Adversarial Justice: America's Court System on Trial

By Theodore L. Kubicek | Go to book overview

PREFACE

It was 1983 at the midyear meeting of the American Bar Association. The topic was whether the association should hire a public relations firm to help improve the image of lawyers. Chief Justice Warren Burger had heard enough. Rising to his feet, “he politely questioned the entire exercise, asking whether instead of offering cosmetic solutions to a professional crisis, it might be better to talk about what the lawyers—not the spinmeisters—might do to help improve the situation.…[He then] pointed out that the original role of lawyers was healing social conflict, and that we really needed to embrace that role once again.”1 His words, like those of Harvard Law Dean Roscoe Pound back in 1906, were largely ignored.2

In order to comprehend this book, you must understand America’s adversarial trial system. Consider this explanation: Two lawyers, one the prosecutor or plaintiff’s attorney and the other the defense or defendant’s attorney, are sitting at their respective places in the courtroom during a trial. Above them hangs a balloon filled with truth. From the balloon hang two strings, one going to each of the attorneys. It is their joint job, presumably, to pull that balloon

1. Preface Journal, May 2004, p. 74

2. See Chapter 1.

-1-

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Adversarial Justice: America's Court System on Trial
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Table of Contents xi
  • Preface 1
  • Chapter 1 - The Premise 9
  • Chapter 2 - Justice 31
  • Chapter 3 - Adversarial System 47
  • Chapter 4 - The Legal Profession 67
  • Chapter 5 - Legal Procedures 101
  • Chapter 6 - The Judges 121
  • Chapter 7 - The Juries 135
  • Chapter 8 - Reform 153
  • Chapter 9 - Recommendations 169
  • Conclusion 195
  • Author’s Note 197
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 207
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