Monday, July 31, 2006

Mugging the Public

Debtors' Hell | Part 2 | A court system compromised | Boston Globe/
Today, we have eight pages out of Boston, on issues we have yet to see trotted out in Cleveland. Are we as a society developing a class of people who are permanently indentured? Here's a sampling.

Russell Engler, a professor at the New England School of Law who studies the way people are treated in civil court, said unrepresented parties often get steamrolled. While it can be tricky for clerk-magistrates and judges when only one side has a lawyer, he said, those are precisely the cases in which court officials should act to redress the imbalance.

''You have a system that is supposed to be accessible to ordinary people,'' Engler said. ''Instead, it's operating as a swift tool for corporations with power and with lawyers.''

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