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Arguing the Case Against Attorneys

May 24, 1990

The article on handling your own legal affairs (May 11) was most interesting because I believe the public has been intimidated into thinking anything requiring court action must have the high-priced services of a lawyer, and (the public) is spending billions on something they could do just as well themselves, and at a fraction of the cost.

Also, they would bring to their own case a genuine personal interest and concern that few lawyers really do. Surveys have shown that it is a rare altruist who enters that "noble" profession to further the interests of justice; most admit they are in it for the money and status and little else.

My own experience with three lawyers in a divorce case made it quite clear why they insist on that big retainer up front and why they are rated along with used-car dealers at the bottom of public trust.

I fully agree with the man in the story who said, "A lot of people are being taken over the coals by lawyers." The fact is that anyone who has the time and is able to read can find plenty of do-it-yourself books on legal procedures in the library with full instructions on how it should be done.

It wasn't surprising when a public-interest official stated that "judges are incredibly hostile and impatient with pro se litigants." Remember, judges are lawyers and former lawyers, and they would instinctively resent anyone who has the temerity to intrude on a golden trough that has enriched thousands of them and their brethren.

Most politicians are former lawyers, and the flood of accusations we have heard lately about the honesty and ethics of politicians leaves nothing more to be said.

Charles F. Queenan, Santa Ana

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