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Commentary :: DNC : Organizing : Politics : Social Welfare
COME ON GRANDMA VICKERS ~ CARING & LOVING AMERICANS LIKE YOURSELF ALL KNOW ABOUT OUR U.S. WEALTHY ELITE HIRED GUN $$ LOBBYISTS !!!
25 Jul 2010
Modified: 03:00:55 PM
* THIS U.S. LOBBYIST HORSE~TRADING in OUR PEOPLES U.S. CONGRESS NOW REQUIRES BIG $$$ AND MIDDLE~CLASS
AND POORER AMERICANS LIKE KATIE VICKIE OF FLORIDA DO NOT QUALIFY FOR ANY LOBBYISTS $$ ASSISTANCE *
OK,OK NOW WE GET IT~ THE MIDDLE~CLASS & POORER AMERICANS NEED BIG $$ TO LOBBY THE PEOPLES U.S. CONGRESS 2 ALSO BE FAIRLY REPRESENTED ....... SO PUT UP OR $HUT UP ALL YOU little American people WHO EXPECT HONE$T CONGRE$$IONAL REPRE$ENTATION WITHOUT PAYING THE PIPER....

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~ MIDDLE~CLASS & POORER AMERICANS UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS ARE DECIDED BY WEALTHY ELITE AMERICAN LOBBYISTS NOT THE PEOPLES U.S. CONGRESS ~

THEY CONTINUE TAKING BILLIONS U.S.TAX FREE FOUNDATIONS $$ OUT OF AMERICA & AT THE SAME TIME HAVE THEIR HIGH PRICED ELITE LOBBYISTS DEMANDING THEIR CONGRESS TO SEND MANY MORE BILLIONS OF U.S.TAX $$ TO EXIT AMERICA FOR UNKNOWN LOCATIONS WORLD~WIDE DEPRIVING OUR OWN U.S. MIDDLE~CLASS AND POORER AMERICANS OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, HEALTH~CARE, DENTAL~CARE,PROPER LEGAL PROTECTIONS IN CIVIL,CRIMINAL, FAMILY COURTS ...

WHY WOULD MILLIONS OF OUR NEEDY MIDDLE~CLASS AND POORER AMERICANS WANT TO CONTINUE HEARING ALL ABOUT OUR WEALTHY ELITE BRAGGING TO ANYONE INTERESTED IN THEIR OWN INTERNATIONAL CONQUESTS IN CONTINUING TO ASSIST THE INTERNATIONAL POOR WITH OUR AMERICAN GOVERNMENT'S TAX FREE $$$ ???

~ JUST 1 MORE PERFECT EXAMPLE PRESIDENT OBAMA OF WHY U.S. SLUSH FUND FOUNDATIONS NEED NEW FEDERAL GUIDLINES~

~ MIDDLE~CLASS AMERICANS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS CONTINUE PAYING MORE TAX $$$ THEN OUR U.S. WEALTHY ELITE AND OUR UNEMPLOYED HAVE TO BEG THE PEOPLES U.S. CONGRESS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS ???

WEALTHY ELITE AND THEIR FAMILIES OWN 90% OF OUR AMERICAN WEALTH AND TOTAL ONLY 1% OF U.S. TOTAL POPULATION .

SADLY THIS ELITE CABAL APPEAR TO HAVE COMPLETE FINANCIAL CONTROL OVER THE PEOPLES U.S. CONGRESS SPENDING $$ (PURSE) THROUGH THEIR HIGH PRICED PAID LOBBYISTS.

LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS WILL CONTINUE POINTING OUT VARIOUS MONETARY NEEDS HERE IN AMERICA FOR ALL OUR SINCERE CARING WEALTHY ELITE TO PONDER PRIOR THEIR TAX FREE SLUSH FUND FOUNDATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLDS POOR.

WE BELIEVE THAT ALL THESE BILLION $$$ TAX FREE SLUSH FUND FOUNDATIONS OF OUR SINCERE ELITE AMERICANS SHOULD ONLY BE USED FOR AMERICAN NEEDS AND NOT TAKEN OUT OF AMERICA.

**THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN THEIR TAX FREE $$ STATUS IN AMERICA & THOSE $$ SHOULD ALSO BE SPENT IN AMERICA **

OUR AMERICAN GOVERNMENT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE LEADING COUNTRY IN THE WORLD FOR CONTRIBUTING TAX $$$ TO THE INTERNATIONAL WORLD'S POOR. FOR OUR LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD(CONGRESS) TO CONTINUE TO ALLOW UNTOLD BILLIONS $$ TO ALSO ESCAPE OUR COUNTRY WITH THESE WEALTHY ELITE SLUSH FUND FOUNDATIONS,CAN ONLY MAKE ONE WONDER IF THIS IS WHAT MANY REFER 2 AS "THE NEW WORLD ORDER " ???

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High Court kills lawsuit forcing state to pay more for poor defendants

Doug Guthrie / The Detroit News

Lansing --The Michigan Supreme Court reversed itself Friday and threw out a lawsuit that aimed to force the state to provide more funding to hire lawyers for poor people accused of crimes.

The state's high court in April upheld favorable lower court decisions for the lawsuit brought by eight men and women convicted in Berrien, Genesee and Muskegon counties against the state and Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Intended to become a class-action lawsuit that would include all people convicted of crimes in Michigan while represented by court-appointed counsel, the case appeared headed for trial in Ingham County Circuit Court until Friday's abrupt reversal.

"This was a case that was trying to get the courts to correct one of the worst indigent defense systems in the country," said Detroit attorney Frank Eaman, who helped bring the suit. He said it seeks consistent state funding for the systems operated and funded by the state's 83 counties.

"It is a system that by every measure has failed," Eaman said.

Michigan ranks 44th in the nation for the amount it spends to provide attorneys for the poor, according to the National Legal Aid and Defender Association.

The underlying lawsuit names eight plaintiffs from Berrien, Genesee and Kent counties, and includes allegations that court-appointed attorneys failed to provide adequate defense. The lawyers didn't do such basics as meet with clients or review documents, including police reports, according to the complaint.

The American Civil Liberties Union blasted the decision.

"We are shocked and disturbed by the Supreme Court's about-face," said Michael J. Steinberg, ACLU of Michigan legal director. "Today's order prevents us from proving what most observers already know -- Michigan's justice system is broken for poor people accused of crimes."

Four justices wrote in concurrence with the order, including Justice Stephen Markman, who concluded there is no constitutional precedent that guarantees an indigent defendant a particular attorney or an attorney of a particular skill level or resources.

Chief Justice Marilyn Kelly wrote in dissent that the reconsideration, on request from the state's lawyers, resulted in nothing new to warrant a different conclusion from the court's April order to send the case to trial.

Mary Muillins, a Detroit attorney who filed a brief in the case supporting the plaintiffs on behalf of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said the reversal was surprising.

"To grant a motion for reconsideration is rare in the first place, and it was not for the customary narrow purpose," he said.

The plaintiffs had broad support. A brief filed by retired judge and former Wayne County Prosecutor John O'Hair, retired Wayne Circuit Judge William Giovan and retired Livingston County Judge Daniel Burress pointed out a 2008 National Legal Aid Defender Association report that put Michigan's public defense system among the worst in the country.

David Udell, director of the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, which filed a supporting brief, said the ruling likely will affect only Berrien, Genesee and Muskegon counties.

From The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100717/METRO/7170336/...

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AMERICAN WEALTHY ELITE LOBBYISTS R NOT PAID $$ 2 HELP little Americans like KATIE VICKERS....

More Strapped Litigants Skip Lawyers in Court

Article Wall Street Journal Newspaper

By NATHAN KOPPEL
July 22,2010

The economic downturn has left more Americans with the daunting prospect of fighting court battles without a lawyer.

The Florida Times-Union/Bruce Lipsky
Katie Vickers helped a friend in court and now faces legal woes herself.

A growing number of people have found themselves in court facing costly financial proceedings such as declaring bankruptcy, fighting foreclosure and litigating employment fights. Adding to the challenge, for many: The high cost of legal representation often prompts them to go it alone.

Jillian Edgar of Brooklyn, N.Y., is one example. The 32-year-old, who says she has been unsuccessfully looking for work since October, is fighting an eviction notice that claims she owes more than $2,800.

Last week in Kings Country Housing Court, she said she didn't know the steps to take to qualify for free legal aid. Still, she said, "I think I can handle myself." Her plan: to say that she withheld rent because her apartment had fallen into disrepair.

Legal experts say many people are likely losing claims and paying penalties they could have avoided with a lawyer at their side. Litigants often don't understand the sort of evidence they need to present in legal proceedings, said Florida state Judge Claudia Isom.

She said she has seen a jump in people defending against mortgage-foreclosure proceedings without the aid of counsel, for instance, and they are "definitely at a disadvantage."

"People will gather legal information from the Internet, from friends, or leaflets at a courthouse and think, 'I can play checkers, I'm ready,' " said Raymond Brescia, a professor at Albany Law School, who has written about tenants' struggles to afford legal representation. "But when they get to court they realize it's a game of three-level chess, and they don't have the first idea of what's happening."

Legal representation is expensive, and some critics say lawyers have created quasi-monopolies in some areas that raise the cost of their services.

"You can hardly find a lawyer who charges less than $150 per hour, which is out of reach for most people," said Gillian Hadfield, a law professor at the University of Southern California.

In many areas, from immigration and family law to bankruptcy and housing disputes, she said, nonlawyer specialists could be trained to provide useful legal assistance. But nonlawyers who represent clients in court or provide other legal help face prosecution for the unauthorized practice of law, a violation of state bar rules.

"The U.S. is unusual in how restrictive the rules are on who can give you assistance in court," Ms. Hadfield said.

Many who go without a lawyer are too well off to qualify for free legal aid, even if they can't foot the bill for private lawyers, attorneys said. "The problem is growing for the middle class," said Larry Tribe, who heads the U.S. Justice Department's Access to Justice Initiative.

Most legal-aid organizations, which provide free legal services to people at or near the poverty line, have cut back as they have absorbed cuts in the funding they rely on from governmental and private sources just as demand for their services has risen. The Legal Aid Society in New York City, for instance, this year lost nearly $1.8 million in funding from its budget of about $30 million because of state and city budget cuts.

"We can only help one out of every nine people who solicit our help," said Steven Banks, the head of the organization, which assisted about one in seven people who asked for help before the recession.

There are no comprehensive statistics on how many people represent themselves in court. But nationwide, 60% of state judges reported increases in the number of civil litigants who appeared in court last year without counsel, the American Bar Association said in a July 12 survey. Parties were hurt by not having a lawyer, 62% of the surveyed judges said.

Katie Vickers, a 70-year-old Florida retiree who isn't a lawyer, said she agreed in 2008 to help a church friend petition for workers' compensation benefits. She said her friend, who didn't have an attorney, needed help typing legal documents and answering questions in court. The friend lost his claim, she said.

Now, Ms. Vickers is facing legal problems of her own. The Florida Bar filed a court petition in March claiming that Ms. Vickers had engaged in the unlicensed practice of law and should be fined $1,000.

The bar has a duty "to protect the public from incompetent or unethical representation," said Florida bar counsel Lori Holcomb. Ms. Vickers denied that she had practiced law and said she would vigorously defend herself—without a lawyer.

Write to Nathan Koppel at nathan.koppel (at) wsj.com

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LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS IS A VOLUNTEER WWW LOBBY THAT SINGS OUT FOR OUR MIDDLE~CLASS & POORER AMERICANS SUCH AS THIS BEAUTIFUL AND CARING GRANDMA KATIE VICKERS OF FLORIDA.

PUNISHING SPECIAL AMERICAN'S LIKE KATIE WHO ATTEMPT TO ASSIST OTHER LESS FORTUNATE AMERICANS IN OUR TROUBLED JUDICIAL SYSTEM IS A CRIME IN ITSELF.

lawyersforpooreramericans (at) gmail.com (424-247-2013)

This work is in the public domain