers involved got fair pay for the work done, the lawyers in such a system would have expected no more, and indeed such a legal system would not even have in its ranks such greedy arrogant people. For these lawyers are merely the corrupt degenerate product of a corrupt degenerate system; the State's most successful welfare freeloaders. I would also hazard a guess that there are lawyers in the present system that are just as or even more competent, that would have been satisfied with reasonable pay and the knowledge that they were helping others, that were bypassed in favor of these lawyers with their connections.

  14. And of course, this mentality of power and greed has now bought and firmly established itself in the UF law school. For according to the media, "A gift from prominent trial lawyer Fredric G. Levin to the University of Florida College of Law will result in a $20 million endowment, immediately transforming the college into one of the best-funded public law schools in the nation."

  15. And of the twenty million, ten million is directly from the taxpayers and the other ten is at the expense of treating sick and dying smokers ; having come from tobacco litigation fees. .

  16. The endowment will generate more than $1 million a year to support the college's mission of quality education, cutting-edge research, and public service at the state, national and international level, said UF law Dean Richard A. Matasar. He added that the additional resources will enhance academic centers and institutes in areas of curricular strength, including dispute resolution, tax law, intellectual property law, environmental law, international law, race relations, professionalism, and legal technology.

  17. The gift will increase the college's private endowment to approximately $50 million, which places it "near the top of the nation's public law school endowments," Matasar said. "This gift propels us toward our goal of becoming one of the top five public law schools in America."

  18. So now the message is going out to all current and future generations of UF law grads that the way to reach the most prestigious heights of your profession and get your alma mater named after you is to take money from the sick and dying (or from anyone you can get it out of) through mercilessly manipulating a patently sleazy political/legal process-- not a message that holds out much hope for those who dream of a decent legal and political system nor those who will lose loved ones to poorly or untreated tobacco related illnesses.

  19. And of course, with all these elegant words, why is it that this Web site, or something like it, documenting corruption and dysfunctionality of the legal profession was not done by the law school or some other legal institution long ago? Indeed, why is it that while the law faculty were congratulating themselves on their new found riches, I was continuing to construct this legal reform Web site just as penniless as ever; thanks to having lost everything due to the same corrupt profession that the law school refuses to document or address? Again, when will the legal profession start looking at itself for what it is-- and doing something about it?

This is a page in the Web site entitled Legal Reform Through Transforming the Discipline of Law into a Science.