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Got a gripe? Get in line

August 18, 2007

Re "Out of line," editorial, Aug. 14

In regard to the opinion expressed on allowing lawyers to enter the courthouse ahead of others, nothing moves on the docket without the lawyers being present. Not every matter requires a jury, but all require a lawyer. Would jurors and others prefer waiting even longer for the lawyers to coil through the lines to get inside?

Besides, if the jurors -- who outnumber lawyers -- are so inclined, they can follow your suggestion and use their time "thinking of ways to raise money for more screening equipment and personnel to speed things up for everyone." These are the same people who vote down increases in their taxes for such infrastructure.

Carmen R. Gonzalez

Los Angeles

As an attorney who appears with some regularity at Los Angeles' central courthouse, I disagree with your editorial.

Although most people waiting in line at the courthouse have important business to attend to, you miss the point of what the state bar is attempting to do. The goal is to speed overall court business along.

Allowing attorneys to pass to the front of the line helps accomplish this by allowing an early shot at settling a case or attending to routine, lawyer-only court matters, i.e. motions, status conferences, etc. Most judges handle their daily caseload, taking care of routine matters first and saving more complex cases for later.

Some lawyers can have multiple appearances in different courtrooms. The quicker a lawyer can get into the courthouse, the sooner cases can be heard.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Likewise, lawyers delayed is efficiency denied.

Randy W. Medina

Pasadena

I've been in pro per [representing oneself] for 20 years, and I wish I had a nickel for every time a judge has told me that I will be held to the "same standard as an attorney." Yeah, right. The part about not starting a trial or hearing without you doesn't hold water either.

Why should they hold up a trial or hearing waiting for an attorney? If you're pro per, judges just steamroll over you in your absence or tardiness. Lawyers already get more than enough privileges and earn more in one hour than I do in two days. What's next? Will you need a card from the bar association for access to a clean restroom in the courthouse?

Dan Mariscal

Montebello

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