Monday, 7 February 2011

7 Days to Save Legal Aid. Things I wished I'd said before it's gone.

I went to a meeting of court users. I'm a lawyer, that's my job. A professional in human misery I am.

Once a year your local court will meet with the people who use its services most often, and try to find out how best taxpayers money may be spent.

You would meet housing officers, civil servants, lawyers working for the Councils and other social landlords, legal aid solicitors and charity workers , as well a private firms. And Judges. All fighting each other but trying to agree.

One housing officer said that too much legal mail was directed to a building that was knocked down 10 years ago. Sadly the files with the information for stopping this might have been inside the building at the time. We scratch our heads a bit about that one. Mail will be arriving for years to come.

The Judges have a straw poll about legal bundles. It seems mostly double sided bundles are ok, but unless you can deliver your bundles in person using a lever arch means that the bundles get crunched in the post, and crunch the Judges' fingers. Not a good way to win your case.

15,000 jobs are cut from the Justice payroll. 4,000 staff will be cut from the Courts, and London will lose 12 Courts. Let's hope our big society's going to be a bit fairer.

I wish I could have said to the Judge's faces look, do ye think that cutting off all these basic legal services will improve people's lives? But it's not their fault as they don't hold the purse strings.

What I was thinking was 500,000 people will lose advice for common legal problems. I want to jump up and down and shout SAVE LEGAL AID!!!! But like a lawyer I hum and haw.
7 Days to Save Legal Aid. Things I wished I'd said before it was gone. Don't make my mistake.

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