December 23, 2003

The Modern Jury - distilled to remove the common sense for increased effectiveness!

There's a lot that I like about law and the legal profession. A post from yesterday on my personal blog is a perfect example of that.

Nevertheless, some crap is beyond the pale. I got the link to this story from the Ron Smith Radio Program website. Below is the first paragraph -

A new guide for trial lawyers advises them to be wary of Americans with "extreme attitudes about personal responsibility" when selecting jurors in personal injury lawsuits. The author of the guide says such jurors typically "espouse traditional family values" and often "have strong religious beliefs."

FYI, that's (poorly disguised) code for "Judeo-Christian" religious beliefs. The core belief in the Jewish and Christian faiths is that God created this planet and made us in His image. He gave us a brain to control our impulses and reason our actions and creativity so that we can make a difference in our lives and the lives of others.

The necessary result of having a brain is that you are expected to use it. Of course, people with this basis for their world views will be suspicious of someone wanting the law to appropriate someone else's possessions to them. They will want to know that the plaintiff acted reasonably and used his or her noggin to at least a minimum or acceptability given the circumstances.

This is what the author of the guide calls a "personal responsibility bias." No shit. (Pardon my French).

Anyone who wants to re-allocate the defendants possessions and wealth without asking whether the plaintiff is not truly the cause of his own injury is not seeking justice, at all.

Such a person is attempting to minimize the pain they perceive. The (stupid/irresponsible) plaintiff is actually injured, and maybe the money would make him feel better. The defendant won't feel actual pain if we take his money, so the plaintiff should get the money. The root of the "compassionate-altruistic bias" (as called by the author, and in contrast to "personal responsibility bias"), is the socialist ideal that possessing any more wealth than anyone else is inherently "evil". (For more discussion on this point, see my series "Creativity versus Sharing" part 1, part 2, and part 3.)

The question, then, is: Do we want people with the basis for their world view that has led to the prosperity of the most powerful nation that this world has ever seen (that's the USA, for you frogs) to be excluded from the decision-making role in our justice system in favor of people who have bought into the core beliefs that have led France and the former Soviet Union to their positions of world economic preeminence?

Hmmm... that's a tough one. I guess it would take a Trial Lawyer to figure that one out.

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