Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Legal Options, Access Include Free Services from Attorneys COMMUNITY COMMENT

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Legal Options, Access Include Free Services from Attorneys COMMUNITY COMMENT

Article excerpt

Editor's Note: The theme of this year's national Law Day celebration is "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom." The following is the second of two articles written by the editorial board of the Evansville Bar Association. The board is chaired by Doug Briody and comprises Judge Carl Heldt, Marjorie Blalock, Max Fiester, Todd Glass, Mark Miller and John Worman. In our first article, we painted a bleak picture of what society might look like without the rule of law. Thankfully, we do have courts to enforce our laws and lawyers to represent their clients' interests. With courts and lawyers, we have the means to seek justice and to exercise and protect our freedoms.

In this country, our courts are "open," meaning they are not reserved for only certain citizens, but are accessible to all. Any person who feels he or she has been wronged may seek redress before a judge, present a grievance and make a plea for justice in whatever form justice may take.

At some point in your life, you will likely need the help of the courts and a lawyer. While many disputes can and should be resolved without them, the courts and lawyers are there for all of us when we need them the most. When someone owes you money, has withheld property that belongs to you, won't let you see your kids or when you have been wrongly accused of a crime, the courts and lawyers are there to protect your rights.

Some societies leave the resolution of disputes in the hands of a single person (who could be a king or tyrant) with no opportunity or means to present the reasons for or against a particular position. In such societies, there are usually no uniform rules controlling what evidence is presented, no appeals, and the decisions (no matter how arbitrary) are final. However, an "open" court should not be interpreted as a "free" court. …

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