After more than 40 years as an investigative reporter, I’ve sat in hundreds of courtrooms and watched thousands of lawyers up close and personal. And I have many friends and two family members who are lawyers. But I make no secret of the fact that the legal practice is in desperate need of reform. Over the four decades I’ve watched defense attorneys lie their butts off in the courtroom. And I’ve seen the same thing from prosecutors. Sure, the Constitution guarantees that each accused suspect gets to have the best possible defense. But if that defense is an outrageous and provable lie, then something is fundamentally wrong with the American legal system.
George Zimmerman goes on trial this week for the killing of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman was the security watch captain for the Retreat at Twin Lakes Homeowners Association when he reported that Martin was taking a late night walk through his gated neighborhood in February 2012. A police dispatcher told Zimmerman not to get involved, but a few moments later Zimmerman fired a handgun and killed Martin, who he said had attacked him. Zimmerman had multiple abrasions on his face which appeared to back up his story of being attacked by Trayvon Martin.
Yes, the tide is turning. On October 1st, a new Maryland law takes effect to prevent predatory Homeowners Associations and Condo Associations from artificially running up legal bills in order to lien and foreclose on homeowners over petty matters. Why any decent or honest lawyer would advise his HOA clients to run up fake legal bills of $200,000 over a fine of $225 is astonishing. That’s a lawyer who shouldn’t just lose his license, he should be taken to a nearby field and shot!
Bobbie Dylan, you ought to be singing about our movement! Little by little, here and there, laws are slowly being enacted to reign in some of the fascism in rogue Homeowners Associations. Nevada, which was hit by the worst HOA scandal in the country, has just passed a law signed today by the Governor.
Beginning October 1st homeowners who are hit with Nazi tactics by overreaching board members at least have a chance to file for dispute mediation. For 250 bucks apiece two warring parties can have three hours to present arguments in the dispute and an official decision is handed down in just sixty days. Each side has to pay their own legal bills, which should cut down on frivolous fines and crushing liens and foreclosures.