A San Francisco Superior Court has just answered the question:
How Dumb Is Your Lawyer Allowed to Be?
You have no right to know , as a matter of privacy.
Critics have long complained that there has been an erosion in the quality and caliber of lawyers and judges in California, where for the past two decades lawyers appear to have been unleashed in the state with not much more than membership in California's State Bar, which requires only a passing score on the Bar Exam and an ability to cut and paste from Rutters, the legal cheat sheets , or Cliff Notes, for the modern legal generation.
Members of the pubic supported UCLA Law Professor Randy Sander's effort to provide transparency for the public related to California lawyers, a battle that was lost on November 7, 2016 when a San Francisco Superior Court sided with the State Bar's right to protect member privacy , over the public's right to know.
Judicial watchdogs and advocates believe litigants seeking representation have a right to know how studious their lawyer may have been in school and law school, as an indication of how hard they might work on their case. Advocates also believe litigants have a right to know where their lawyer went to law school, where they may have established a network or "reputation" relevant to a client's case .
Family law clients embroiled in divorce and probate cases certainly have a right to know even these most basic of facts before retaining a lawyer when they are involuntarily forced into divorce or probate cases where they will likely have to commit to spending $50-500,000 in legal fees, which are seen in today's typical middle class family law cases.
Academics claim that fly-by-night law schools and sloppy teaching techniques have led to a generation of lawyers dependent on Rutters , the legal equivalent of Cliff Notes, Spark Notes and other cheat sheets, such that today's legal graduates lack the foundation, tenacity and training required to provide zealous representation for their clients.
This criticism seems to be reflected throughout California's courts , as today's lawyers and judges exhibit an unhealthy dependence on Rutters, over historic research , collaboration and hard work. It is being considered the "lazy man's law practice " , where lawyers can pop out a pleading of brief, include cites from Rutters and hit that Martini lunch or golf course by early afternoon, and where hard working lawyers are disgusted.
SHAKE UP AT THOMSON REUTERS, The Rutter Group ?
CHEATERS NEVER PROSPER may be more the new legal mantra, as infighting in the Rutters Group has led to a sudden exodus of key Principals and Editors, and rumors that the company's internal issues that could led to fundamental problems in the state's case law and rulings are beginning to circulate, as the top editors and partners in the Thomson Reuters, that publishes Rutters appears to be in turmoil amidst a rash of vacancies and staff problems spreading throughout the monopolistic publishing group .
IMPACT ON DIVORCE AND PROBATE CASES
Family law litigants may be particularly harmed by a dumbed down court system that has relied too heavily on the Rutters Group. In an area of law where one side is often forced to represent themselves, even the most tenacious family law litigant is no match for the legal network that communicates in the cryptic court language of Rutters to issue rulings and establish the state's case law.
If judges and lawyers have become so deeply dependent on Rutters to do their work for them, what does that say about years of decisions , case law and statutes that relied on these judges and lawyers to have a proper education and training , which does not include cutting and pasting in information from Rutters.
Rutter is also a resource few pro per litigant have at their disposal, just one more example for the greater disparity and socioeconomic bias that is found throughout the judiciary in family law cases, where the poor and undereducated are excluded from the cryptic language of the law, embedded further in the editing and publishing of the Rutters Treatises.
The recent San Francisco ruling, protecting State Bar Members over Members of the public, appears to be part of an alarming litigation pattern that serves to "wall off "judges and lawyers from transparency and accountability.
As public watchdogs place increasing pressure on the state's court system to provide transparency, accountability and "clean up their act", with respect to judicial misconduct, the state's court system seems to be working in unison to protect individual members of the judiciary , and judicial officers , more than public trust in the courts, and certainly more than the integrity of California's legal system.
Anyone wishing to be directed to various watchdog agencies fighting for reform and transparency in California's Courts, please email : CalJohnQPublic@gmail.com