California Courts – it is not business (or justice) as usual
Dear Clients and Friends,
In the last several years, California’s budget crisis has decimated our court system. Cuts of more than 30 percent have left courts across the state and particularly in Los Angeles County understaffed and unable to meet the legal needs of citizens.
California’s Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, also protested the cuts, saying courts are unable to “provide fundamental services or protect the rights of Californians,” and that, “By marginalizing the courts, California strikes a blow against justice.”
If you get cited for a traffic violation you will receive perhaps 10 days thereafter an information sheet from the court that starts off with this statement: “Due to budget cuts there are long lines of up to 3 hours to get into the different courthouses. We recommend you take care of your ticket on our website…”
Just last week on the 2 court appearances we had, our assigned Judges were not available and our covering Judges had to seek to get up to speed on our cases – and perhaps 15 others on each of their morning calendars. On one of these cases we arrived at an interim settlement and for the first time in my practice we added a provision to the settlement on the record that this interim judge would hear all future matters on this case no matter what courtroom he was assigned to – and the “temporary” clerk marked the top front of the file with black marker of this fact.
In the other case the Judge we had was for that day covering not just our court room but 3 other court rooms as well.
In spite of this justice crisis the rules remain, the laws remain, legal confrontations continue and whether you are on your own or working with an attorney you need to, more than ever, focus on effective and efficient resolutions of your legal problems versus “seeking full justice” in the Courts.
We pride ourselves on always seeking to first and foremost find the most effective and efficient resolution to a legal problem whether it be through the courts, by arbitration, a mediation, settlement talks or perhaps by just walking away from the confrontation and utilizing your time, money and energy more optimally.
We continue to offer free telephone evaluations for your legal problems and/or a minimum 1 hour paid for office conference to determine your optimum resolution path.
We invite you and yours to check us out on this.