Partisan Justice

Partisan Justice

Partisan Justice

Partisan Justice

Excerpt

For the professionals--the lawyers, the judges, and supporting casts--the courthouse is a challenging, entertaining, and (often) profitable arena. The writer has enjoyed these benefits in full measure for over thirty years. Who could foul such a nest?

If there are, as there are, some criticisms in this book of the ways in which we run our fights for justice, their purpose is not one of general condemnation. It is only to suggest that there are serious imperfections in the process, and that there remains, as late as 1980, some room for improvement.

The book has two basic premises concerning the process of seeking just results in legal conflicts: first, that both (or all) sides in any lawsuit, civil or criminal, must be free to contend earnestly for vindication and must be assured of a full, fair hearing. Second, that this adversary process, though fundamentally sound, has spawned excesses over the centuries, most notably an excessive tolerance for efforts by the contestants to distort the truth. The first premise is a matter of universal agreement and is, therefore, taken for granted. The second is controversial; it is the express subject of discussion.

These thoughts result from conversations and writings extending over much of the past decade. Substantial portions of the chapters that follow are adapted from papers presented by . . .

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