Trouble in the Federal Court System

While waiting for a ruling in our case, I’ve written a few online comments using a new web service called Disqus.  I liked it so much, I’ve added it to all of my blogs.  (See below to give it a try.)

Here’s a recent comment made using that system:

Hi Beverly,

I’m sorry you’re having trouble in the federal court system.

If it’s any consolation, many of the biggest corporations in the world have also had trouble getting their cases heard in federal court. This is because the federal system as it is currently implemented only allows cases that have some chance of winning to go to trial. Who decides if your case has some chance of winning? Your federal judge.

While every profession has unethical players, I refuse to believe that every federal judge is corrupt. In fact, I know from recent rulings that some federal judges are fair, and are willing to make brave decisions that go against established interests. Judge Rakoff in New York, and Judge Totenberg in Georgia, are two that come to mind.

To keep judges honest in their actions, each of their rulings are subject to review by one of 12 circuit Court of Appeals. You can find which one you belong to here:…

If you are not finding justice in the federal courts, it could be the result of: 1) bad rulings, 2) bad law, or 3) bad representation. The first two can be addressed through appeal. For the last one, we can learn from each other to minimize the impact of our lack of experience and specialized knowledge.

State court is another powerful option. Just like the federal system, each state has its own court system, constitution, constitutional protections, and rules against murder, theft, fraud, etc. In other words, most of the charges you can make in federal court, you can also make in state court.

The challenge as I see it, is how to use the legal system to fix what’s going on in the world today. While you and I may end up losing our respective cases, the things we learn along the way will be of great benefit to the next people who want to challenge the status quo.

Comments welcome …

Jay Fenello


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