Vigilante Justice – When the Law Fails

People take the law for granted, until it fails. We assume that the man who steals our car or breaks into our house will be prosecuted and punished. What happens when that assumption is no longer valid? When the law fails to protect the citizens and punish the lawbreakers?
The small town of Skidmore, Missouri found out on July 10, 1981, when Ken Rex McElroy was shot to death as he sat in his pickup on the main street of town. McElroy had waged a twenty-year reign of terror over all of northwest Missouri, getting away with almost every crime in the book: rape, arson, kidnapping, burglary, theft, assault, you name it. The law seemed powerless to stop him; witnesses changed their stories; judges recused themselves from his cases; prosecutors dismissed indictments; the town marshal resigned.

I told the story of McElroy’s reign of terror, his shooting, and the ensuing silence by the numerous witnesses to the murder in the book In Broad Daylight, which was published by HarperCollins in 1989, and which won an Edgar Award for Best True Crime and was made into a movie starring Brian Denehey. I revisited the story in a twenty-five year anniversary edition of the book published by St. Martins Press in December 2006. This edition contains startling new information on the killing and the identity of the killers.

It is not surprising that after all this time the witnesses to the killing still have not talked about what they saw that hot July morning. You might hear them say something like “McElroy needed killing,” and what they mean is that the town believed it had no choice but to take the law into its own hands. In their view, the town had returned to the lawlessness of the frontier days, when individuals undertook their own protection at the end of a barrel. Indeed, McElroy was stalking, with a weapon, several witnesses who were scheduled to testify against him in a bond revocation hearing the next week.

You can argue whether what happened that day was morally right or wrong. On Larry King Live, King opined that taking a life outside the law was never the right thing to do. Others argue that it should have happened long before it did.

Behind the discussion is a very basic principle of civilized society, a contract between the government and its citizens: you give up the right to enforce the law and punish lawbreakers in exchange for the government’s promise to do it for you. Put your weapons away and the government–in the form of the criminal justice system–will protect you.

In general, when one party fails to a contract fails to live up to his obligations the other party is released from his promise. If the government cannot protect me, I am entitled to protect myself. If the law t cannot protect the town, the town is entitled to protect itself, to “take the law into its own hands,” as the saying goes. It’s a scary notion in many ways, and it certainly sets a dangerous precedent, in effect allowing individual citizens to decide when they are entitled to engage in “self help.”

One of the most intriguing aspects of the story was the very fragile nature of what we call law and order. We might think that the criminal justice system is rooted in reality through law and courts and cops; the fact is, the criminal justice system is rooted in perception. Once the people no longer believe that it works, it no longer works. If witnesses no longer believe the law can protect them, that it can catch and punish the lawbreakers, they won’t come forward to testify. Cops won’t put their lives on the line. Citizens won’t go to their neighbors’ aid.
In the last few weeks of his life, McElroy had reduced the town of Skidmore to a community where it was every man for himself. When McElroy fired his shotgun over a house in the middle of the night, the neighbors turned away. McElroy, of course, finally pushed the town to far. When the people, with good reason, lost their faith in the system, when they felt exposed and vulnerable to the raging of a violent sociopath, they undertook to solve the problem themselves, they exercised the fundamental right of self-protection.

If there is a lesson to be learned in this cautionary tale, it’s that the criminal justice system in the end is about protecting the citizens and when the citizens fail to perceive that the system is doing its job the descent into lawlessness is rapid and certain.

Finding the Best Lawyers

A lawyer is someone who has a highly detailed knowledge of the law and who has experience and skill in representing client in court and speaking in front of a judge and jury. If you find yourself in court for any reason, or in a position where you intend to take someone to court and to press charges, settle a divorce or get yourself out of a contract, then you will need to make sure that you have the best lawyers on your side.

Without lawyers we are basically ‘sitting ducks’ in a court of law or any legal dispute. Most of us will have very little knowledge of the details of the law, of the ins and outs or of the various loopholes. This means that other can use these against us unless we have lawyers to defend us, and it means that we are unable to use them ourselves even if they might have been able to help us win our case.

So in short using the best lawyers is a huge investment that can help you in many ways – whether it helps you to get out of an uncomfortable contract, whether it helps you to improve your working conditions, whether it helps you to keep your assets in a divorce, or whether it helps you to retain the legal rights pertaining to your work or an intellectual property. In any case you will save yourself a huge amount of money and inconvenience and this means that it is more than worth spending some time and money up front now in hiring a good lawyer.

But with so many lawyers out there, how do you go about finding the best lawyers? How do you recognize them when you find them?

Well thanks to the internet we now have access to a huge range of law firms and lawyers from the comfort of our front rooms. This allows us to browse the sites of many different legal experts and to compare the best lawyer s and law firms directly.

When searching online, you should first and foremost look for lawyers that will deal specifically with your area of the law. If you are in legal disputes with your employers, then you will need to use an employment lawyer for instance, and if you are going through divorce then you will benefit most from divorce lawyers.

The reason for this is that lawyers that specialize will have a lot more intricate knowledge regarding the area you are interested in. They will know more of the loopholes, more of the laws, and more of the case histories that relate to you. If you used a general lawyer then they would have good breadth of knowledge, but they would understand relatively little about each topic compared to specialists.

You should then look around the site of the lawyers to ascertain which are the best lawyers. Look for sites that are well designed and that look professional, and be weary of anything that is poorly designed. Likewise look for good testimonials, and be sure to speak with the lawyers in person on the phone before you decide.

The Law And Its Branches

Law is said to be the ultimate science. Law keeps societies functioning and in order. It is one of the most basic social institutions of society and without it society would destroy itself. Laws tell the members and governors of society about the manner in which they must act. These rules are enforced by police forces. Laws can be changed by popular demand or by the government. Lawyers and judges interpret the law and they’re duty is to act as an intermediary between the people and the law.

The law is divided into two main branches. These are – Public Law and Private Law. These two branches can be divided further but the distinction between the branches of private and public law is very small. The branches often overlap and it is only by convention that the branches exist.

The branches of public law are as follows:

1. Criminal Law: deals with crimes. These crimes can range from theft to murder. The laws under this section define the offences, states the rules of arrest, and the possible punishments. In most countries laws are defined by the constitution and the central or federal government. However in some countries like the United States, states have their own laws as well.

2. Constitutional Law: defines the rules and code of conduct for the government and its various departments. It also states the most basic rights of the people. These rights such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion are guaranteed to all citizens of that country. These rights are upheld by the courts throughout the country.

3. Administrative Law: governs the operations of government agencies. These are the agencies that regulate various aspects of our lives like banking, communications and trade. It also includes social welfare programs, social security and insurance.

4. International Law: This law is meant to make dealings among nations easier. This law is more like protocol and is very hard to enforce.

The branches of private law are as follows:

1. Contract and Commercial Law: These laws deal solely with matters that involve contracts among people. By definition a contract is a legal agreement among persons or people. Contracts are needed in order to carry out daily business. Disputes arising from contracts are dealt with under this section of the law.

2. Tort Law: These laws deal with injuries caused to a person by other individuals or companies. This includes the illegal use of a person’s property such as his or her name.

3. Property Law: As the heading suggests this section deals with the ownership and use of property. This property could anything from a building to a car.

4. Inheritance or Succession Law: These deal with the rights of inheritance of property. These laws are different in all countries.

5. Family Law: These govern the legal aspect of the family, such as the rules of adoption, marriage, divorce and child support.

6. Corporate Law: deals with business and stockholders. This branch is often classed together with contract and commercial law as business law.

Lawyers Job

It is said that the job of a lawyer is one of the most respectable ones. Lots of students are interested in law and they look for the lawyer’s job once they become a graduate in law. Some even choose to go for the higher studies so that they can work better and are eligible for higher posts. There are lots of jobs for lawyers that are available these days. You just need to choose the right kind of job for yourself.

You can either practice individually or you can even belong to a law firm. Lots of students these days think that the lawyer work is cool and awesome. Other than this, this kind of jobs also has a lot of challenges. People who love to work under pressure and love challenges will surely go for these jobs. There are different kinds of lawyers and they work on different kinds of cases. It is very important to learn about the job description of a lawyer before you choose to become one.

If you gain a lot of experience as a lawyer you can even try for the post of a judge which is much more respectable. There are usually two broad categories to which the lawyer’s jobs belong. A lawyer can either be criminal lawyer or corporate lawyer. The corporate lawyers usually have a specialization in the corporation laws. On the other hand the criminal lawyers usually plead to the court on the behalf of the criminals. The actual work of the lawyers is to advice the clients regarding various legal matters as well as business transactions.

Other than this, they also deal with various lawsuits, obligations and legal rights and claiming liability. They also interpret the rules and regulations as well as the laws to their clients. They analyze the outcome of the cases that they deal with. They present as well as summarize the cases that they present to the juries as well as the judges. They also need to perform certain management and administrative functions which is related to law. Other than this, they also work as trustee, agents, and guardian and even as executor for some individuals as well as businesses.

So if you are interested in the lawyer employment then you might want to know how to become a lawyer. If you choose lawyer work as career then you must always place justice and truth above everything else. You must also remember that to perform a lawyer’s job you must work as well as study very hard. You need to pass high school, get a 4year degree, appear for the LSAT exam, become a graduate from law school and then finally study as well as pass the bar exam.

How to Find the Best Lawyer

After you have been affected by prescription drug side effects it is very necessary for you to look for a prescription drug lawyer who will help you in processing your case. There are many lawyers available but not all of them will guarantee you quality services hence you need to take your time and asses the suitability of a given lawyer before you decide to hire him. Some of the factors that you need to look in a lawyer before you decide whether to hire one or not, is to read reviews that other people have offered about the lawyer. After you take your time and locate the best lawyer there are many benefits that you will enjoy. Here are some benefits that you will enjoy after you decide to hire the best lawyer:

The best prescription drug lawyer will help you in increasing your possibility of accessing compensation

The best lawyer will be able to advise you appropriately on what you will be required to do so that you will be able to access your compensation. It is unlike a case where you will be trying to prepare your lawyer and you end up making a lot of mistakes which will end up exposing you to different disadvantages while at the court of law. Remember in a court of law even a slight mistake while preparing your prescription drug lawsuit can end up making your case null.

Prescription drug lawyer will enable you save on time while processing your lawsuit

There are different types of papers that you will be required to prepare so that you will be able to present your case before the court of law. With a good prescription drug lawyer, the lawyer will help you in preparing the papers where you will avoid any major errors. This will make the hearing of your case go on smoothly hence saving you time that you may be required to spend in the court of law. It is unlike a scenario whir you will be trying to process the case by yourself which can end up exposing you to different forms of embarrassments due to failure to fulfill certain procedures required before your case can be heard.

When working with the best prescription drug lawyer you will save money while processing your lawsuit

The savings will come in where the lawyer will charge you fairly. This is unlike a case where you will be working with lawyers who will expose you to different forms of exploitation for them to gain more out of the services that they will offer you. The best prescription drug lawyer will also be popular where many people will prefer him for the services. This will end up making the lawyer earn more out of the services that he offers hence you will avoid cases of exploitation in working with the lawyer. It is a great benefit that you will enjoy after you decide to work with the best lawyer in case you end up wining your case. Apart from just wining the lawyer will advocate for you to be compensated the right amount that you deserve hence making it a great success.