What's new
US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

A Series of Unfortunate Events: One Man Challenges How Poverty in America = No Civil Justice

Do you believe poverty affects justice in the US?

  • Yes, I have heard of it/experienced it myself

    Votes: 3 100.0%
  • No, this is just more griping from the middle and poor classes.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I'm a lawyer and HOW I wish this topic would be banned.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    3

Silhouette

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
25,815
Reaction score
1,929
Points
265
Well I posted this in the legal forum but then I noticed that like one person a day visits there so since it is a current event, likely to be heard this year...maybe the mods could remove it from there and leave it here?

Supreme Court Litigant Who Vanished Returns
A New York man who claims Baltimore illegally razed a home he owned there managed to get his case—which actually centers around a filing deadline, not the demolition itself...Bobby Chen filed his case without an attorney; Above the Law put his chances of getting a slot on the docket at 0.1%... document filed yesterday outlines the "unfortunate series of circumstances" that occurred.... was "surprised and dismayed" to learn his case had been accepted but dropped 13 days prior. Clement tells the Journal that the justices rarely grant rehearing petitions but does frame the particulars of this case as extraordinary. The AP reports the justices will consider Chen's request in a private Feb. 20 meeting.

If you are a member of the working classes or poor classes & you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having to pursue or defend something in a civil court, any lawyer will tell you that if your case involves even a modicum of complexity (like the opposition you're up against having unlimited funds to beat you back with a team of attorneys), you're going to have to spend a fortune. A fortune you do not have. If you have a home, you could lose it. If you have a car, you could lose it. If you have a medical expense savings account, college tuition saved for your kids, be prepared to offer those things up as a bond to continue your case.

It's a dirty little secret that trial lawyers know. If you keep up litigation long enough, the poor guy will fold; no matter how good of a case he has. It's legal thievery. To appeal any case involving a ill-gained award to your rich opposition means you have to put up a very expensive bond. That may mean hawking everything you have to try to attain justice. But some people have this resolve when they feel they've already lost everything...

And so Bobby Chen took on his own case. A series of unfortunate events, and having to self-represent, meant that one of his "t"s wasn't properly crossed or one of his "i"s wasn't dotted just so. And on a techicality born from the struggle of poverty, he lost his case...but kudos to him, he kept appealing it, on his own... And won all the way to the US Supreme Court!

I've been on the receiving end of this perversion of American justice myself. A rich woman filed suit against me on a shared ownership deal with property. She and her attorney told me at the onset (paraphrased of course, the attorney couldn't officially say he was going to use the court to beat me up financially) "look, you're poor and you're not going to win so surrender the property now". She proceeded to make up a case out of thin air...I clung on by a thread intermittently hiring crappy attorneys I could afford and representing myself. She later dropped the entire essence of her "case" just before trial......and then she pled for partition just then instead, having failed to whittle me out completely by forced-poverty via litigation. She and her attorneys weren't even shy about using the court system as a club. The officers of the court and the judge even knew it too.

The kangaroo court that ensued is fodder for a whole other post and it would detract from this one so maybe later.. It is on appeal. The essence of this lesson is that even the courts know and expect the poor person will lose in "complex litigation" (refer to definition above). So they simply sniff out the rich litigant and to save the court's time and money, throw all the bones to "those that will win anyway"; hoping that demoralizing the poor litigant will force an early "settlement" (read: forfeiture) on their part.

Then it's off to the country club for hors devours and cocktails for the lawyers while the rich clients celebrate the American legal system..

Basically, if you live in the US and are harmed by someone or have to defend yourself from someone intent on harming you, remember this little rule of thumb: At the outset, weigh who has more money and if you are the lesser of the two, simply walk away. Surrender because whatever it is you have the richer guy wants or whatever was taken from you that a rich guy did, you're going to lose in the end. And if not, you're going to lose everything else you have fighting it. They will cause you to be befuddled, cash-strapped, ill and sometimes even dead from the stress of litigation. They precalculate this by the way. And via the attrition of crooked lawyers (of which there is a virtual ocean in the ranks in the US), their richer clients, and time...everything you had will be gone.

Unless you're extraordinarily tenacious as this rare example Bobby Chen is.

Will be interesting seeing how the SCOTUS handles this case...It could fundamentally upset the apple cart of the beautiful and lucrative racket civil trial lawyers have been enjoying for some time now..
 
Last edited:
OP
S

Silhouette

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
25,815
Reaction score
1,929
Points
265
Ach! 3 votes but no responses. C'mon people, share your stories. This tort reform has to happen. The chances are that you will find yourself in exactly the same situation if you're one of the struggling poor..
 
OP
S

Silhouette

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
25,815
Reaction score
1,929
Points
265
It's funny how the trial lawyers are writing this up...

In fact, I anticipate their reaction to Bobby Chen's "unbelievable luck" (because please, general public, don't get it in your head that your hardships & circumstances could be an actual plea to defeat powerful lawyers trying to annihilate you), will be the best fodder for this thread. Just read the snide and simmering anger coming from "The Collective" (those who will be spending eternity together)..

Imagine you win the Powerball or MegaMillions jackpot....What does Clement have to say for his MIA client? ...Mr. Clement’s eight-page submission said Mr. Chen left his New York residence last fall to make what was intended to be a short business trip to California. But while there, Mr. Chen suffered a “slip-and-fall injury” that postponed his return for more than two months...And then he got amnesia! And when his memory returned, he found out his long-lost identical twin brother had impersonated him and voluntarily dismissed the case!...Actually, no — that’s what would have happened on a soap opera I’d love to write someday called “One First Street.” ..Paul Clement And Bancroft Ride To The Rescue Of A Missing Pro Se Litigant - Above the Law

Well it's NOT that he had an actual compelling case that the US Supreme Court felt was a longstanding thorn in the butt of American justice that needed plucking...egads! No! Not that!!! No, it was just sheer luck, like winning the lottery. This little pimp is lying to get out of missing a deadline...or at least we're insinuating he is and therefore DOESN'T HAVE A CASE.

(It's so funny, you can almost hear the suits squirming in their chairs at the thought of SCOTUS championing this guy :lmao: )

More..

Indeed. Good luck to Bobby Chen, Paul Clement, and Clement’s colleagues on the case — ...If the high-powered folks at Bancroft, recently named by Above the Law as the nation’s top litigation firm by law school pedigree, can’t achieve this feat, then nobody can.

Read: "WHEN this case is defeated by the Justices, don't you little pukes get it in your heads that being poor and beaten down will protect you from us!"

(Gavel bang: Ted Frank and Eric Segall, who separately tweeted at me to say that this plot twist reminded them of my novel, Supreme Ambitions (affiliate link).)

The "Gavel bang" is supposed to sound in your ears like a gunshot over your head; a warning shot. "Supreme Ambitions" is supposed to mean at once that the average guy or gal (next potential hit for a rich client/powerful attorney) should dimiss the notion of justice as anything but something that is theoretical in America for the poor, the average...never attaniable in reality....and... that this guy Bobby Chen isn't seeking justice, he's just "ambitious". The suggestion there ostensibly being that he is lying to gain materially?

Like Phil Robertson said of this breed of "humans"...."Lawyers are like a bad disease.....and there is no cure". Maybe Bobby Chen v Baltimore is the cure they've long feared.

Yeah, he's overly ambitious..only in it for shameful gains (this criticism coming from a lawyer, mind you). The City razed his friggin' house. It was all he had and they demolished it without his permission or without good cause.

Read the whole blog and see if there is anything but irreverence for Bobby Chen's unfortunate situation. Ah, the compassion of lawyers..
 
Last edited:
OP
S

Silhouette

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
25,815
Reaction score
1,929
Points
265
http://authoritycourt.com/chen-seeks-a-second-chance/ ..As his case reached the Justices, that part of the dispute was not at issue: the sole question focused on a judge’s power to extend a deadline for a party in a federal civil case to file legal papers with the other side.
There is a split on that issue among lower courts, which is likely why the Supreme Court agreed last year to hear Chen’s case, allowing him to proceed as an unrepresented litigant for whom legal fees would be waived. But when it came time for Chen to file his formal brief on the merits, he missed the deadline and the Court could not find him. It then dismissed his case, on January 9.

...and...

Advising the Court that Chen was a victim of circumstances, and had no intention of abandoning his case or failing to obey all the rules for a litigant before the Court, Clement said that there is no reason why the Court should not go easy on Chen — as it often does for those who pursue their own legal claims without a lawyer.
 
OP
S

Silhouette

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
25,815
Reaction score
1,929
Points
265
Listen to the trial lawyers drooling at the projected loss...

"It would be a drag if the case did not go forward, because then the world would not get an answer to the question presented: "Whether, under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m), a district court has discretion to extend the time for service of process absent a showing of good cause, as the Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits have held, or whether the district court lacks such discretion, as the Fourth Circuit has held?" Bobby Chen cares about the answer to that question, or at least he used to, because it will determine whether he can continue with his claim that Baltimore destroyed his property without a hearing. Or, as he put it, "after he came back from a trip he found his house was demolishing and all his personal belonging had disappeared."
Grammatical or not, the petition lays out the arguments reasonably well and points out that federal circuit courts disagree about the answer to the question presented (the version above is the Court's, not Mr. Chen's). It also makes public-policy arguments, for example arguing that if deadlines can be extended and vacated without good cause, "all proceeding will become uncertainty."
http://www.loweringthebar.net/2014/12/bobby-chen.html "

The question before the Court would be if there was good cause. Duh. The entire question before the Court is if a person is poor, beaten down, being whipped by the winds of unfortunate circumstance while trying to cling to his case, should special consideration be given him in procedure?

IMHO, to foster proper American Justice the answer is absolutely yes. If it is happenstance negligence while all other efforts appear avid and dedicated...a resounding yes! But if it's merely just "oh gee, let's see if this will work neglect because someone stubbed their toe"..that's another thing. In my own case, two people near to me died in the span of a couple of weeks from each other and I was reeling. This caused me to miss a request for statement of decision deadline by 1 week; a request I didn't even know I could make but dearly wanted a form of the day trial ended. That is the type of unfortunate circumstance that colors a Pro se litigant's ability to access justice. Live and learn the hard way should not be a poor person's introduction to procedural deadlines in a case their heart (and often everything they own) is in 100%
 
OP
S

Silhouette

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
25,815
Reaction score
1,929
Points
265
In a nutshell, the current system means that pro se litigants must attend on-the-fly law school while they are actively defending everything they own in court. The lawyers on the opposite side of them have the luxury of a degree in law already and are relaxed and at ease in the court setting. The clear advantage of sheer physical stress and erosion is on the side of those rich enough to buy the best attorneys.
 

USMB Server Goals

Total amount
$201.00
Goal
$350.00

New Topics

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Forum List

Top