The State of the Union under a failed Constitution.
The need for public opinion to support the removal of lawyers from elective office.1 The issue of unfitness of lawyers for elective office. The corruption of the legal profession as a whole. (Part 2 of 4),2 The Empirical3 Approach.
Federalist 97 concluded, by the use of the rational approach to logical
argument, that the American legal profession is materially more corrupt
than the Nation, and that therefore all members of that profession
should be excluded from elective office. The next step involves
examining the available factual evidence to confirm that conclusion on
an empirical basis.
The empirical approach - the unavailable evidence.
Let us first identify the kind of evidence that will not be found, and why. There will be no evidence of widespread criminal convictions of dishonest lawyers. The main reason is that the legal and criminal justice system created by the legal profession,4 makes it difficult or impossible to convict the rich and the powerful even if they are not lawyers, let alone those who are.
One has only to consider the recent criminal trials of O.J. Simpson
(1995) and John Gotti (1992) to see the truth of that statement.5 Simpson was acquitted of two murders most people are convinced he committed.6
He succeeded by assembling a 'defense team' capable of 'beating the
system' but at a cost only a tiny minority in the Nation could afford.
John Gotti was only convicted of criminal wrongdoing on the third try.7
A successful prosecution resulted only after the removal of Gotti's
regular defense counsel from the trial, and the enlisting of the help
and support of Sammy 'the Bull' Gravano as a key witness. Gravano is a
confessed Cosa Nostra murderer of 19 people. His 'price' for testifying
was immunity from prosecution on all murders. If the 'system'
had so much trouble convicting a known Cosa Nostra family head, about
whom the FBI had so much information, what hope is there that the
authorities can successfully prosecute large numbers of wrongdoers in
the legal profession? A profession far more powerful, and one estimated
to have harmed the Nation far more than all of organized crime.8 One whose crimes are often all but invisible to anything but the closest scrutiny.
The empirical approach - the available evidence.
Notwithstanding the absence of the aforementioned kind of evidence, substantial empirical evidence does exist. For example:
1. The American Lawyer by John Dos Passos of the New York Bar.9
- Evidence in a book written by John Dos Passos, an American lawyer,
in 1907, describing the decline in ethical and moral standards of the
profession commencing with the Civil War.
- Evidence in the Bible and international literature
confirming that lawyers as a group, have generally been perceived as
- Evidence in American literature by lawyers describing the
particular methods by which lawyers cheat their clients, as well as
other wrongdoing by lawyers.
- Evidence of the acknowledgment by the legal profession
itself, that very serious problems exist concerning the lack of
integrity of the profession, and the potential disastrous effects on
- Anecdotal evidence showing specific instances where the
levels of corruption in the courts and of lawyers in elected office,
have reached alarming proportions.
- The absence of any material evidence contesting the
conclusions reached by the profession's critics, or suggesting that any
other profession is corrupt.
This book written in 1907 by John Dos Passos, a New York lawyer, is
exceptionally insightful. The author, a man of the highest moral
standing and an accomplished legal scholar, recognized in 1907 the
grievous harm that the legal profession was inflicting upon the Nation.
The philosophy he espouses, his concept of the proper ethos10
of the profession, is in keeping with the very highest moral approach
to the law. This writer agrees with Dos Passos agree as to the
existence and seriousness of the problem, but not as to the cause or
the solutions. Here are a few of the most significant passages from The American Lawyer, (Emphasis added):
"While it is said (America) is a government of the people, by
the people and for the people, it is not, perhaps going too far to add,
-- subject to the lawyers (p.2) The lawyyers swarm in all of the
Departments of the National and State Government (p.2) When a lawyer
undertakes an honest introspection of his profession...he must then say
some ugly things about himself. (p.3) Fundamentally (lawyers) believe
that .. they should serve their clients at all sacrifices, sometimes
even of truth and justice. (By holding up to the lawyer a faithful picture of his real mission)... (it)
then will be seen, that a large number of the lawyers are delinquents
to society, not with malice prepense (sic), but from a failure to
appreciate the real and full nature of their professional duties. (p.6)"
"(Lawyers).. have been led to excesses in advocacy -- often to gross exaggeration of facts -- and sometimes to crime. Inordinate zeal for clients, and ambition to win...often sweep away moral and legal barriers. (p.10) The abuse of power and opportunities, and of unlimited confidence is the primary sin for which lawyers are answerable. (p.11)"
"In the ordinary judgments of men, it is the law and lawyers that suffer most (when non meritorious suit are filed); as
to the latter it brings a shallow reputation for cleverness, largely
and sincerely blended with contempt; to the former a sense of its
inadequacy to fulfill its ordained purpose. Law is a 'humbug' - a mere
game of chicane (sic); the lawyer a cunning scamp, not essentially
different from other scamps, except that he is better protected and
more to be feared. Sheltered in the garb of his office, the lawyer
can always insidiously and secretly, deflect the course of justice and
defraud the law. (P.70)"
"Picture the lawyers training themselves in a school of dishonesty,
trickery, and chicanery, diverting and stopping the machinery of the
law, prostituting the forms of justice for gain, selling their
knowledge, ability, experience, and such talent as they may possess, to
the client who pays most for the service, and resorting to every device
of cunning and deceit to gain their end... In (all ranks) of the
profession can be found many lawyers whose services are sought only to
enable guilty men to escape punishment; only to open the door for
others to avoid consequences of the civil law, and of their contracts; only
to defeat and evade the legislative will and public policy; only to
show their clients how to cheat, defraud, vilify, and defame, without
penalty or damage. (p.76)"
"There is no arbiter (over the lawyer) but his conscience. In a very extensive search into the subject, I
have found that there has always been a recognized temptation, or
tendency, on the part of lawyers, to overleap the bounds of conscience,11 and that these acts have frequently called for very stringent measures against them.12 (p.125)"
"The duty of a lawyer is threefold: to the State, as an officer
and a citizen; to the court, as an officer and adviser; and to his
client, as a fiduciary. He owes loyalty to the State, both as a citizen
and as a sworn officer of justice; he owes respect and dignity in his
deportment, to the courts, and candor or honesty in his statements and
dealings with them; to his client he owes his talents, his knowledge,
his time and his fidelity. In every employment which the lawyer receives, his primary duty is to the State.13
In performing this duty, he can fulfill all his obligations to his
clients and courts with fidelity and honor. If he attempts to go beyond
this, he strikes a blow to Society. If a conflict arises between
his duty to the Government and his client he must decide in favor of
the former, for the interest of that client is subordinate to the
interests of all other citizens constituting the State -- who are
interested in maintaining the integrity of the judicial system. Salus
populi suprema lex.14 (p.127-128)"
"To bribe a policeman... to corrupt a magistrate... to pay a lawyer
to use his knowledge to defeat the law; what difference is there in
these acts? Is the lawyer's conduct less serious because it is hidden
and secret? The law is defeated... The difference is not in the degree
of the act but in the difficulty of detection... (p.129) (The lawyer) insidiously fills (the client) with false pleas and defenses, and he appears merely as the representative, whereas in fact he is often the principal actor. Is not the... lawyer as corrupt as any other officer who takes a direct bribe. (p.130)"
"It is the common belief, inside and outside the profession, that
the most brilliant and learned of the lawyers are employed to defeat or
strangle justice. (p. 131) The lawyer's duty to society and the law
must be constantly kept before him, for... the combined acts of a body
of lawyers oft repeated,.. silently and secretly gnawing at the
foundation of a great and magnificent structure, will gradually but
surely cause it to... tumble into ruins. (p. 136-137) Let anyone consider the effect of forty or fifty thousand legal agents15
spending their lives in distorting and prostituting the forms of
justice, misapplying and perverting its principles, undermining the
constitution and its laws, and he can make fairly accurate calculations
as to the longevity, of the system of government, under which they
exist and thrive. ( p.137)"
"The profession of the law holds out a perpetual temptation to human weakness.16
(p139) Upon what principle can (the lawyer) use the machinery of
justice in knowingly aiding and abetting unfounded and dishonest suits?
Upon what principle can he use the machinery of the law to accomplish
results contrary to justice, truth right? How can the law be efficacious, if it is slaughtered in the temple of justice, by its own chosen guards?17...
A lawyer, with knowledge of the facts, is 'morally responsible' for the
act of a party in maintaining an unjust cause... If anything can be
more distinctly immoral, I cannot conceive it. (p.145)"
Dos Passos' book The American Lawyer,
is exceptionally insightful and revealing. He saw with great accuracy
and foresight most of the ills that the legal profession had already
brought upon the Nation, and many of the further disasters that would
follow. Dos Passos (1844-1917), was a lawyer possessed of great moral
commitment, who was not afraid to speak out concerning the 'ugly truth' about his profession.
Dos Passos acknowledged the continuing powerful temptation to which
lawyers are subject, thus confirming the conclusion provided by the
rational analysis (Federalist 97). Dos Passos also confirmed that as
early as 1907, lawyers controlled all government; that the ethics and
behavior of a substantial plurality of lawyers were distinctly immoral
and often illegal; and that a large number of lawyers were delinquents
to society. He condemned lawyers and held the profession liable for the
potential fall of this democracy. Since 1907 things have become
substantially worse. Although Dos Passos failed to understand the
constitutional violation at the heart of the problem, he makes this
writer's case for the removal of lawyers from elected office because
they are corrupt, as well as anyone.
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About the author: This writer is a constitutional
scholar who wrote Federalists 86 through 97, in defense of the
Constitution. He is like Madison, a non lawyer and like Hamilton an
immigrant and naturalized American.
- See Federalist 96 by this writer.
- This paper and Federalists 97, 99 and 100, should be read as four parts of a single unit.
- The empirical approach, Empiricism, is the belief that all knowledge is derived from experience through the senses. The alternative, Rationalism, is the theory that knowledge is attainable through reason alone.
- Primarily for its own financial gain.
- O.J.Simpson was a very famous, wealthy, football player and
part time actor, who was accused of murdering his ex-wife and her
friend, Ronald Goldman. John Gotti, known as The Dapper Don, was the
accused head of one of the Cosa Nostra New York 'families', who ordered
the murders of many people.
- Including a unanimous jury in the 'wrongful death' civil
suit, where Simpson did not have the benefit of his 'dream team'. Most
jurors in that trial who spoke out, declared themselves convinced of
Simpson's guilt to the criminal standard of proof of 'beyond a reasonable doubt' (see Federalist 96), not merely to the civil case standard of proof of 'preponderance of the evidence'.
- He was given a sentence of life in jail without the possibility of parole.
- The Nation's losses attributed to the corruption of the legal
profession and its unconstitutional control of government was estimated
at $1 trillion annually in 1989. The cost in human lives either ended
by suicide, born of despair created by lawyer's activities, or
destroyed in other ways, is impossible to measure but believed to be
- Original publisher: The Banks Law Publishing Co. New York,
1907, Current Publisher: Fred B. Rothman & Co. , Littleton
Colorado, 1986. ISBN 0-8377-0524-X
- Ethos is the characteristic spirit, disposition, or tendency of the profession as expressed in their actions.
- Dos Passos' extensive research specifically confirms the
conclusion reached in the rational approach, that temptation 'the
mother of corruption' is forever 'banging on the lawyers' door'.
- Stringent measures against lawyers are impossible when lawyers
control all government. That is probably the main reason why the legal
profession has sinned so grievously against the Nation. All available
evidence indicates there is probable cause to charge all lawyers in
elective office with treason. So far not a single one has been charged
with any unconstitutional violation of any kind.
- This view of the lawyer's primary responsibility is
identical to the rule of law established in Florida by the Florida
Supreme Court's decision in Petition of FLORIDA STATE BAR ASS'N et al. 40 So.2d 902 at 908, where the opinion states: On
the theory that it is such an important factor in the administration of
justice this Court has held that a lawyer's responsibility to the
public rises above his responsibility to his client. The very nature of
our democratic process imposes on him the responsibility to uphold
democratic concepts regardless of how they affect the case at hand. (Emphasis added).
In spite of the law this writer has not found a single Florida lawyer
who was even aware that this is the law, or practices the law this way.
Furthermore several Florida lawyers have expressed the opinion that to
place their duty to Society above that to their client could result in
a malpractice lawsuit against them. This false perception that the
client's interests should prevail above all others appears to have been
institutionalized by the Nation's Law Schools as part of their courses
- The welfare of the people is the supreme law.
- That comes to about one third of approximately 130,000 lawyers
in the USA in 1907. There are almost one million lawyers in the USA
today. It is reasonable to assume that the proportion of 'corrupt
lawyers' is even higher now than it was then. That means that at this
time either a substantial plurality or a majority of lawyers are
corrupt, if as the evidence indicates Dos Passos' views were accurate
both then and now.
- See Footnote 11.
- Juventus, a senator in ancient Rome, raised the same issue by asking: Who shall guard the guardians themselves? He supplied no answer. This writer believes the answer must always be: We the people!